Meredith L. Ruff

Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Fall 12-11-2015

Major Department or Program

Rhetoric Studies


Heather Hayes


Abjection is not only a harmful way of being outside of culture. While scholars mobilize Julia Kristeva’s psychoanalytic concept of abjection in many different ways I argue that the process of 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 the feeling of jouissance, can unsettle existing power relations. Instances of abjection can thus transform “the center” of normative cultures by destabilizing the Symbolic order upon which the center relies.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Social change, Conformity -- Social aspects, Jouissance (psychanalyse), Fan magazines -- Fanzines, Normativity (Ethics) -- Social aspects, Sexual minorities, Abjection in literature, Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) -- Death Drive, Christian O. Lundberg, Culture & Society, Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2016 -- Rhetoric Studies

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Document Type

Public Accessible Thesis

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Rhetoric Commons



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