The Cannibal Within: White Men and the Embodiment of Evolutionary Time

Edited by Jeffrey A. Bell and Claire Colebrook

in Deleuze and History

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780748636082
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671748 | DOI:
The Cannibal Within: White Men and the Embodiment of Evolutionary Time

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This chapter proposes to re-evaluate ‘becoming’ as a political strategy intended to destablise patriarchal and capitalistic structures of domination. It also uses Gilles Deleuze's and Félix Guattari's notion of the rhizomatic character of all identities to investigate the relation between masculine self and cannibal other, while simultaneously using their concepts to reconstruct the history of becoming. It then illustrates the rhizomatic character of hegemonic white male masculinity and engages in the kind of feminist intellectual project Elspeth Probyn and Elizabeth Grosz called for, the project of ‘making queer all sexualities’. Deleuze and Guattari regard violence as an inherent part of the creation of both tribal and despotic societies. Violence was perceived to be an inherent part of a ‘normal’ and ‘healthy’ male sexuality. Several aspects of Deleuze and Guattari's denial of the possibility of ‘becoming-man’ are finally emphasized.

Keywords: becoming; Gilles Deleuze; Félix Guattari; white male; masculinity; violence; Elspeth Probyn; Elizabeth Grosz; sexuality

Chapter.  9040 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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