How Queer is the Demos? Politics, sex, and equality
This article stages a confrontation between Jacques Rancière’s political philosophy and the figure of the queer, particularly as reconfigured recently by Lee Edelman with his Lacan-inspired notion of the ‘sinthomosexual’. Starting by investigating the currency of Rancièrian terms such as the demos, equality, and subjectivation for an articulation of queer politics, the article moves on to argue that Edelman’s notion of the queer as a figure constitutively outside politics may be located both outside what Rancière calls ‘the police,’ and also outside what he calls ‘politics’ altogether, thus highlighting an optimistic (Rancière) and a pessimistic (Edelman) conception of the queer political subject. The article then considers the fundamental difference between Rancière’s and Edelman’s conceptual worlds, locating it in the psychoanalytic configuration of the queer subject, before arguing for the necessary though impossible choice queer theory is faced with when considering these two seemingly
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© borderlands ejournal 2009