By Lee Quinby
As the 12 months 2000 looms, heralding a brand new millennium, apocalyptic idea abounds-and no longer only between spiritual radicals. In politics, technological know-how, philosophy, pop culture, and feminist discourse, apprehensions of the top look in pictures of cultural decline and concrete chaos, forecasts of the top of historical past and ecological devastation, and visions of a brand new age of positive know-how or a gender-free utopia. there's, Lee Quinby contends, a threatening "regime of fact" triumphing within the United States-and this regime, with its enforcement of absolute fact and morality, imperils democracy. In Anti-Apocalypse, Quinby bargains a robust critique of the millenarian rhetoric that pervades American tradition. In doing so, she develops concepts for resisting its tyrannies.
Drawing on feminist and Foucauldian concept, Quinby explores the advanced dating among energy, fact, ethics, and apocalypse. She exposes the ramifications of this dating in components as assorted as jeanswear journal ads, the Human Genome undertaking, modern feminism and philosophy, texts by means of Henry Adams and Zora Neale Hurston, and radical democratic activism. by way of bringing jointly one of these wide variety of subject matters, Quinby exhibits how apocalypse weaves its manner via an unlimited community of probably unrelated discourses and practices. Tracing the deployment of energy via structures of alliance, sexuality, and expertise, Quinby finds how those energy relationships produce conflicting modes of subjectivity that create probabilities for resistance. She promotes quite a few serious stances—genealogical feminism, an ethics of the flesh, and "pissed criticism"—as demanding situations to apocalyptic claims for absolute fact and common morality. Far-reaching in its implications for social and cultural thought in addition to for political activism, Anti-Apocalypse will interact readers around the cultural spectrum and problem them to confront the most refined and insidious orthodoxies of our day.
Lee Quinby is affiliate professor of English and American experiences at Hobart and William Smith faculties. She is the writer of Freedom, Foucault, and the topic of the United States (1991) and coeditor (with Irene Diamond) of Feminism and Foucault: Reflections on Resistance (1988).
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Additional info for Anti-Apocalypse: Exercises in Genealogical Criticism
Hence, the rhetoric of enticement used by the EU(JEAN)ICS 7 deployment of sexuality involves an already nostalgic appeal to the natural. As I shall demonstrate, this appeal is often made through the "materiality" of denim. The subjectivity produced through the deployment of sexuality is central to humanism, which defines a person as an individual with an interiority said to be discovered through psychology and disciplined through education. 8 As radical critiques of the discourses of science have shown, this eugenically improvable self perpetuated a number of longstanding binary oppositions which privileged masculinity over femininity, mind over body, white people over people of color, and procreative heterosexuality over nonprocreative sexual practices.
But the New World Order simultaneously announces its pride in achieving a level of artifice that one-ups the historical moment: Do Iwo Jima with Club Med style. "41 But in the meantime, a radical politics can't be content to stand by and wait to see what the future will bring or risk inducing it prematurely by jumping ahead to the year 2000, as Baudrillard has parodically suggested. Baudrillard's demonstrations of the speed of hyperreal transformation notwithstanding, the operations of advanced capitalism do not expand monolithically but rather create, within the first world as well as in the third, socioeconomic conditions that range from early industrial sweatshops to computerized factories.
Here, class conflict is readily resolved by uniting the sport of aristocrats and the coarse dungaree fabric of workers. The Polo insignia in the lower right corner neatly sums it up —in the eu(jean)ic fashionscape, one can simulate aristocratic breeding by playfully mimicking the working class. Esprit (1987) Just as Ralph Lauren appropriates a New Left critique of upperclass privilege while relegitimizing it, so too Esprit uses denim to appropriate feminist critiques 18 EU(JEAN)ICS of class, gender, and sexuality.
Anti-Apocalypse: Exercises in Genealogical Criticism by Lee Quinby