These two theorists offer what might be best described as a post structuralist

These two theorists offer what might be best

This preview shows page 3 - 5 out of 8 pages.

These two theorists offer what might be best described as a ‘post-structuralist historical-libidinal materialism’ (Protevi, 2001, p. 199), so named because their ontology rejects the verticality of structuralist thought but retains an emphasis on the ‘real’ productive 236 B/ordering Space effects of flows and interruptions. Marcus Doel a leading interpreter of Deleuze and Guattari in geography, counters the idealist critique thusly: ‘Contrary to popular opinion, we have no special (some would say ‘unnatural’) interest in language. We are not besotted with texts, writing, signs ,
Image of page 3
images, and such like. We do not believe that since reality is only accessible to us through language, then reality itself must be lost to us in language: that all we have are signs of things, rather than the things themselves; that having been emancipated from their bondage to an élite band of actually-existing real-world referents (such as people, places, events, and objects), signs will at last be free to float in the void, enjoying untroubled and halcyon days’ (forthcoming, p. 2, emphasis in original). Instead, drawing on Deleuze and Guattari , he asserts the materiality of everything : ‘As fanatical materialists, we are struck by everything – nothing will be set aside from the play of force ; nothing will be spirited away onto a higher plane or exorcized into a nether-world .... It is true that we take up signs, words, images, quantities, figures, maps, photographs, money, hypertext, gardening advice, lipstick traces, the exquisite corpse, and so on and so forth – but we take them up as force: as strikes and counter-strikes; as blows and counter-blows’ (forthcoming, p. 10; emphasis in original). From our perspective, D eleuze and G uattari ’s work bears directly on the theoretical status of borders parts of ‘everything’ that are both signs and lines : ‘constraining enclosures’ produced by border words (e.g., woman, straight, white: see Kirby, 1996, p. 13) and stubbornly ‘real’ boundaries that ‘refuse to melt in the heat of a post-modern world’ (Valins, 2003, p. 160). This paper is thus an effort to rethink the border outside of the ideational/material preoccupations, a rethinking that should be welcome in the interdisciplinary field of ‘border studies’ (e.g., Arreola, 2002; Fox, 1999; Hicks, 1991; Jay, 1998; Johnson and Michaelson, 1997; Saldívar, 1997; van Houtum and van Naerssen, 2002; Welchman, 1996). For, on the one hand, there are those theorists who draw on Derrida, Butler, Foucault, and Bhabha, among others, in stressing the theoretical, abstract, metaphoric, and discursive aspects of social and spatial categorization. For example, John Welchman, in affirming Ernesto Laclau’s theory of the border, asserts that: ‘No longer a mere threshold or instrument of demarcation , the border is a crucial zone through which contemporary (political, social, cultural) formations negotiate with received knowledge and reconstitute the “horizon” of discursive identity’ (Welchman, 1996, pp. 177-178). While, on the other hand, there are those who remind us not to neglect the material effects of specific borders, such as the fence separating the U.S. and Mexico:
Image of page 4
Image of page 5

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 8 pages?

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture