Fantastika Journal

Queer Anarchism and Punk Commons

November 14, 2021 Brian Baker (@SciFiBaker) Season 1 Episode 4
Fantastika Journal
Queer Anarchism and Punk Commons
Show Notes

This podcast is part of the LGBTQIA+ Fantastika Graphics Symposium.
Join the discussion on discord ( or on our zoom webinar on 20 Nov 2021. See for details.

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Podcast by:  Brian Baker

Queer Anarchism and Punk Commons: 

Being-with The Invisibles and V for Vendetta

This podcast will analyse the rethinking of subjectivity and sociality in two texts, Alan Moore/ David Lloyd’s V for Vendetta (1982-9) and Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles (1994-2000). Both texts portray a conflict between a dystopian state and ‘secret’ antagonists. Both texts also narrate the induction and education of a new, young associate or member into an alternate sociality based upon anarchist principles and an ‘underground’ cultural commons, occluded by the state. In Evey Hammond and Dane McGowan, the texts narrate the construction of a new subjectivity in which prior forms of individuality and being are abolished in favour of a revolutionary not-yet. 

The podcast will work through two queered figures, V and Lord Fanny, to explore what Jack Halberstam calls ‘a queer anarchism’, ‘a theory of anarchism that departs from the usual accounts of it as a political philosophy and that instead culls a theory of chaotic creativity from the unmoored, hyperkinetic, sonic traces left by a series of unconventional, hard-to-classify punk divas’ (‘Go Gaga’). The podcast will read both V and Lord Fanny in this lineage, and use Jose E. Muñoz’s concept of the ‘punk commons’ to explore not only the (counter-) cultural heritages that inform both V and the Invisibles but the importance of music to both texts. 

V’s Shadow Gallery and the sociality of the Invisibles cell (King Mob/ Lord Fanny/ Ragged Robin/ Boy) will be connected to what Fred Moten and Stefano Harney articulate as the ‘undercommons’, a space and practice of fugitivity. A ‘queer commons’, ‘a nonexploitative utopian collectivity that is nevertheless grounded in punk’s politics of the negative’ (Millner-Larsen and Butt) is both the ground and the ‘not-yet’ of both texts.

About the Speaker: Brian Baker is a Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at Lancaster University. He works critically on science fiction and masculinities. He has just completed an MA in Art Practice, and is developing his practice in relation to site, transmissions, sound, text and image, and time travel.

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This podcast edited by Kerry Dodd