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Feminist Philosophy Commons

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2010

Biopolitics

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Full-Text Articles in Feminist Philosophy

The Biopolitical Unconscious: Not-All Persons Are Political, Ross G. Shields Apr 2010

The Biopolitical Unconscious: Not-All Persons Are Political, Ross G. Shields

Media and Cultural Studies Honors Projects

It is a tenet of post-structuralist theory that discursive series fail in their attempts to constitute themselves as totalities. A system can fail in two distinct ways—from Kant’s dynamic and mathematic failures of reason, to Jacques Lacan’s equation of the two failures of language with the two failures (male and female) of sex. Biopolitical theory offers the most recent account of failure and collapse, now on the geopolitical scale. Given that the biopolitical subject too is sexed, this thesis asks the question: How does biopolitics fail? Franz Kafka’s aborted novels offer a premonition to a possible ...