The queer ethics of monstrosity

MacCormack, Patricia (2012) The queer ethics of monstrosity. In: Speaking of monsters: a teratological anthology. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, pp. 255-266. ISBN 9780230114500

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Teratology is Most Importantly Informing Theories of Alterity, such as feminism, post-structuralism, anti-species-ism, and queer theory. Monstrosity, initially an act of taxonomical and ontological naming of certain subjects as aberrant—both fetishized and maligned—can be thought as an imperative in forming relations which enter subjects into becomings. In continental philosophy, self is constituted not by subject and object but as an event of relation, particularly desire. The ambiguous state of wonder which defines monstrosity demands that political, cultural, and aesthetic relations are themselves monstrous. Relations shift from dialectic to monstrous, so each entity’s elements and qualities metamorphose into a mobile negotiation premised on fabulation of extraordinary singularity. Each element is changed and future potentialities of relation go from knowledge to creation. In continental philosophy, these relations are premised on desire, not for an object or toward satisfaction, but as flow which occupies, exceeds, and transforms. Queer theory emerged as a response to the persistence of polarity in sexual identity, suggesting that sexuality is mobile, metamorphic, and ambiguous. Monstrous relations, in their fluid invocation of desire as wonder and horror, where the other collapses in on the self because it is neither same nor opposite, are queer and queer theory itself could similarly be described as monstrous. Teratological relations in this chapter are evinced in many examples: Deleuze and Guattari’s demonological, werewolf and vampire philosophy, extreme body modification read through Lyotard, Serres’s Venusian contract, Irigaray’s mucosal encounters, and Braidotti’s transpositional pleasures.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: Common Notion, Queer Theory, Continental Philosophy, Zebra Stripe, Unnatural Participation
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 02 May 2013 11:01
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 16:17

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