Assemblage Theory and Method
Author(s): Ian Buchanan
What do we mean by 'assemblage' in contemporary theory? The constant and seemingly limitless expansion of the concept's range of applications begs the question, if any and every kind of collection of things is an assemblage, then what advantage is there is in using this term and not some other term, or indeed no term at all? What makes an assemblage an assemblage, and not some other kind of collection of things?
This book advances beyond this impasse and offers practical help in thinking about and using assemblage theory for contemporary cultural and social research, in order to:
- Answer the question: what is an assemblage?
- Explain why assemblage theory is necessary
- Provide clear instructions on how to use assemblage theory
Ian Buchanan maps the beginnings of a brand new field within the humanities.
“In this manuscript Buchanan clarifies some of the most powerful, widely used and generally misunderstood concepts advanced by Deleuze and Guattari that comprise assemblage theory.” —Sue Ruddick, Professor of Geography, University of Toronto, Canada
“By carefully returning to their texts to excavate not only the concept of the assemblage but the related notions of stratification, desire, territorialization, the body without organs, the virtual and the actual, and more, Buchanan corrects many of the modish and often ad hoc appropriations of Deleuze and Guattari's work so often found in works of contemporary theory.” —Nathan Widder, Professor of Political Theory, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
“Ian Buchanan shows that the assemblage does not refer to things nor to an ensemble of parts, but rather to the constitution of life in chaos. As such, he reveals that the key to analysing new, ever more subtle, forms of social control is to repeat the tasks of schizoanalysis: mapping the intimate connection between stratification and desire in the configuration of territories that make both life, and its annihilation, possible.” —Patricio Landaeta, Professor of Philosophy, Center of Advanced Studies, University of Playa Ancha, Chile
“Buchanan has succeeded in offering the clearest and most precise articulation of the concept of assemblage. Displaying an admirable ability to bring the abstract and theoretical to life through vivid, culturally relevant applications, this is a must read for anyone interested in returning to a conceptually rigorous understanding of assemblage that incorporates the full complexity of the term as Deleuze and Guattari intended.” —Janae Sholtz, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Alvernia University, Pennsylvania, USA
“Ian Buchanan's book succeeds in carving out the 'assemblage theory' of Deleuze and Guattari against suitors to the illegitimate uses of the concept. By calling into question the condition of the possibility of critical thinking itself, his ruthless and passionate intervention into the debate is the very way that Deleuze and Guattari do European philosophy. His rare achievement reaffirms the view that Deleuze and Guattari are now global thinkers and for everyone interested in the global theory of Deleuze and Guattari, this book proves to be an excellent resource in the 'minor' exercise of Deleuze and Guattari. You can resist it but do so at your own risk.” —Alex Taek-Gwang Lee, Professor of Cultural Studies, Kyung Hee University, South Korea