Title

Rude Noises: Queer Zines, Unsettling the Symbolic and Enjoying Abjection

Presenter

Meredith Ruff

Abstract

Abjection, the process of being marginalized, is more than a harmful way of being pushed outside of culture. While scholars approach Julia Kristeva’s psychoanalytic concept of abjection in many different ways, I argue that abjection offers up the margins of culture as a potentially productive space. Reading the queer/punk fanzine Homocore through a method of tropological economy, I illustrate what anti-assimilation subcultures can do in their place on the edge of normative cultures. Ultimately, Homocore demonstrates that abjection, accompanied by feelings of jouissance (French for enjoyment or delight), can unsettle existing power relations. Instances of abjection can thus transform “the center” of normative cultures by destabilizing the Symbolic Order, Lacan’s notion of the means of understanding communication, upon which the center relies.

Faculty Sponsor

Heather Hayes

Sponsor Department/Programs

Rhetoric Studies

Tracks

Rhetorical Studies: Interventions

Location

Reid G02

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

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Apr 19th, 11:45 AM Apr 19th, 12:00 PM

Rude Noises: Queer Zines, Unsettling the Symbolic and Enjoying Abjection

Reid G02

Abjection, the process of being marginalized, is more than a harmful way of being pushed outside of culture. While scholars approach Julia Kristeva’s psychoanalytic concept of abjection in many different ways, I argue that abjection offers up the margins of culture as a potentially productive space. Reading the queer/punk fanzine Homocore through a method of tropological economy, I illustrate what anti-assimilation subcultures can do in their place on the edge of normative cultures. Ultimately, Homocore demonstrates that abjection, accompanied by feelings of jouissance (French for enjoyment or delight), can unsettle existing power relations. Instances of abjection can thus transform “the center” of normative cultures by destabilizing the Symbolic Order, Lacan’s notion of the means of understanding communication, upon which the center relies.