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Title: Dissensual Consensus: Queering Ranciere’s Concept of Dissensus Through Jennie Livingston’s Paris Is Burning
Authors: Chin Hui Li, Bernice
Issue Date: 13-Nov-2017
Citation: Chin Hui Li, Bernice (2017-11-13). Dissensual Consensus: Queering Ranciere’s Concept of Dissensus Through Jennie Livingston’s Paris Is Burning. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: In this thesis, I introduce the concept of “dissensual consensus,” which brings together Jacques Rancière’s polarised concepts of dissensus and consensus. For Rancière, dissensus disrupts the given meanings and positions that have been assigned to elements in the social order, thereby rendering it consensual. In that regard, one could say that every act of dissensus requires a certain distance from consensus. However, through a reading of Paris Is Burning, the seminal film on drag queens, I argue that the two concepts need not be diametrically opposed or distanced, and that dissensus can be generated from within consensus. Dissensual consensus asserts that appropriating the prescribed sensible codes, and acceding to the marginal position that has been delimited for the queer drag queens, can reconfigure the sensory elements of the social order. In this case, dissensus need not require a break from consensus. Mobilising other theorists such as Foucault, Butler, and Edelman, I will make this argument by analysing three different ways in which the ball walkers in Paris and the formal elements of the film itself adhere to consensus, but nonetheless manage to disrupt consensual ways of making sense of identities, positions, and sensory reality. This thesis then ends by considering the stakes of my argument for queer theory in general. I assert that “dissensual consensus” is a fitting direction in which queer theory could proceed because it returns focus to queer subjects while participating in the broader project of queer theory to deconstruct and dissent from heteronormativity.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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