Queers: Abjection, agency, bodies and pleasures
Parrott, William Dustin
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This dissertation claims, via Foucault's theorization of counter-conduct, bodies and pleasures, that bug-chasing, queer pornography, queer painting and poetics—that is, a range of acts of queer poiesis—suggest not that queer life can make its most radical contribution to the Social by equating queerness with no future (Lee Edelman) or narcissistic anti-sociality (Leo Bersani), but by altering our relation towards the notion of futurity, community, relationality, and risk in such a way as to see queer sexual praxis and poiesis as having an undeniable ethics, and to see the (unprotected) rectum and its representation not as a grave but as a reproductive space for an as-yet unrealized futurity, the form and content of which cannot be decided in advance. What we see in bug-chasing and queer pornography, articulated in queer poetry and painting, is not no future, but another future, a queer future; not a grave, but a womb , full of a future pregnant with queer relations; not unlimited intimacy , but queer forms of being and togetherness that exist in relation to but are not synonymous with notions of limitlessness or bourgeois intimacy. Queer sexual praxis and poiesis are the vehicles to move us through the standstill around the antisocial thesis in queer theory, but only if we are able to give them more thoughtful, critical attention as queer praxis and poiesis . As Tony Kusher writes of HIV/AIDS in Angels in America , these are paradoxical blessings that bring us us “more life,” even as they open us to death, and they can do the same for queer theory, via a Foucaultian account of counter-conduct, bodies and pleasures.