This article examines forms of queer (non)sociality I call near life that are forced to exist, as nonexistence, outside the bounds of possessive humanism. Through a reading of the brutal murders and disarticulation of a number of trans/queer people, I suggest the legal category of “overkill” as a way of apprehending a queer ontology that stands in contrast to the security of an LGBT identity. That the murdered were working class and largely people of color and/or trans/gender nonconforming marks this interpersonal violence as a restaging of larger iterations of necropolitical state violence. As antiqueer violence is written in the social as an outlaw practice, I argue, via Frantz Fanon's reading of Hegel, that these forms of violence are not an aberration but are central to the reproduction of liberal democracy in the United States. Against redemption—violence is the province of the queer, but this does not signal the totality of negation nor the end of queer resistance.
Eric Stanley; Near Life, Queer Death: Overkill and Ontological Capture. Social Text 1 June 2011; 29 (2 (107)): 1–19. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01642472-1259461
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