LOVE’S LESSONS: intimacy, pedagogy and political community

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Journal Article
Angelaki - Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, 2017, 22 (4), pp. 69 - 79
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© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This article provides a philosophical account of love in relation to contemporary Marxist and post-structuralist conceptions of politics. Shifting the emphasis away from both the ontological question, “what is love?,” and the epistemological question, “how do we acquire certainty about love?,” this article advances a pedagogical question: how might love enable us to learn? To answer this question we turn to the work of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, and Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. After examining the tensions between ontological and ideological conceptions of love, we explore Hardt and Negri’s work on love as part of the affective labour of the “multitude.” We then trace the development of Deleuze’s early work on love as an apprenticeship to signs to his later exploration (with Guattari) of love in relation to multiplicity. In doing so, this article seeks to renovate the concept of love itself, framing it in terms of difference rather than merging and unity, and locating it outside the confines of the heterosexual couple and nuclear family.
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