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there are no queers Arrow vol 8 no 2 contents
About borderlands VOLUME 8 NUMBER 2, 2009

There are no Queers: Jacques Rancière and post-identity politics

Todd May


Much of the discussion of homosexuality and homosexual rights these days centers on issues of identity.  Is homosexuality natural?  Are there genetic or other physiological predispositions for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and others?

Many of us are uncomfortable with these questions.  They seem, like so many questions in identity politics, to isolate political struggles against oppression of homosexuals from other solidarity struggles.  And yet we wonder how to conceive such struggle without returning to the liberal politics of individualism.

Here is where the thought of Jacques Rancière becomes useful.  For Rancière, any democratic politics is a collective struggle from the presupposition of equality.  The question for him is not one of identity, then, which presupposes orders and hierarchies.  It is rather one of equality, which undercuts identities and orders.  This paper investigates Rancière’s view and what it might mean for GLBT political thought and resistance.

The full article is available as a PDF document: click here.

© borderlands ejournal 2009



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