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Asco's Asco and the Queer Affective Resonance of Abjection

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This essay renarrativizes existing accounts of Asco's formation and unifying ethos, centering the role of negative affect, to show how the group's abject aesthetic strategies offer an alternative political vision of national belonging predicated on uncivic participation. It foregrounds a queer discordant site of genesis and recruitment that recasts Asco not as a concrete group but as an abject structure of feeling in Chicano East Los Angeles. Asco's play uniquely highlights and challenges Chicano nationalist heteronormativity and its connection to representative presence as the grounds for enfranchisement, thus problematizing sedimented models of minority national inclusion. By harnessing negative affect, Asco instead reveals a vulnerable collectivity that coheres around and validates feelings of disenchantment and dis-ease while resisting a reparative move toward coherent minority subjectivity and unified communities.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2015

More about this publication?
  • Aztlán presents original research that is relevant to or informed by the Chicano experience. An interdisciplinary, refereed journal, Aztlán focuses on scholarly essays in the humanities, social sciences, and arts, supplemented by thematic pieces in the dossier section, an artist's communiqué, a review section, and a commentary by the editor, Charlene Villaseñor Black. Aztlán seeks ways to bring Chicano studies into critical dialogue with Latino, ethnic, American, and global studies.
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