Assemblage Theory, or, the Future of an Illusion
If the development of assemblage theory does not need to be anchored in the work of Deleuze and Guattari, as increasingly seems to be the case in the social sciences, then cannot one say that the future of assemblage theory is an illusion? It is an illusion in the sense that it continues to act as though the concept was invented by Deleuze and Guattari, but because it does not feel obligated to draw on their work in its actual operation or development, it cannot lay claim to being authentic. That this does not trouble certain scholars in the social sciences is troubling to me. So in this paper I offer first of all critique of this illusory synthetic version of the assemblage and accompany that with a short case study showing what can be gained by returning to Deleuze and Guattari.