Institutional Schizophasia and the Possibility of the Humanities' 'Other Scene': Guattari and the Exigency of Transversality

Deleuze Studies 6 (2):328-352 (2012)
Transversality occupies a central place in Guattari's thought, appearing in his early writings on institutional analysis and on through to his final work, Chaosmosis. Transversality is thus particularly pertinent to understanding Guattari's critique of semiocapitalism and his goal of re-imagining forms of institutional subjectivisation as a way to free the unconscious from structures of lack and the desire for punishment, the very structures upon which capitalism relies for its reproduction. If there is one institution that has taken advantage of semiocapitalism's ability to mask its role in the reproduction of capitalist subjectivity, however, it is the contemporary neoliberal University. This essay thus brings transversality to bear upon the question of the University in semiocapitalism, focusing on the discourses that speak in defence of the humanities. Though defences of the humanities are intended to argue for the humanities’ usefulness in contemporary society, transversality exposes such discourses as the speech of a ‘subjugated group’ whose only effect is to reinforce existing structures of lack and punishment.
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DOI 10.3366/dls.2012.0065
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Jean-François Lyotard (1988). The Differend. University of Minnesota Press.

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