Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy


Theory and Criticism


Franke, Mark F. N.


What is the nature of political ‘reality,’ and in what ways are we capable of affecting it? Who (or what? and where?) is the subject of democratic politics? Of revolutionary politics? Are they opposed to one another? The grand narratives that ‘ground’ this project and the resistances that unground them form the basis for a post-foundational analytic of the subject of politics, of identity, and of community, which constitutes a mobilization of democratic resistance as a commitment to persistent (and in some cases, relentless) contestation, interruption, and disruption. These questions are explored through the argument that modern politics is a politics of exclusion, disidentification, and disruption, and that its potentialities for the subject depend upon whether or not we can appropriate these positions of spatio-temporal ambiguity as potential sites of action and resistance.

Throughout this project, the problems, possibilities, interruptions, and disruptions associated with the ‘marginal’ subject are explored. Elements of Kant’s aesthetic philosophy are presented alongside the work of Jacques Rancière, Jean-Luc Nancy, Alain Badiou, Jacques Derrida, Judith Butler, and Roberto Esposito in order to investigate the interdependency of politics and the political, identity and disidentification, inclusion and exclusion, and their impact on the political subject. Elaborating upon the possibility of a subject who is formed ‘outside’ of the space-times of democratic citizenship, several figures of exclusion are engaged throughout this project, eventually culminating in the interject: a position between inside and outside, between singularity and collectivity, who interrupts and disrupts and then retreats, always arriving and departing unexpectedly.