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The article explores the cultural logics that connect, in more or less evident ways, the notion of waste and the figure of the queer. The framework is, broadly speaking, economic, as waste cannot be separated from questions of productivity, use, value, and systemic organization. It is in such economic terms that much of the psychonalaytical tradition has dealt with socio-psychological phenomena. In order to deconstruct the axioms of ‘straight’ social economy, the author borrows from such queer/ psychoanalytic theorists as Lee Edelman and Leo Bersani as well as from the work of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. The basic point is that a socially ‘unproductive’ queer is expected to prove their value (if at all) through an enhanced work of sublimation; otherwise ‘queer’ is bound to become waste. Consequently, a queer who affirms their ambiguous, ‘dirty’ status (thus pointing at an alternative social economy) must be perceived as dangerous for the oedipal social order, or even ‘civilization’ as such. The article concludes with a reflection on the viability of a queer ethics that would counter the logic of capitalist accumulation and paternal heredity with the desiring production of waste.
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