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Phantasies of becoming the (other).

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  • Sara Ahmed
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>01/1999
<mark>Journal</mark>European Journal of Cultural Studies
Issue number1
Volume2
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)47-63
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

This paper offers a close reading of Deleuze and Guattari's A Thousand Plateaus, examining how its narrativization of becoming involves a phantasy of otherness. The narrative of becoming woman functions as a narrative of overcoming, whereby the privilege of the masculine subject is determined as his ability to move beyond him-self. This reading is juxtaposed with a reading of the film, Dances with Wolves. Here, the narrative of becoming Indian is predicated on the heroism of the white masculine subject: through hybridization, he can unmake the border between self and other. By bringing these alien texts into contact, the paper suggests that becomings can easily support the structures of privilege which authorize certain 'beings' over others. The paper hence calls for an ethics of closer reading: getting closer to such masterful texts enables the reader to take the risk of a critical judgement.