Filed under: affect, Affect Theory, Mood, psychoanalysis, sexuality, supervalent_thought, writing | Tags: affect, emotion, Glee, mood, Sedgwick, theory, Tomkins, writing
These are our questions for the MLA roundtable. Section one takes up genealogies of affect theory; section two takes up the problem of affect in the historical present; section three takes up a variety of concerns about queer theory, sexuality, racialization, specific cases and archives, and modes of orientation that are in proximity to whatever we might call affect but in different idioms. You can download them here. mla roundtable 2011
745. Affecting Affect Theory is scheduled to take place at 1:45+3:00 p.m. on 08-JAN-12 in 615, WSCC; Washington State Convention Center, 800 Convention Place (Pike St. and 8th Ave.)
Affect Theory Roundtable Questions, MLA 2012
Authors: Lauren Berlant, Ann Cvetkovich, Jonathan Flatley, Neville Hoad, Heather Love, José E. Muñoz, Tavia Nyong’o
I. Genealogies of Affect Theory
1. How do we think about the different trajectories of affect theory now, especially as the Deleuzian/Massumian project/idiom has become so important to its critical circulation? How do we think the proximity of public feelings, minor affects, psychoanalysis, Sedgwickian syncretism (Buddhism, Tomkins, Klein), and affective labor’s version of affect-as-immateriality in relation to the Spinozan tradition? How to keep the event of affect open to maintaining the multiplicity of traditions, trajectories, tendencies, and critical tactics? Is spanning all traditions important to ways we think about addressing future problems?
2. Affect vs/alongside mood, feeling, emotion etc. What are the stakes of synthesizing these different ways of talking to our about states of the sensorium?
3. Cavell (a great affect theorist who is not often included in the genealogies of affect theory) says that professional philosophy has been emancipated from an obligation to be therapeutic, but that it should be haunted by that very emancipation. What about the critical work we do: what about questions of theory and utility, of reparativity, of failure?
4. In response to thoughts about genealogies and the increasing institutionalization of Deleuzian affect studies, I would like to take the chance to think in some detail about genealogies for public feelings/feel tank type affect studies. The Cavell thing got me thinking about other possibly overlooked figures. (more…)
Filed under: affect, Belonging, emotion, Love, Ordinariness, Politics, writing | Tags: affect, emotion, Obama, Politics, yes_we_can
(Column 1 in a series; the Long version; experiment in political journalism; see “Credibility and Incredibility” below)
Sometime in fading recent memory, it seems that we were debating about “hope.” Has hope’s moment passed? How did the Yes We Can moment come to feel so long ago, a shadow second before all the bowling and cake and bitterness? Can you even remember the beginning of this sentence? If you’re thinking, as you read this, “Oh, “Yes We Can” was so February!” that’s because political time moves with the rising and falling intensities of scandal and speculation.
But it’s also because other people’s optimism is so often felt as a threat. Optimism? I’m serious. Get me out of here! We are taught to respect our own pain, and to respond compassionately to that of others. We have a word for taking pleasure in other people’s pain: schadenfreude. But there’s no word for the anxiety that arises from other people’s optimism.
Why is that? Did Hillary Clinton’s deflationary anti-aesthetics–as in Mario Cuomo’s “You campaign in poetry; you govern in prose”–burst the hope bubble? (Apparently not.) Was her disrespect for the mereness of “just words” actually effective in its dismissal of desire for the political? Did the skies open up not with hope, but with shame? Was it an accident that the appearance of organized collective inspiration suddenly got widely equated with the threat of fascism and the shallowness of rock star celebrity?