Queering Waste Through Camp

Not quite abjection but close, from my new found field, Discard Studies.

Discard Studies

By Guy Schaffer
This post is part of the Discard Studies Compendium

Toilet Glitter. Photo by author.

Like queer theory, discard studies is interested in uneven remainders, things that don’t fit neatly into categories. Both concern themselves with the strange and imperfect construction of divisions (in discard studies, that between waste and not-waste; in queer theory, those between hetero/homosexual, between male and female) that do violence to humans, cultures, and environments, while still attending to the fact that these divisions have meaning for people, that they are strategic, and that they structure our thought in ways that are almost impossible to escape.

As a mode of thinking through and beyond and before binaries, or perhaps of thinking binaries promiscuously, queer theory is indispensable to the study of disposal. In particular, the merits of camp as a queer mode of reading trash can blur and transgress and cover in glitter those boundaries between waste and…

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