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  • Non-reproductive futurism: Rancière’s rational equality against Edelman’s body apolitic

Power, Nina, 2009, Journal Article, Non-reproductive futurism: Rancière’s rational equality against Edelman’s body apolitic Borderlands: Jacques Rancière on the Shores of Queer Theory, 8 (2). p. 6. ISSN 14470810

Abstract or Description:

Power’s article examines the popular work of Lee Edelman, author of No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive (2004), a queer theory text that argues against notions of the future found in both left- and right-wing political positions (which Edelman equated with the image of the child’s face). Power positions Edelman in relation to Jacques Rancière’s work on political equality. She argues that Edelman overlooks both an important sense of political rationality and the fact that some Left movements are explicitly predicated on a sense of there being ‘no future’, thus undermining his claim that all politics is predicated on the promise of the future, and of the continued reproduction of the species.
Power’s methodology consisted of research into non-reproductive political groups, such as early kibbutzim in Israel and other Left groups that explicitly do not engage in reproduction, and promote instead what she terms ‘queer rationalism’. This idea – extrapolated from Rancière’s work – celebrates a disruptive, egalitarian politics of those unseen and unheard by the mainstream and that understands by ‘reason’ something other than ‘well-ordered’. By putting Rancière’s work alongside Edelman’s, Power suggests a way out of Edelman’s idea that all politics is necessarily futural and that queer jouissance can be compatible with queer political reason. An original proposition, Power’s arguments open up a new perspective on the relationship between contemporary queer theory, feminism and philosophy.
Power was invited to contribute this article to Borderlands, an international peer-reviewed e-journal that aims to promote transdisciplinary work across the humanities and social sciences, on the basis of her earlier engagements with Rancière’s writings (see, e.g. ‘Axiomatic equality: Jacques Rancière and the politics of contemporary education’, Polygraph, no.21, 2009). Power was also invited to speak about Rancière’s work at the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California (2008).

Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W800 Imaginative Writing
School or Centre: School of Humanities
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2013 21:38
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2014 12:14
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1464

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