Indifference to Difference
On Queer UniversalismBook - 2015
Indifference to Difference organizes around Alain Badiou's suggestion that, in the face of increasing claims of identitarian specificity, one might consider the politics and practice of being indifferent to difference. Such a politics would be based on the superabundance of desire and its inability to settle into identity. Madhavi Menon shows that if we turn to another kind of universalism--not one that insists we are all different but one that recognizes we are all similar in our powerlessness to contain desire--then difference no longer becomes the focus of our identity.
Instead, we enter the worlds of desire. Following up on ideas of sameness and difference that have animated queer theory, Menon argues that what is most queer about indifference is not that it gives us queerness as an identity but that it is able to change queerness into a resistance of ontology. Firmly committed to the detours of desire, queer universalism evades identity.
This polemical book demonstrates that queerness is the condition within which we labor. Our desires are not ours to be owned; they are indifferent to our differences.