Michigan ap r2 neg V Fullerton dg



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Michigan AP r2 neg v Fullerton DG




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Their conception of identity presumes an intersection of positions from which to demand accountability—this rendering of the social field reproduces disciplinary power and locks us into the grid of positionality, preventing change


Puar 7. Jasbir Puar, professor of women’s and gender studies at Rutgers University, Duke University Press: Durham, NC and London, UK, pg. 211
There is no entity, no identity, no queer subject or subject to queer, rather queerness coming forth at us from all directions, screaming its defiance, suggesting a move from intersectionality to assemblage, an affective conglomeration that recognizes other contingencies of belonging (melding, fusing, viscosity, bouncing) that might not fall so easily into what is sometimes denoted as reactive community formations-identity politics-by control theorists. The assemblage, a series of dispersed but mutually implicated and messy networks, draws together enunciation and dissolution, causality and effect, organic and nonorganic forces. For Deleuze and Guattari, assemblages are collections of multiplicities:

There is no unity to serve as a pivot in the object, or to divide in the subject. There is not even the unity to abort in the object, or "return" in the subject. A multiplicity has neither subject nor object, only determinations, magnitudes, and dimensions that cannot increase in number without the multiplicity changing in nature (the laws of combination therefore increase as the multiplicity grows ).... An assemblage is precisely this increase in the dimensions of a multiplicity that necessarily changes in nature as it expands its connections. There are no points or positions.... There are only lines.21



As opposed to an intersectional model of identity, which presumes that components-race, class, gender, sexuality, nation, age, religion-are separable analytics and can thus be disassembled, an assemblage is more attuned to interwoven forces that merge and dissipate time, space, and body against linearity, coherency, and permanency.22 Intersectionality demands the knowing, naming, and thus stabilizing of identity across space and time, relying on the logic of equivalence and analogy between various axes of identity and generating narratives of progress that deny the fictive and performative aspects of identification: you become an identity, yes, but also timelessness works to consolidate the fiction of a seamless stable identity in every space. Furthermore, the study of intersectional identities often involves taking imbricated identities apart one by one to see how they influence each other, a process that betrays the founding impulse of intersectionality, that identities cannot so easily be cleaved. We can think of intersectionality as a hermeneutic of positionality that seeks to account for locality, specificity, placement, junctions. As a tool of diversity management and a mantra of liberal multiculturalism, intersectionality colludes with the disciplinary apparatus of the state- census, demography, racial profiling, surveillance- in that "difference" is encased within a structural container that simply wishes the messiness of identity into a formulaic grid, producing analogies in its wake and engendering what Massumi names "gridlock": a "box[ing] into its site on the culture map." He elaborates:

The idea of positionality begins by subtracting movement from the picture. This catches the body in cultural freeze-frame. The point of explanatory departure is a pin-pointing, a zero point of stasis. When positioning of any kind comes a determining first, movement comes a problematic second.... Of course, a body occupying one position on the grid might succeed in making a move to occupy another position.... But this doesn't change the fact that what defines the body is not the movement itself, only its beginnings and endpoints.... There is "displacement," but no transformation; it is as if the body simply leaps from one definition to the next. ... "The space of the crossing, the gaps between positions on the grid, falls into a theoretical no-man's land."B

Many feminists, new social movement theorists, critical race theorists, and queer studies scholars have argued that social change can occur only through the precise accountability to and for position/ing. But identity is unearthed by Massumi as the complexity of process sacrificed for the "surety" of product. In the stillness of position, bodies actually lose their capacity for movement, for flow, for (social) change. Highlighting the "paradoxes of passage and position," Massumi makes the case for identity appearing as such only in retrospect: a "retrospective ordering" that can only be "working backwards from the movement's end." Again from Massumi: "Gender, race and sexual orientation also emerge and back-form their reality, ... Grids happen. So social and cultural determinations feed back into the process from which they arose. Indeterminacy and determination, change and freeze-framing, go together."24

Vote neg even if the 1AC is true. Their claims are part of a will to truth that fixes subjects in place and enables the logic of the war on terror. Assemblages are a prior question because they constitute the field of emergence for subjectivities.


Puar 7. Jasbir, professor of women’s and gender studies at Rutgers University, Duke University Press: Durham, NC and London, UK, pg. 214

Linked to this is what Massumi calls "ontogenetic difference" or "ontogenetic priority," a concept that rescripts temporality exterior to the sheer administrative units that are mobilized to capture the otherwise unruly processes of a body:

To say that passage and indeterminancy "come first" or "are primary" is more a statement of ontological priority than the assertion of a time sequence. They have ontological privilege in the sense that they constitute the field of emergence, while positionings are what emerge. The trick is to express that priority in a way that respects the inseparability and contemporaneousness of the disjunct dimensions: their ontogenetic difference.

And later: "The field of emergence is not pre-social. It is open-endedly social. ... One of the things that the dimension of change is ontogenetically 'prior to' is thus the very distinction between individual and the collective, as well as any given model of their interaction. That interaction is precisely what takes form."' The given models of interaction would be these bifurcated distinctions between the body and the social (its signification) such that the distinctions disappear. Massumi's move from ontology (being, becoming) to ontogenesis is also relevant to how he discusses affect and cognition and the processes of the body: "Feedback and feed forward, or recursivity, in addition to converting distance into intensity, folds the dimensions of time into each other. The field of emergence of experience has to be thought of as a space-time continuum, as an ontogenetic dimension prior to the separating-out of space and time. Linear time, like position- gridded space, would be emergent qualities of the event of the world's self- relating. " 2 7



This ontogenetic dimension that is "prior" but not "pre" claims its priorness not through temporality but through its ontological status as that which produces fields of emergence; the prior and the emergence are nevertheless "contemporaneous." "Ontological priority" is a temporality and a spatialization that has yet to be imagined, a property more than a bounded- ness by space and time. The ontogenetic dimension that articulates or occupies multiple temporalities of vectors and planes is also that which enables an emergent bifurcation of time and space.

Identity is one of affect, a capture that proposes what one is by masking its retrospective ordering and thus its ontogenetic dimension- what one was- through the guise of an illusory futurity: what one is and will continue to be. However, this is anything but a relay between stasis and flux; position is but one derivative of systems in constant motion, lined with erratic trajectories and unruly projectiles. If the ontogenetic dimensions of affect render affect as prior to representation-prior to race, class, gender, sex, nation, even as these categories might be the most pertinent mapping of or reference back to affect itself-how might identity-as-retrospective-ordering amplify rather than inhibit praxes of political organizing? If we transfer our energy, our turbulence, our momentum from the defense of the integrity of identity and submit instead to this affective ideation of identity, what kinds of political strategies, of "politics of the open end,"" might we unabashedly stumble upon? Rather than rehashing the pros and cons of identity politics, can we think instead of affective politics?

Displacing queerness as an identity or modality that is visibly, audibly, legibly, or tangibly evident-the seemingly queer body in a "cultural freeze-frame" of sorts-assemblages allow us to attune to movements, intensities, emotions, energies, affectivities, and textures as they inhabit events, spatiality, and corporealities. Intersectionality privileges naming, visuality, epistemology, representation, and meaning, while assemblage underscores feeling, tactility, ontology, affect, and information. Further, in the sway from disciplinary societies (where the panoptic "functioned primarily in terms of positions, fixed points, and identities") to control societies, the diagram of control, Michael Hardt writes, is "oriented toward mobility and anonymity. . . . The flexible and mobile performances of contingent identities, and thus its assemblages or institutions are elaborated primarily through repetition and the production of simulacra. "29 Assemblages are thus crucial conceptual tools that allow us to acknowledge and comprehend power beyond disciplinary regulatory models, where "particles, and not parts, recombine, where forces, and not categories, clash. "30

Most important, given the heightened death machine aspect of nationalism in our contemporary political terrain-a heightened sensorial and anatomical domination indispensable to Mbembe's necropolitics-assemblages work against narratives of U.S. exceptionalism that secure empire, challenging the fixity of racial and sexual taxonomies that inform practices of state surveillance and control and befuddling the "us versus them" of the war on terror. (On a more cynical note, the recent work of Eyal Weizman on the use of the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, and Guy Debord by the Israeli Defense Forces demonstrates that we cannot afford to ignore concepts such as war machines and machinic assemblages, as they are already heavily cultivated as instructive tactics in military strategy.) For while intersectionality and its underpinnings- an unrelenting epistemological will to truth- presupposes identity and thus disavows futurity, or, perhaps more accurately, prematurely anticipates and thus fixes a permanence to forever, assemblage, in its debt to ontology and its espousal of what cannot be known, seen, or heard, or has yet to be known, seen, or heard, allows for becoming beyond or without being.32


Thinking anti-blackness through ontology and structuralism locks it within grids of intelligibility – only an approach that emphasizes formation of identity through assemblage can map lines of escape




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