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Carleton University
Department of English Language & Literature

“Research Talks” Lecture Series
6 December 2013, 15:00 – 16:30

1811 Dunton Tower

Toward an Ethic of “Self-Abuse”:
Ethics, Masturbation, and the Care of the Self

Abstract
In his late work, Michel Foucault argues for an ethics founded on the ancient “care of the self,” a self-relation that critically resists the institution of rationalism, the ethics of autonomy, and their apotheosis in neoliberal biopolitics. As paradoxical as it may sound, this research talk figures masturbation as a metaphor for critical resistance and ethical self-relation. I argue that the master trope for the masturbator is catachresis, where “use” and “abuse” enter into fleshly and promiscuous ambivalence, and moral agency must be thought anew.

Masturbation Draft

About the author Stuart J. Murray

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