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01 2011

Queer / Assemblage

Desire as Crossing Multiple Power Relations

Antke Engel

Translated by Aileen Derieg


How can the contribution of queer theories to a poststructuralist thinking of the political or to a politicization of poststructuralist theory be understood? First of all, the critique of normative constructions of identity, the denaturalization of binary gender and heterosexuality, and references to the inconsistency and the undefinability of queer theory have concretized poststructuralist thinking.[1] Sections of queer theory have devoted themselves to taking up aspects of poststructuralist thinking that involve analyses of power and critique of domination. Interesting attempts have arisen from this to develop heteronormativity critique as a theory of domination capable of covering the complex, dynamic, simultaneous, but also often conflictual interlocking of processes of norming, normalization and hierarchization, of exclusion, of subjugation and exploitation, of dominance and violence, and of differentiating subjectification and integration.[2] To avoid a reduction of the complexity of domination using foundationalist, prioritizing or additive approaches, multi-dimensional and processual movements of power are emphasized – including their unexpected, incomprehensible and non-intelligible moments, if possible.[3] The focus is thus not primarily on gender and sexuality, but instead looks at the heterogeneous connections that these enter into with other dimensions of embodied subjectivity and social differentiation. Whether the concept of intersectionality, as long as it is not conceived of as an intertwining of identities, but rather as an intertwining of relations of power and domination, is capable of achieving this or not is an interesting question.

Engagement in the field of the critique of domination can certainly be read as queer theory’s contribution to the reanimation of post-structuralist thinking. In the framework of this article, however, I would like to intensify this thesis and maintain that queer theory’s concern in terms of the analysis of power and critique of domination is crucially marked by desire. The desire that is meant here – wholly in keeping with Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari – is not desire that becomes entangled in subjectivity and intimate social relationships, but rather unfolds a constitutive force in societies. Whereas Deleuze/Guattari understand desire as primarily prior to power,[4] the special input of queer approaches seems to me to be found in that they link this – despite all contradictoriness – with an understanding influenced by Michel Foucault, which considers desire as a socio-historical product of the nexus of power/knowledge complexes.[5] A queer theoretical – and practical – repoliticization of poststructuralist theory can result, in my view, specifically from an openness for the constitutive and anticipative force of a desire thus paradoxically conceived. It becomes interesting when desire is problematized as a moment of stabilizing relations of power and domination, while it is also considered to have the power specifically to challenge them and to instigate unexpected, new links and indicate an open futurity. One of the strengths of queer theory approaches is that they neither play these two moments against one another nor subordinate them to a harmonizing synthesis.

Queer/Assemblage opens up the possibility of allowing these kinds of diametrically opposed simultaneities to emerge and to create a greater scope of movement for desire in this. The concept of assemblages, as it has been developed following and through the English translation of texts by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, is suited for the considerations in this article, as it regards desire as being what conjoins assemblages and keeps them moving. Desire shows up as assemblage; at the same time, the assemblage is a so-called desiring-machine (Deleuze/Guattari) that produces desire, or as the queer theorist Margit Shildrick formulates it: “Instead [desire] comes into being through what Deleuze and Guattari call ‘desiring machines’, assemblages that cannot be said to exist outside of their linkages and interconnection.”[6] So it is a matter of the connections and movements of desire. Assemblages – dynamic ensembles of manifold and yet singular connecting lines and states – do not divide the partly diametrically opposed streams of desire from one another, but rather concatenate them. The question of how these concatenations become queer has recently occupied queer theorists from different perspectives.[7]

With regard to the question of how the movements of desire are actualized, how desire produces connections, and how it is possible for these connections to become queer, Elspeth Probyn and Margit Shildrick come to the conclusion that desire moves in images. Images bring a specific socio-historical imaginary into play[8], they materialize in bodies or show up as visual material. The movements of the images make it possible to liberate desire from being bound to a subject or an object and thus also elude the hierarchical subject/object arrangement. Images traversing the “surface of the social” (Probyn) undermine the notion that the assemblage takes place between reified objects, signs or bodies. Alternating ambiguously between notion and imagination, imprint and designed surface, images are both singular and concrete: “The image is […] an existence between thing and notion, to that extent itself a hybrid.”[9] Through attention to images Probyn undermines readings that understand Deleuze/Guattari’s concept of desire as ahistorical, transcendent or ontologizing. At the same time, she also emphasizes that representation cannot be constrained to the field of the regulated production of meaning or controlling power, but rather makes use of the linkage between imagination and desire to impel anticipative and transformatory movements. Looking at the respective concrete, socio-culturally forming images, it becomes possible to ask whether and how desire is entangled in heteronormative and body-normalizing, racist and class-related formations of domination; on the other hand, however, it is also possible to investigate whether and how desiring practices emerge, which undermine hierarchies, exclusions and normalizations. It seems to me that these power-analytical perspectives still remain interesting. In light of some enthusiasm for surprising connections of the assemblage, analyses of power and critique of domination have faded into the background. Yet assemblage, also queer assemblage, is not the epitome of counter-hegemonic constellations, but is rather also the form in which movements of power and domination relations appear. Taking up Deleuze/Guattari’s terminology, the point is to question the type of movements:[10] Is there a resultant territorialization or reterritorialization, by means of which domination is stabilized, or do so-called deterritorializations break open solidified constellations? The concept of lines of flight refers to the movements that flee from a given assemblage, possibly effecting its deterritorialization and/or inspiring new linkages. At this point it would certainly be possible to think for some time about queer images that serve desire as lines of flight. In this text, though, I want to follow a different movement.

Especially when the queer-political claim of fighting relations of domination and violence  is emphasized, I find it interesting to also bring the French agencement into play, parallel to the concept of assemblage; this in a way, however, that has less to do with the meaning of the “ensemble” that the French word suggests[11], than with the English word agency, which is embedded in the French. Accordingly, Ilka Becker, Michael Kuntz and Astrid Kusser bring the term agencement into play – by linking Deleuze/Guattari and Bruno Latour – in order to establish a connection to the question of agency.[12] They maintain that agencement indicates a specific distribution of agency. Deterritorializations therefore represent a redistribution of agency. Politically speaking, the question is how agency can be redistributed. This differs from the claim of changing power relations to the extent that the perspective is not of proposing a new, better, ideally power-free or egalitarian agencement. Instead, agencement is understood as creating conditions that enable, hamper or prevent change. This means that changes are to be understood as ongoing processes, and the political intention is to influence diverse participation in these processes. When Becker/Cuntz/Kusser ask about the role assigned to things or material objects “in the framework of an agencement, an ensemble of constantly dividing and redistributing agency”[13], then it is clear that the agency invoked here is by no means coupled to a human subject or even the intentionality of an allegedly autonomous individual. Yet how does desire come into its own again in terms of agency?

Agency – Against the Privatizing of Desire

Anne McClintock defines agency as “people’s actions and desires […] mediated through institutions of power”.[14] It is this idea of agency mediated through institutions of power, in which action and desire are directly connected, that I would like to take up, because it establishes a link between the concepts of heteronormativity and desire, which are central to queer theory. The critique of heteronormativity problematizes the predominance of heterosexuality as the preferred form of life and love and casts doubt on the alleged “naturalness” of binary gender. The question is, which processes and institutions engender and secure normative and hierarchical forms of gender and sexuality? To what extent do rigid binary genderedness and normative heterosexuality work as regimes of power that organize subjectivity and society? Which links are formed at the same time between all possible forms of social differentiation and hierarchization, and how are understandings of gender and sexuality woven into this, e.g. as the sexualization of racist stereotypes? The critique of heteronormativity is certainly interested in desire as well: it may be asked, for example, how desire – centered around the phallus, fixed to an object and imprisoned in an oedipal father-mother-child dynamic – contributes to consolidating social hierarchies and power relations. Or also, virtually a classic question of queer theory: how is desire heteronormatively regulated – perhaps even when there is a tolerance-pluralist embrace of lesbians and gays? From a queer perspective, however, desire also stands for an anticipative potential that establishes unexpected links in the social, that creeps into institutions and hegemonic processes, that carries subjects out of themselves and opens up indeterminate futurities. But which reconceptions of desire are needed to activate subversive and destabilizing potentials? As – along with Elspeth Probyn – I understand desire as movement, not only action comes into play, but also a network of connections that give these movements a foundation and thus shape social space. As – following a proposal from Teresa de Lauretis – I locate this movement in fantasy scenarios, it becomes evident that desire and movement – agency – are enthralled by imagination and the visual (one might also like to call this pictoriality, though this is not a term Lauretis suggests).[15] Desire cannot be satisfied simply with an object; it needs fantasy (imagination loaded with desire) to be a wishing that opens itself up to the future. The question is how which images can contribute to desire being able to elude the heteronorm and enter into productive connections with the practices of queering. Taking up all the dimensions of McClintock’s definition, the challenge is to understand how the practices of queering are also integrated in and mediated through the institutions of power as well.

Elspeth Probyn’s book Outside Belongings supplies a model of desire that is capable of addressing these considerations. Probyn’s approach knows no private sphere that is not always already entwined with public discourses, practices and institutions. Even in the most hidden ways of living and secret wishes, there is an inherent reference to the discourses that demand their hiddenness and prevent their visibility or their public articulation. Probyn thus challenges the “double privatizing of desire”: both the demand that desire has to remain private and the notion that desire is something profoundly inherent to and within the self.

Margrit Shildrick formulates a similar idea by taking up Deleuze/Guattari’s concept of desire to make room in society for the sexual subjectivity and practice of people with disabilities, decentering the autonomous subject at the same time:

What Deleuze and Guattari want to promote is […] a queering of all bodies that entails both ‘taking apart egos and their presuppositions’ and ‘liberating the prepersonal singularities they enclose and repress’.
To think specifically of the disabled body in this context is not to single it out as difference, still less as inadequate. Rather it is a material site of possibility where deformations, ‘missing’ parts and prostheses are enablers of new channels of desiring production unconstrained by predetermined – or at least normative – organisation. Although the risk of stalling around an assumption of lack is always present, as it is with any body, the anomalous nature of disability holds out the promise of an immanent desire that embraces the strange and opens up to new linkages and provisional incorporations.[16]

So Probyn and Shildrick consider desire as consistently social. However, this does not mean understanding it merely as a “product” of power relations, nor completely subordinating it to the power of normalization. Instead, they emphasize the productivity that desire unfolds within power relations. For Probyn, this potential of desire is that it transports images that break open the generality of social categories and translate them into singularities.[17] Singularities mark the breaks and shifts, the small special features that illustrate the extent to which expectations of categories are not confirmed. Categories like “race”, “gender”, “class” define social positions, from which movements can unfold, but whereby certain directions, certain speeds, certain means of transport are suggested. Accordingly, the effort consists precisely in taking different directions here, choosing different speeds or using other means of transport. For Probyn, images – whether they are personal fantasies, art works or objects of the cultural mainstream – are the “means of transport”, through the desires of which semiotic-material effects are produced: “images as effecting and affecting movement”.[18]

Images are the Mode, in which Desire Moves

When I follow Probyn in saying that desire moves in images, or that images are the means of transport for desire, then this does not mean that every image automatically stimulates or transports desire. Instead, this is exactly what is to be investigated: which images transport which type of desire and how and where to. The idea that desire moves in images can also be argued from a psychoanalytical perspective. For according to psychoanalysis, desire, unlike the satisfaction of needs, does not seek a real object, but rather sees it and searches in the object for a sign that stands for a wish fulfillment. It cannot simply be satisfied by an object; it needs fantasy, imagination charged with desire, to be a wishing that opens up towards the future.[19] Imagination – a sign, even a more complex image or scenario – does not pacify desire, but instead characterizes the dynamic and the mode of movement, in which the desire moves towards others and the Other, establishes connections and drives the self beyond itself. How “different” this “Other” may be, is a question of the cultural norms and power relations that govern desire – impelling certain forms, sanctioning others negatively.

Desire and pictoriality are also connected where psychoanalysis is not involved. The feminist philosopher Astrid Deuber-Mankowsky, for instance, refers to a “negative” process, which strives to ban images from thinking.[20] This process can be understood as a desire that wishes to cultivate rational thinking as an abstract, image-less thinking. According to Deuber-Mankowsky, this has the violent and dominating effect that images are projected onto others, who are then supposed to embody images of otherness. This means that when thinking represses its pictoriality, desire does not stand for connections to others, but for warding them off. Contrary to this, for the approaches that understand desire as movement or dynamic force, images are what establishes connections between heterogeneous moments. Probyn accordingly formulates a reciprocal connection: on the one hand, she sees images as means of transport for desire; they are the form, in which desire moves in social space and weaves networks there. On the other hand, though, it is also the movements of desire that create images – so that new images emerge from new movements.

In terms of the emergence of an assemblage or the question of how changes of social power relations take place, it can thus be interesting to look at images and ask what they set in motion. Social change, questions of representation and the formation of subjectivity are directly connected in the context of queer theory. Analyses of power and domination accordingly link the view of subjectivity, desire, sexual practices and intimate relationships with the view of macropolitical institutions and processes. Quoting Elspeth Probyn again:

Refusing to distinguish between the social and the symbolic, the real and the discursive is to render desire as entirely social, as lubricating lines of governance and power and those of subjectification. This is clearly heard in the terms that Deleuze uses to talk about the arrangements of desire, or rather “l’agencement des désir”.[21]

For Probyn, reclaiming the power of shaping means first of all to see what is different: connections resulting from queer movements of desire. Optimistically, linkages of signs and bodies and images emerge in this way, which propagate the forms of difference that follow no classificatory logic, but rather strengthen uniqueness and multiplicity. Yet this again and again raises the question of how singularities form societies: How do the singularities desire to link with one another, and how can a framework be made for this, which undermines normality compulsions and the formation of hierarchies?

For Margrit Shildrick, this socio-political question is inevitably linked with the necessity of decentering the sovereign subject, undermining the illusion of independence and making room for “intercorporality”: “The subject is never settled or simply present as a sovereign subject, but intricately interwoven with the other in a dynamic process of self-becoming.”[22] However, that also means un-learning the defense processes that set in, for example, when “the disabled body refuses recuperation into the project of self-sameness – not simply another, but deeply disruptive of the very parameters that constitute selfhood.”[23] The question is, to what extent practices of desiring – as long as they are not pre-determined by an essentialized subject/object hierarchy, but rather indulge in the assemblage as movable productivity – can take effect in these kinds of learning processes. To further pursue this line of thought, I would like to draw a rather unseemly connecting line between Deleuze/Guattari and psychoanalysis.

The Third Side of the Mirror

Although desire is always a desire of the other, it is moved by the otherness of the other – this is how Judith Butler’s recent reflections on desire could be summarized, which she develops in Undoing Gender.[24] There she calls giving attention to the phallus a pointless undertaking and proposes a different undertaking, tying into psychoanalysis. Following the psychoanalyst Jessica Benjamin, she takes up the idea that desire effects the triangulation of an otherwise identifactory love. Accordingly, desire is not directed from a subject to an object (or another subject), but is instead always organized as a “triadic” formation for all participants around a “third”. In the sense of phantasmatic wish-fulfillment, the point is to recognize that the triangulation does not take place simply through the Other, but rather through the non-representable “Other of the Other”. The real challenge, however, is that the “Other of the Other” can only indirectly be experienced through signs, images or practices, that it is projected as a fantasy onto the Other, or that the social Other has to embody the desired/desiring otherness of the Other. The dimensions of power and violence inherent to desire unfold in this conflictual interlocking of social and phantasmal Other. However, if social practices emerge that enable a perception of the Other of the Other and recognize that concrete social Others and the Other of the Other are always immediately and indistinguishably meant, the relations of desire can contribute to the mutual decentering of the self. This may result in spaces of movement for that which challenges the grid of self-perception and/or social and cultural norms. Butler’s proposal that desire is not simply the “desire of the Other”, but rather the desire of the Others of the Other, thus represents a significant revision of the Lacanian mirror stage.[25] The mirror – a crucial metaphor for psychoanalytical thinking to thematize the processes of identification – not only stands for a reflection of what is before the mirror for Lacan, but also for the reflecting force of the Other. In my own mirror image I accordingly encounter images and fantasies from others, which have been assimilated into my own subjectivity in the framework of psychical identification processes. However, I also encounter images of Others – idealized cultural notions of “male”, “female”, “black”, “white”, “healthy”, “able” body-subjectivity as well as their “reverse side”, the horror visions and fears of failed corporeality or genderedness.

In order to reflect Butler’s thoughts on the desire of the Other of the Other back onto the Lacanian model and to provide a figure at the same time that allows making Butler’s understanding of desire productive for queer cultural politics in the societal, I propose starting from a “third side of the mirror”.[26] Speaking of a third side of the mirror aims to undermine the holistic phantasm of purportedly clearly delineated, meaningful, intelligible images. Instead, images emerge, in which the otherness of the Others appears, despite its non-representability. Identifications (or dis-identifications) with the otherness of the Others constitute what Butler calls the ec-static self: “outside itself, not self-identical, differentiated from the start. It is the self over here who considers its reflection over there, but is equally over there, reflected and reflecting. […] divided and spanned in irrecoverable ways.”[27] Relations of desire also change accordingly. Instead of Lacan’s “one-way street” of the mirror stage, there are possibilities of manifold, reciprocal encounters and decenterings.

The mirroring does not simply confront, in the sense of a reflection, with cultural images of the Other. Rather, it could be said following Donna Haraway, that this is a diffraction, in other words a bending or deflection.[28] For according to Haraway, diffraction is a process that does not characterize a mechanical connection of pre-defined elements (self and Other), but rather the self-forming of unexpected connections; diffraction results in “effects of connection, of embodiment, and of responsibility for an imagined elsewhere that we may yet learn to see and build here”.[29] The third side of the mirror is an “imagined elsewhere”, a virtual place, where that, which we must yet learn to see, happens, namely the encounter of the different Others of the Other in desire. The third side of the mirror opens up the space of these encounters at the same time as a heterotopia and as that which María do Mar Castro Varela calls an “untimely utopia”, a utopian practice, by means of which productive “places without place” can be inserted into the present, which anticipate new futures.[30] In the sense of a heterotopia, the third side of the mirror is an existent place, but one not located in the terrain of the dominant cultural order, one that is even negated by it as a “non-place” or that serves as a residuum for “the Other”. It is condition and effect of “belongings” that follow no subject/object logic, but instead consider identifications as multiply shifted (projected and diffracted) images, in which encounters of the Others of the Other and the Others of Oneself overlap.

Images of Becoming-Imperceptible

Based on the third side of mirror materializing in cultural products – or entering into an assemblage of unexpected or unseemly connections with queer images – possibilities arise for “politics of imperceptibility”. Jan Simon Hutta and Dimitris Papadopoulus, Niamh Stephenson and Vassilis Tsianos introduce the term imperceptible politics following from Deleuze/Guattari’s concept of becoming-imperceptible.[31] The term aims to attribute significance to those practices that are unrecognized or unrecognizable due to the striations of cultural intelligibility and social influence as political forces (e.g. informal networks of illegalized migrants or trans-friendships that make it possible to live gender beyond binary gender). Or conversely to regard the political as something organized by what is more than and different from recognized forms of politics and governing. With this, the political undergoes a revision, to the extent that a positivity of manifold forces, currents and movements permanently thwarts hegemonic political organization and modes of governing. Accordingly, the imperceptible is not simply that which escapes or evades, nor merely material for renewed reterritorializations, but rather, as Jan Simon Hutta writes, that which is capable of producing a paradox public: a public characterized by heterogeneous, unexpected articulations and forms of becoming, which subvert markings of identitary difference, which appear as assemblage, in which lines of flight become part of shared social practices.

Whereas Papadopouloss, Stephenson and Tsianos diametrically oppose becoming-imperceptible to representation, I would emphasize with Hutta that it does not play out beyond practices of representation, but instead introduces its own modes of depiction and perception. Something is imperceptible for a certain order, e.g. an economic order that subordinates everything to entrepreneurship or a political order that requires a sovereign autonomous subject. Whereas becoming-imperceptible is a way to not serve these orders as a constituent outside, still the question arises on the other hand as to whether and how it is also possible to intervene in the way these orders function. The strategy of undisambiguation, which I proposed some time ago, evinces clear similarities with the politics of imperceptibility, but claims to bring about de-hierarchicizing and de-normalizing effects within the regime of hegemonic order by means of cultural politics.[32] From the perspective of an analysis of power and critique of domination, to me it seems important to ask about the effects that becoming-imperceptible or undisambiguation develop politically. This is expressed under the heading Queer/Assemblage as the question of how queer politics develop lines of flight and bring about deterritorialization to effect a redistribution of agency.

The Sexual Political

Whereas queer theory contributes to revising poststructuralist understandings of the political, it is inspired at the same time by an understanding of desire that forms the political and is formated by it, rather than being reducible to psychical or socio-symbolic events. Desire as a movement towards the ineluctable otherness of the Others is the reason for the impossibility of a closure of the political. The concept of the “sexual political” therefore seems to me to be a promising figure for understanding politics as potentiality and open futurity. Desire is not secondary in this, but rather that which subverts fantasies of wholeness and totalizing movements. In this sense, processes of queering, which engender anti-identitary politics or queerly affect politics, have long since become constitutive moments of the political.

Practically, this requires dispensing with the integration of the three sides of the mirror or the resolution of paradoxical tensions. In this way, the non-pacifiable, non-suspendable potentiality can be emphasized, which is found in the encounters of the Others of the Others and the Others of the Self. Opening up not only spaces of imagination, but also social spaces to these encounters is part of a queer project that makes heterotopias inhabitable, creates paradoxical publics, and opens them, according to Renate Lorenz, for manifold “crossings”:[33] crossings that do not encapsulate desire in normatively heterosexual or normatively homosexual, body-norming, racist or classist constellations. Crossings that replace the heteronormative fixation on the complementary couple, the homogenized couple, the idealized or exoticized family, whose natural/artificial offspring serves globalized nations as a production unit, with an open network of uncontrollable lines of connection; a network moved if possible by references of solidarity, rather than by personal interests and loyalty. An ensemble, an agencement of agency and the redistribution of agency, where action and desire are mediated through power and yet immediately connected.*


[1] I am thinking here of the deconstruction of the autonomous subject, the historicization of essentialisms, and dispensing with universalisms and standardizations; cf.: Engel, Antke: “Geschlecht und Sexualität. Jenseits von Zweigeschlechtlichkeit und Heteronomativität”, in: Moebius, Stephan and Reckwitz, Andreas (Ed.), Poststrukturalistische Sozialwissenschaft, Frankfurt/M. 2008, p. 330-346.

[2] Cf. Phelan, Shane (Ed.): Playing with Fire. Queer Politics, Queer Theories, New York, London 1997. Chambers, Samuel and Carver, Terrell: Judith Butler and Political Theory: Troubling Politics, London 2008; Castro Varela, María do Mar, Dhawan, Nikita and Engel, Antke (Ed.): Hegemony and Heteronormativity: Revisiting ‘The Political’ in Queer Politics, Aldershot, to be published in 2011.

[3] Ferguson, Roderick A.: Aberrations in Black. Toward a Queer of Color Critique, Minneapolis 2004; Dietze, Gabriele, Haschemi Yekani, Elahe and Michaelis, Beatrice: “Checks and Balances. Zum Verhältnis von Intersektionalität und Queer Theory”, in: Walgenbach, Katharina et al. (Ed.): Gender als interdependente Kategorie. Neue Perspektiven auf Intersektionalität, Diversität und Heterogenität, Opladen 2007, p. 107–139.

[4] Deleuze, Gilles: “Desire and Pleasure”, trans. Melissa McMahon (private notes by Deleuze on Foucault, written in 1977, published in France in 1994 in Magazine littéraire 325)

[5] Probyn, Elspeth: Outside Belongings, London 1996.

[6] Shildrick, Margrit: “Prosthetic Performativity: Deleuzian Connections and Queer Corporealities”, in: Nigianni, Chrysanthi and Storr, Merl (Ed.): Deleuze and Queer Theory, Edinburgh 2009, p. 115–33, here p. 124.

[7] Cf. Probyn: Outside Belongings, op.cit.; Grosz, Elizabeth: “Refiguring Lesbian Desire”, in: Doan, Laura (Ed.): The Lesbian Postmodern, New York 1994, p. 67–84.

[8] Shildrick: “Prosthetic Performativity”, in: Deleuze and Queer Theory, op.cit., p. 126.

[9] Becker, Ilka, Cuntz, Michael and Kusser, Astrid: “Einleitung”, in: ibid. (Ed.): Unmenge. Wie verteilt sich Handlungsmacht?, Munich 2008, p. 7–34, here p. 16.

[10] Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, Félix: Anti-Oedipus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia, translated by Robert Hurley, Mark Seem, and Helen R. Lane, University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis 1998.

[11] Phillips, John: “Agencement/Assemblage”, in: Theory, Culture & Society, 2006, No. 2–3, p. 108–109, here p. 108, deals with the translation of Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of agencement as assemblage: “Agencement is a common French word with the senses of either ‘arrangement’, ‘fitting’ or ‘fixing’ and is used in French in as many contexts as those words are used in English: one would speak of the arrangement of parts of a body or machine; one might talk of fixing (fitting or affixing) two or more parts together; and one might use the term for both the act of fixing and the arrangement itself, as in the fixtures and fittings of a building or shop, or the parts of a machine.” 

[12] Becker: “Einleitung”, in: Unmenge, op.cit.

[13] Ibid., p. 15

[14] McClintock, Anne: Imperial Leather. Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest, London, New York 1995, p. 15.

[15] Lauretis, Teresa de: The Practice of Love: Lesbian Sexuality and Perverse Desire, Indiana University Press 1994.

[16] Probyn: Outside Belongings, op.cit., p. 22ff.

[17] Probyn, Outside Belongings, op.cit., p. 22ff.

[18] Ibid., p. 59.

[19] Laplanche, Jean and Pontalis, Jean-Bertrand: Urphantasie. Phantasien über den Ursprung, Ursprünge der Phantasie, translated by Max Looser, Frankfurt/M. 1992.

[20] Deuber-Mankowsky, Astrid: “Geschlecht und Repräsentation. Oder, wie das Bild zum Denken kommt”, in: Die Philosophin, 1998, No. 18, p. 24–41.

[21] Probyn: Outside Belongings, op.cit., p. 45.

[22] Ibid., p. 118.

[23] Ibid., p. 119.

[24] Butler, Judith: “Longing for Recognition” in: ibid., Undoing Gender, New York 2004, p. 131-151.

[25] Lacan, Jacques: “Das Spiegelstadium als Bildner der Ichfunktion”, translated by Peter Stehlin, in: ibid.: Schriften I, Weinheim, Berlin 1991, p. 61–70.

[26] Engel, Antke: Bilder von Sexualität und Ökonomie. Queere kulturelle Politiken im Neoliberalismus, Bielefeld 2009, p. 186ff.

[27] Butler: “Longing for Recognition”, in: Undoing Gender, op.cit., p. 148.

[28] Haraway, Donna: “The Promises of Monsters: A Regenerative Politics for Inappropriate/d Others”, in: Grossberg, Lawrence, Nelson, Cary and Treichler, Paula A. (Ed.): Cultural Studies, New York 1992, p. 295–337.

[29] Ibid., p. 295.

[30] Castro Varela, María do Mar: Unzeitgemäße Utopien. Migrantinnen zwischen Selbsterfindung und gelehrter Hoffnung, Bielefeld 2007.

[31] Hutta, Jan Simon: “Paradoxical Publicness: Becoming-imperceptible with the Brazilian LGBT Movement”, in: Newman, Janet, Barnett, Clive and Mahony, Nick (Ed.): Rethinking the Public: Innovations in Research, Theory and Policy, Bristol 2010, p. 143–161; Papadopoulos, Dimitris, Stephenson, Niamh and Tsianos, Vassilis: Escape Routes. Control and Subversion in the 21st Century, London 2008; Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, Félix: A Thousand Plateaus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia [1987], translated by Brian Massumi, University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis/London 1998, p. 279.

[32] Engel, Antke: Wider die Eindeutigkeit. Sexualität und Geschlecht im Fokus queerer Politik der Repräsentation, Frankfurt/M. 2002.

[33] Lorenz, Renate: Aufwändige Durchquerungen. Subjektivität als sexuelle Arbeit, Bielefeld 2009.

 * For Sigrid and her Others