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    The love bug and the melancholic drag queen or a reflection on the cultural/political 'grounds' of subjects as sexual

    Loizidou, Elena (2004) The love bug and the melancholic drag queen or a reflection on the cultural/political 'grounds' of subjects as sexual. Journal for Cultural Research 8 (4), pp. 447-465. ISSN 1479-7585.

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    The notion of the subject and its formation has long been at the centre of discussion in critical theory. Identity discourse constructed a passive subject made up of qualities such us gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity and age. Poststructuralist thought on the other hand invested its critical mind in producing a mobile subject, one that is both the product and the producer of practices, power and processes. While identity discourse put qualities such as “sex” at the centre of its analysis of subject formation and produced a sexual subject, poststructuralist thought emphasised “bodies and pleasure” and produced the subject as sexual. This article addresses the formation of the subject as sexual through an everyday practice that forms a dominant part of our contemporary computerised era, namely that of the opening of an e‐mail. It reads the effects of the “Love Bug”, the e‐mail that infected millions of computer systems on the 4th of May 2000, so as to assess the extent it produces a different subject sexual than the one already promoted in poststructuralist thought. Butler’s notion of “gender performativity” (a dominant concept in relation to the subject as sexual) and her allegory of the melancholic drag queen are evaluated through Žižek’s critique and the example of the “Love Bug” e‐mail. This produces a different reading of the subject as sexual: one that understands sexual pleasure as being at the foundations of subject formation.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Law School
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2019 11:01
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:49


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