What would it mean for the body to become post-queer


Mapping a Post-Queer Terrain: Radicalizing Poststructural Bodies


David V. Ruffolo

Department of Theory and Policy Studies

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto




hat would it mean to engage a post-queer time and space?  How can the body become post-queer?  Mapping a Post-Queer Terrain radically reconceptualizes bodies of poststructuralist discourse through a critical exploration of bodily materiality, subjectivity, and culture.  This project makes an original contribution to the existing queer corpus through an inquiry into the post-queer that exposes the body as a virtual becoming.  Although queer theory continues to offer a critical and necessary politics, in agreement with Bobby Noble, the vulnerability of queer is upheld in its circulation as a centripetal or centrifugal term.  This project makes a new flow of (knowledge) production with queer theory using Bakhtin and Deleuze and Guattari to read through Foucault and Butlers.  It is structured nomadically and is virtually directed where it continuously makes and breaks theoretical and philosophical connections. 


I argue that the Foucauldian body is prediscursive (culture on body) and the Butlerian body is discursive (culture with body) in order to claim the Bakhtinian body as dialogical (body as culture).  I read through Butler’s performativity using Russian linguistics (Bakhtin) to rethink the body as an utterance where agency is a creative potential.  I expand this analysis using Deleuze and Guattari to suggest that the “individual” body is produced at the core of capitalist production.  I use a schizoanalytic lens to assert the (capitalist) body as an ongoing tension between desiring-machines and the body without organs (BwO).  I expand my argument that the post-queer body is a dialogical-becoming through a masochistically informed reading of citizenship discourse.  I reread what it means to be a citizen of radical and plural democracy (Laclau and Mouffe) where I argue that body-citizens are defined by their surplus value and negotiated through bodily intensifications.  I ultimately apply post-queer theorizations to a reading of higher educational spaces to explore how academic bodies become intelligible body-citizens through the intensity of research, teaching, and service practices that define academic life.  I conclude that (academic) bodies are masochistic citizens of the (academic) civilized capitalist machine. 


Mapping a Post-Queer Terrain creates opportunities to explore the virtual potentialities of bodies as dialogical-becomings.

Higher Education Perspectives. ISSN: 1710-1530