This article discusses disposability in light of what psychoanalysis can offer to an analysis of that term, understood as a contemporary characteristic of the human and its liminal condition. The essay questions why a program of social change is demanded of psychoanalysis but also shows that psychoanalysis offers an account of social change that is nondeterministic. It shows how psychoanalysis can be a useful analytic frame through which to understand the pleasures and pains of disposability or the waste that one might associate with it, and thus brings psychoanalysis into conversation with its historical allies, Western Marxism and feminism. The author engages with the work of Giorgio Agamben, Françoise Vergès, and Bertrand Ogilvie through a psychoanalytic framework shaped by her understanding of contemporary disposability. She associates disposability with melancholia and an impoverishment of ego that, she maintains, ultimately provides a critical agency. © 2009 by Brown University and differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies.
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