queer theory came out of an emergency and a pandemic as a project emerged in proximity to death and necropolitics
queer theory is a constantly updated file
lesbian phallus
the countersexual
the shape of the body is a blurriness between psyche and body
the false body, the phantasmatic body: the real is unreliable
the world is arranged for the male body
the topping of Freud & Lacan means that Butler is the new Daddy
paranoid reading and thinking
reparative reading and thinking
is the rectum a grave
the denunciation of the liberal fantasy that being gay is radical
all the white gays prop each other up
they want to be castrated and not be a woman
the real damage is the symbolic
you come into a language that you did not invent, that you did not grammar, that you did not map
the system we inhabit is always heteronormative
we must refuse the narrative of building, moving forward
we must claim action without goal, pleasure without reproduction
we must reside in the chaosmatic refusal of progress and goals
saying yes to sex does not mean saying no to power (ie grindr)
no slave no world
critical, intellectual thought mimics the university system
the university is always already present and criminalized
what would it mean to become ungovernable
BTLM: an anti-corporate pride right now
you don’t match the university, you steal from it
you embrace the criminality the university has already placed us in
poor queer studies
looking for theoretical sources in unorthodox places
new materialism
queer environmentalism
the natural doesn’t exist for you, it is wholly separate from the human view
thoreau turned away from the electoral towards nature and anarchism
haraway: a romantic relationship to nature (“critters”)
she’s not animal-centric
the dog is being trained according to a human schedule
the human organization of daily routine
the pet is a zombie life/death force, between a wolf and a stuffed animal
unlike thoreau’s mosquitos or frogs, which serve no purpose and remain ungovernable
nature doesn’t reside in the house in the dog but more like the flea that jumps onto its back
thoreau: an individualism that is about the smallness of the human in its heteroverse: tiny, microscopic, irrelevant
the sojourner: the movement through vs the settler
how to navigate the other through co-habitation
queerness does not yet exist
it is a horizon
how do we plan for queer futurity?
neoliberal queering: the actualized queerness that happens now as a verb “queering the …” is not a disappointment/failure
you can never pretend to be queer
the figuration of looking back, being able to queer in order to find queerness
futurity is not to be confused with the future
a citationality with ways of being in the world as seeming no longer valuable
looking at disappointment alongside revolution and an uprising fervor
queer ephemera
dis-appointment: an appointment that doesn’t happen
this is part of being involved in a utopian project
disappointment is part of the vocabulary
queer temporality
straight time
animacy: giving movement to things
decentering human subjectivity
animacy comes from liguistics
language performs and mediates beyond representation
the statement that says what it does, does what it says “I hereby pronounce you …”
classical thinking: the animal is like a machine and the human has the power to make the world
classical thinking is propped up by what it excludes
sexuality is embedded in racialization
the animal figure as an explosive device that produces crises
figures where the border is at stake between human and animal
animality mediates hierarchies in sex (going at it like rabbits, doggy position, sex pig)
animacy: relations between bodies and environments
improper affiliations
queer subjectivities
an undoing
a flexible rubric to produce an undoing
an interruption of categories
queer: a mutated animacy
queer animality as a genre of queer animacy as a modulation of life force
disability, womanhood, sexuality, emotion, the vegetal, and the inanimate become more salient
the animal is being compared to the black(ened) human
human/black: everything is framed around this as the animal enters this construct
claims beyond the human
reading for a method
semiotics is where all good theories go to die
icon, index, symbol
marriage structures the very conditions of choice that we live in (heteronormativity)
gay marriage: gay actor in a corrupt system
the woman moves through the system like currency
“woman” is produced, “man” has the power to give
symbolic structures
language itself is this symbolic system
and we are produced by language
non-binary should not be mistaken for a transformation (it exists in relation to the binary)
Lacan: the unconscious is structured like language too (structuralism)
beyond gender? “whichever”
there are entire ecosystems out there that suppress linguistic representation
queerness can’t reduce down to LGBTQ
how can we get back to irreducibility
Butler: moving towards the body that lacks, the lack is constitutive
the lesbian phallus: the stick insect
the hole in a wheel
anti-blackness constitutes and disrupts the binaries
sign systems naturalize human/animality hierarchies
neoliberalism: give everyone access to the categories
instead of abolishing the categories, or asking why are the categories there
what anti-blackness does is render black(ened) beings as plasticity
plasticity: not dehumanized, but sub-, supra-, and nothing simultaneously
denied access to normative gender, throwing it into chaos
“colored”: to render a black(ened) being plastic
the autopoesis of anti-blackness
the animal/human distinction depends on anti-blackness
racial capitalism constantly rebranding blackness and rendering it plastic (stream black content on amazon, re-brand aunt jemima)
the virus overpowers the human, dominance over human power
fabulation: estrangement from the human centric world that is constituted by anti-blackness
new materialism: material implications
rupture with the human
Zakkiyah Jackson, on becoming human: the most compelling post-human argument
geontopower isn’t new, has been operating in the open for a long time
how liberalism governs your human existence
certain kinds of bodies access that power more easily
an old form of power that’s making a new appearance, making things unworkable
enabling settlers to extract and accumulate
the sewers are overflowing with toxicity
geontopower: pull all of this toxicity into an unworkable place
humanism as a swollen tick
the desert: one of the key figures/symptoms of orientalism
when you are the virus
COVID is not our enemy or our friend
COVID emerged out of geontological situation
sometimes you’re made to be or have the virus
when capitalism gets powered by carbon
3 figures: desert, virus, animus
movement: the virus moves
it’s the figure that doesn’t care
re-seeding, receding
dispersion, dispersal
dissemination as the opposite of paranoia
the feral femme
the politics of visibility
opacity: the mask
the mask: radicalized, anti-asian, politics of enforced use, protestors obeying/disobeying by disavowing surveillance
matrix of masking
being over-visible
spiders as a model of trans subjectivity
the spider makes and unmakes its own space over and over again
data sweat
the fatness of data
data as excess
how do we go beyond, around the moral or the ethic, to produce something new
improper affiliation
two models: euro (progress served by repetition in service of capital) vs black temporality (not progressive, the cut, repetition as non-linear accident)
the cut
errant wandering, here and now (black temporality)
then and there (queer futurity)
black feminist praxis is already happening now, it’s already here and about tuning in now
blackness as exorbitance of form, tonalities of black, infinite possibilities both material and digital
faced, de-faced
gender is plastic
irony but not irony
grace jones embodies capital without a critical distance
i’m a man … eating machine
capitalism animates everything in order to extract value from it
the matter, we matter, lives matter (material vs human value)
invest in this matter to create a new reality, a wealthy black feminist
“perhaps” always provisional
black skin, debt, wealth
a force that attends black existence lies in wait within the modulation of control in digital capital
in the register of “perhaps”
Moten: Blackness as de-forming, but also indispensable and normative
errant wandering through the cliches but rendering them opaque, frustrating the cliches themselves
finding opacity within cliche, sparking other modes of connection and exchange
figures within the system but not of it
the virus
metaphysical terms that are not within the realm of individual experience
Moten: the case of blackness: blackness is black people/subjectivity, blackness of oil and of africa, forces of extraction and forms of wealth
biopower (power over life, the power to make live and let die), necropower (power over death, death is crucial and productive for colonialism, make die and let live)
black trans death is productive for transnormativity
inviting us to question transgender as first and foremost victimized
trans death becomes recuperated through lawsuits, memorials, orgs that form and come out of the death to produce value, to valorize after coming death “payoff”
scrutinizing and interrogating the bad faith of LGBTQ homonormative neoliberal efforts
gay pragmatics
trans death: legible as a body worth mourning, she must be transformed after death imposed on her, this becomes the price of visibility
lives structured alternately between illegibility and spectacle
within necropolitics, tension between good transnormative subjects and unincorporability (unproductive, dangerous) and wild as a strategy of not classifiable
“safe spaces” of gayberhoods and gentrification that are complicit in the logics of trans victims that need to be protected but who benefit the least
can the subaltern speak
speaking on behalf of those deemed unable to speak
pink capital that uses panic to further demonic thinking
the use of black and brown death in order to accrue value for the neoliberal global north
in death they suddenly come to matter
life/death ——— life/non-life
how do we participate in necropolitical extraction
paranoid critique opens itself up to replication of that which it critiques. is there an out?
traveling theory
administrering gender
transnorm: “Disclosure” on Netflix is in direct opposition to this idea of gender abolition
Sylvia Rivera Law Project (deinstitutionalizing the way law works)
you enter the conversation to do other things with it
resistance comes in the form of illegibility and practices that slow down state capture
legal protection (visibility) does not equal justice
the state uses the grid (architectural, administrative, agricultural) to order and control and manage chaotic populations
James C Scott Seeing Like a State
we’ve internalized grid-like structures that don’t allow us to think outside of norms that are distributed, that feel like a part of nature
force of logic vs force of spontaneous uprising
the charisma of orderliness, adhering to administrative logics and banality of evil
the aesthetics of resistance
tidiness vs the mess
aesthetic defiance
form that undoes the logic of legal vs criminal
what is a trap
bodies that exceed intention
the question is not which gender options should be available, but rather why is gender on your driver’s license
promiscuity in citational practice
use what you need even if you’re going to critique it later (make an intervention)
you belong to your body but don’t think that your body belongs to you
’the more he is cited, the more he is cited’ sara ahmed
fabulation and archives
TERF trans exclusionary radical feminist
JK Rowling not useful in scholarship, do we really need to engage with her
the ideological danger vs violence and killing being done by white cis men
the center builds itself off of what it marginalizes
how does homoeroticism serve the heteronormative agenda
homoeroticism can be embedded within heteronormative patriarchal context
they’re in an entangled relationship
sometimes subverting other times complicit, embedded, normative
non-normativity in women’s bodies that suggests queer possibilities
queer vs gender non-normativity
the homoeroticism of patriarchal heteronormativity
recuperating queerness through tech mediation
the homoerotics of white masculinity
there is nothing to recuperate in white masculinity culture of violence
finding patriarchy in the kiss in the twitter video of men beating each other with chairs — is the kiss the site of recuperation or oppression?
discourses of race and diversity always take place on occupied land
why sovereignty matters
the traces of the Indian figure through empire as a way to manage populations
Indian: a spectral figure that allows empire to do certain kinds of violent work (westward expansion, gold rush)
administrative violence: how we historicize the native american as a form of admin. violence, to fit everyone into one racial group
the arrivant
we want sovereignty over life ways, not property
rendering something null within the tools and methodologies that declare it of value itself
wayward lives
relationship to archive
her voice, the claims, the vocabulary — an anarchist disposition
the chorus, plurality, not singular
trying to produce a voice that simply works in tandem with the glimmers of narratives of these lives
it’s the practice of the social otherwise
intimate, fabulation
fugitive gestures, open rebellion
disallowed from conventional history
away from the fact bound, towards fabulation
the black girl as revolutionary figure
the theory of anarchy within the black girl’s shopping list of desires
the quotidian movements and desires literally rendered unthinkable
the archive she wishes into being
wayward lives is a portal
it makes no particular claim to disciplinary knowledge
a world sculpture
crafted and fabulated
an animated text articulating anarchistic joy “in another way”
the chorus: the many, the assembly, against the virtuosity of the solo
a living archive
how to represent vs ‘we cannot be represented’
being called into legibility
romanticizing the deviance
mess as ordinary aliveness
mess as spectacular disorder
mess as modes of opacity
against the stable and knowable
deliberately unknowable
not simply pathological but actually a survival strategy
queer ephemera
mess as method (archive, calling it a mess, calling it an archive) vs making a mess (in a traditional archive)
queer pedagogy
wildness, what is it
rewilded theory as progress but also resisting that kind of productivity
sealed space
who has access to theory, to this space
exceptionalism, expertise, exclusivity — to what extent does queer theory depend and uphold these
controlled vocabularies
to what extent do these work against porosity, plurality
something about the here and now that speaks to the future
the optimism of Munoz’s queer futurity vs the pure sexual juissance of ‘right now’ in Edelman (no future)
looking to futurity for our own obsoleteness
the incandescence of queer performativity = surplus value (in marxist terms)
Fred Harko
queer incandescent as mess and ephemera
as well as wealth that is non-capitalist
the theft back of that which was originally stolen from us
the pharmacopornographic (Preciado)
the question of Black being (unbeing)
the free Black as a monstrous figure which can only be responded to with violence
rather than the binary of future/no future, or relational/non-relational
Munoz tunes into a hum that is here and not here
lying in wait
complex temporality, here and not here
waywardness, errant
revolution in a minor key
right now, not deferred, but also not
the digital signal that underpins modern capital that exceeds and transforms the system
Munoz finds the hum that doesn’t quite exist in material concrete form
Herko was lying in wait for this moment when we encounter him here in this text
extinguished yet animating queer potentiality
queerness and suicide
death as an ultimate finitude and to control it through suicide, utopian in its negation of death
the complexity of negativity lying in wait
choosing to withdraw from the world
our withdrawal destroys
the death drive refers to an archive that does not exist
no one can tell us what it is
representations of death are banal
the unrepresentable
we master pleasure but death masters us
the life instinct is a conservative force
Munoz gets too close to Edelman with the leap out the window
the death drive as a more radical approach
afro-futurity: this world must go, reject the arrangement as it’s given to us
are all the no-s and nothings and nulls the same? the return to homogeneity?
vulnerability to premature death Gilmore
the undercommons: brokenness is a part of our present ontologies and this forms the basis for solidarity

fragments/notes from the class june 14–…