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  • Publication
    Queering the Palimpsest: : Affective interplay across time
    ( 2015-10-16) ;
    Zimmermann, Andrea
    How can we think of feminist coalitions and affective solidarity with regard to memories and queer temporalities? How can we develop a vision of political agency that embraces a history of marginalization and abjection (Love 2007)? And how can we conceptualize subjectivity as structured by power relations yet open to potentiality? In the German-speaking context, Angerer (2007) has stated that affect has replaced the sexuality-dispositive, displacing the psychoanalytical focus on desire. Following Angerer, Adorf & Christadler (2014) express unease about the repeated dichotomization of immediacy within Affect Studies and representation within Psychoanalysis, as immediacy and representation are mutually co-dependent, equally structured by temporality, intensity and memory. We propose a metaphor that enhances an inclusive approach to both: the palimpsest (Dillon 2007). If subjectivity is to be understood as a continual process of affective surfacing (Ahmed 2004), where intrapersonal and interpersonal dimensions constitute each other, the palimpsest captures the complexity of this affective interplay. It conceptually maps subjectivity as a complex and open system, acquiring richly layered contours through encounter. The ecstatic subject (Butler 2009) and "the other" both surface through their affective co-constitution, evolving across time. Accordingly, subjectivity bears the potential for vulnerability (Butler 2009) as well as affective solidarity (Hemmings 2012). Exemplifying the binds between potentiality and representation, or between contingency and power relations, the palimpsest's temporality is suggestive of the permeability and demarcation that characterizes any affective subjectivity.