The Affect Theory Reader

Author: Melissa Gregg,Gregory J. Seigworth

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822347768

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 402

View: 7222

A collection of essays on affect theory by groundbreaking scholars in the field

The Affect Theory Reader

Author: Melissa Gregg,Gregory J. Seigworth

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

ISBN: 9780822347583

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 416

View: 7352

This field-defining collection consolidates and builds momentum in the burgeoning area of affect studies. The contributors include many of the central theorists of affect—those visceral forces beneath, alongside, or generally other than conscious knowing that can serve to drive us toward movement, thought, and ever-changing forms of relation. As Lauren Berlant explores “cruel optimism,” Brian Massumi theorizes the affective logic of public threat, and Elspeth Probyn examines shame, they, along with the other contributors, show how an awareness of affect is opening up exciting new insights in disciplines from anthropology, cultural studies, geography, and psychology to philosophy, queer studies, and sociology. In essays diverse in subject matter, style, and perspective, the contributors demonstrate how affect theory illuminates the intertwined realms of the aesthetic, the ethical, and the political as they play out across bodies (human and non-human) in both mundane and extraordinary ways. They reveal the broad theoretical possibilities opened by an awareness of affect as they reflect on topics including ethics, food, public morale, glamor, snark in the workplace, and mental health regimes. The Affect Theory Reader includes an interview with the cultural theorist Lawrence Grossberg and an afterword by the anthropologist Kathleen Stewart. In the introduction, the editors suggest ways of defining affect, trace the concept’s history, and highlight the role of affect theory in various areas of study. Contributors Sara Ahmed Ben Anderson Lauren Berlant Lone Bertelsen Steven D. Brown Patricia Ticineto Clough Anna Gibbs Melissa Gregg Lawrence Grossberg Ben Highmore Brian Massumi Andrew Murphie Elspeth Probyn Gregory J. Seigworth Kathleen Stewart Nigel Thrift Ian Tucker Megan Watkins

Ordinary Affects

Author: Kathleen Stewart

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 082239040X

Category: Social Science

Page: 144

View: 9217

Ordinary Affects is a singular argument for attention to the affective dimensions of everyday life and the potential that animates the ordinary. Known for her focus on the poetics and politics of language and landscape, the anthropologist Kathleen Stewart ponders how ordinary impacts create the subject as a capacity to affect and be affected. In a series of brief vignettes combining storytelling, close ethnographic detail, and critical analysis, Stewart relates the intensities and banalities of common experiences and strange encounters, half-spied scenes and the lingering resonance of passing events. While most of the instances rendered are from Stewart’s own life, she writes in the third person in order to reflect on how intimate experiences of emotion, the body, other people, and time inextricably link us to the outside world. Stewart refrains from positing an overarching system—whether it’s called globalization or neoliberalism or capitalism—to describe the ways that economic, political, and social forces shape individual lives. Instead, she begins with the disparate, fragmented, and seemingly inconsequential experiences of everyday life to bring attention to the ordinary as an integral site of cultural politics. Ordinary affect, she insists, is registered in its particularities, yet it connects people and creates common experiences that shape public feeling. Through this anecdotal history—one that poetically ponders the extremes of the ordinary and portrays the dense network of social and personal connections that constitute a life—Stewart asserts the necessity of attending to the fleeting and changeable aspects of existence in order to recognize the complex personal and social dynamics of the political world.

Shame and Its Sisters

A Silvan Tomkins Reader

Author: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick,Adam Frank,Irving E. Alexander

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 9780822316947

Category: Psychology

Page: 268

View: 7019

The question of affect is central to critical theory, psychology, politics, and the entire range of the humanities; but no discipline, including psychoanalysis, has offered a theory of affect that would be rich enough to account for the delicacy and power, the evanescence and durability, the bodily rootedness and the cultural variability of human emotion. Silvan Tomkins (1911–1991) was one of the most radical and imaginative psychologists of the twentieth century. In Affect, Imagery, Consciousness, a four-volume work published over the last thirty years of his life, Tomkins developed an ambitious theory of affect steeped in cybernetics and systems theory as well as in psychoanalysis, ethology, and neuroscience. The implications of his conceptually daring and phenomenologically suggestive theory are only now—in the context of postmodernism—beginning to be understood. With Shame and Its Sisters, editors Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Adam Frank make available for the first time an engaging and accessible selection of Tomkins's work. Featuring intensive examination of several key affects, particularly shame and anger, this volume contains many of Tomkins's most haunting, diagnostically incisive, and theoretically challenging discussions. An introductory essay by the editors places Tomkins's work in the context of postwar information technologies and will prompt a reexamination of some of the underlying assumptions of recent critical work in cultural studies and other areas of the humanities. The text is also accompanied by a biographical sketch of Tomkins by noted psychologist Irving E. Alexander, Tomkins's longtime friend and collaborator.

Cruel Optimism

Author: Lauren Berlant

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

ISBN: 9780822350972

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 352

View: 3146

A relation of cruel optimism exists when something you desire is actually an obstacle to your flourishing. Offering bold new ways of conceiving the present, Lauren Berlant describes the cruel optimism that has prevailed since the 1980s, as the social-democratic promise of the postwar period in the United States and Europe has retracted. People have remained attached to unachievable fantasies of the good life—with its promises of upward mobility, job security, political and social equality, and durable intimacy—despite evidence that liberal-capitalist societies can no longer be counted on to provide opportunities for individuals to make their lives “add up to something.” Arguing that the historical present is perceived affectively before it is understood in any other way, Berlant traces affective and aesthetic responses to the dramas of adjustment that unfold amid talk of precarity, contingency, and crisis. She suggests that our stretched-out present is characterized by new modes of temporality, and she explains why trauma theory—with its focus on reactions to the exceptional event that shatters the ordinary—is not useful for understanding the ways that people adjust over time, once crisis itself has become ordinary. Cruel Optimism is a remarkable affective history of the present.

Non-Representational Theory

Space, Politics, Affect

Author: Nigel Thrift

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134162723

Category: Social Science

Page: 336

View: 5244

This astonishing book presents a distinctive approach to the politics of everyday life. Ranging across a variety of spaces in which politics and the political unfold, it questions what is meant by perception, representation and practice, with the aim of valuing the fugitive practices that exist on the margins of the known. It revolves around three key functions. It: introduces the rather dispersed discussion of non-representational theory to a wider audience provides the basis for an experimental rather than a representational approach to the social sciences and humanities begins the task of constructing a different kind of political genre. A groundbreaking and comprehensive introduction to this key topic, Thrift’s outstanding work brings together further writings from a body of work that has come to be known as non-representational theory. This noteworthy book makes a significant contribution to the literature in this area and is essential reading for researchers and postgraduates in the fields of social theory, sociology, geography, anthropology and cultural studies.

Parables for the Virtual

Movement, Affect, Sensation

Author: Brian Massumi

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822383578

Category: Philosophy

Page: 336

View: 4210

Although the body has been the focus of much contemporary cultural theory, the models that are typically applied neglect the most salient characteristics of embodied existence—movement, affect, and sensation—in favor of concepts derived from linguistic theory. In Parables for the Virtual Brian Massumi views the body and media such as television, film, and the Internet, as cultural formations that operate on multiple registers of sensation beyond the reach of the reading techniques founded on the standard rhetorical and semiotic models. Renewing and assessing William James’s radical empiricism and Henri Bergson’s philosophy of perception through the filter of the post-war French philosophy of Deleuze, Guattari, and Foucault, Massumi links a cultural logic of variation to questions of movement, affect, and sensation. If such concepts are as fundamental as signs and significations, he argues, then a new set of theoretical issues appear, and with them potential new paths for the wedding of scientific and cultural theory. Replacing the traditional opposition of literal and figural with new distinctions between stasis and motion and between actual and virtual, Parables for the Virtual tackles related theoretical issues by applying them to cultural mediums as diverse as architecture, body art, the digital art of Stelarc, and Ronald Reagan’s acting career. The result is an intriguing combination of cultural theory, science, and philosophy that asserts itself in a crystalline and multi-faceted argument. Parables for the Virtual will interest students and scholars of continental and Anglo-American philosophy, cultural studies, cognitive science, electronic art, digital culture, and chaos theory, as well as those concerned with the “science wars” and the relation between the humanities and the sciences in general.

Sound, Music, Affect

Theorizing Sonic Experience

Author: Marie Thompson,Ian Biddle

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1441101764

Category: Music

Page: 288

View: 3430

Sound, Music, Affect features brand new essays that bring together the burgeoning developments in sound studies and affect studies. The first section sets out key methodological and theoretical concerns, focussing on the relationships between affective models and sound. The second section deals with particular musical case studies, exploring how reference to affect theory might change or reshape some of the ways we are able to make sense of musical materials. The third section examines the politics and practice of sonic disruption: from the notion of noise as 'prophecy', to the appropriation of 'bad vibes' for pleasurable aesthetic and affective experiences. And the final section engages with some of the ways in which affect can help us understand the politics of chill, relaxation and intimacy as sonic encounters. The result is a rich and multifaceted consideration of sound, music and the affective, from scholars with backgrounds in cultural theory, history, literary studies, media studies, architecture, philosophy and musicology.

Affect and Emotion

A New Social Science Understanding

Author: Margaret Wetherell

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN: 1446253651

Category: Psychology

Page: 192

View: 9170

"Absolutely essential reading for those wanting to understand the recent 'turn' to affect. Offering an extensive analysis of all the perspectives available, including the psycho, neuro, bio and social, Margie Wetherell treads a magisterial path through the radically different offerings, one that illuminates key ideas and will save the uninitiated wandering down many pointless avenues. A path-setting book." - Professor Beverley Skeggs, Goldsmiths In recent years there has been a huge surge of interest in affect and emotion. Scholars want to discover how people are moved, and understand embodied social action, feelings and passions. How do social formations 'grab' people? How do roller coasters of contempt, patriotism, hate and euphoria power public life? A new social science understanding of affect and emotion is long overdue and Margaret Wetherell's voice is timely, providing a coherent and pragmatic text. It will be invaluable reading for those interested in this fascinating field across the social and behavioural sciences.

Politics of Affect

Author: Brian Massumi

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 074568985X

Category: Social Science

Page: 232

View: 934

'The capacity to affect and to be affected'. This simple definition opens a world of questions - by indicating an openness to the world. To affect and to be affected is to be in encounter, and to be in encounter is to have already ventured forth. Adventure: far from being enclosed in the interiority of a subject, affect concerns an immediate participation in the events of the world. It is about intensities of experience. What is politics made of, if not adventures of encounter? What are encounters, if not adventures of relation? The moment we begin to speak of affect, we are already venturing into the political dimension of relational encounter. This is the dimension of experience in-the-making. This is the level at which politics is emergent. In these wide-ranging interviews, Brian Massumi explores this emergent politics of affect, weaving between philosophy, political theory and everyday life. The discussions wend their way 'transversally': passing between the tired oppositions which too often encumber thought, such as subject/object, body/mind and nature/culture. New concepts are gradually introduced to remap the complexity of relation and encounter for a politics of emergence: 'differential affective attunement', 'collective individuation', 'micropolitics', 'thinking-feeling', 'ontopower', 'immanent critique'. These concepts are not offered as definitive solutions. Rather, they are designed to move the inquiry still further, for an ongoing exploration of the political problems posed by affect. Politics of Affect offers an accessible entry-point into the work of one of the defining figures of the last quarter century, as well as opening up new avenues for philosophical reflection and political engagement.

Touching Feeling

Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity

Author: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick,Adam Frank

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 9780822330158

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 195

View: 8718

DIVA collection of essays examining theories of affect and how they relate to issues of performance and performativity./div

Ugly Feelings

Author: Sianne NGAI

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674971345

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 432

View: 5836

Ngai mobilizes the aesthetics of unprestigious negative affects such as irritation, envy, and disgust to investigate not only ideological and representational dilemmas in literature--with a particular focus on those inflected by gender and race--but also blind spots in contemporary literary and cultural criticism. Her work maps a major intersection of literary studies, media and cultural studies, feminist studies, and aesthetic theory.

Feeling in Theory

Author: Rei TERADA

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674044290

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 221

View: 4710

This revolutionary work transforms the interdisciplinary debate on emotion by suggesting a positive relation between the "death of the subject" and the very existence of emotion. Reading the writings of Derrida and de Man, Terada finds grounds for construing emotion as nonsubjective.

Affect Theory and Early Modern Texts

Politics, Ecologies, and Form

Author: Amanda Bailey,Mario DiGangi

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137561262

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 222

View: 1887

The first book to put contemporary affect theory into conversation with early modern studies,this volume demonstrates how questions of affect illuminate issues of cognition, political agency, historiography, and scientific thought in early modern literature and culture. Engaging various historical and theoretical perspectives, the essays in this volume bring affect to bear on early modern representations of bodies, passions, and social relations by exploring: the role of embodiment in political subjectivity and action; the interactions of human and non-human bodies within ecological systems; and the social and physiological dynamics of theatrical experience. Examining the complexly embodied experiences of leisure, sympathy, staged violence, courtiership, envy, suicide, and many other topics, the contributors open up new ways of understanding how Renaissance writers thought about the capacities, pleasures, and vulnerabilities of the human body.

The Forms of the Affects

Author: Eugenie Brinkema

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822376776

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 368

View: 1114

What is the relationship between a cinematic grid of color and that most visceral of negative affects, disgust? How might anxiety be a matter of an interrupted horizontal line, or grief a figure of blazing light? Offering a bold corrective to the emphasis on embodiment and experience in recent affect theory, Eugenie Brinkema develops a novel mode of criticism that locates the forms of particular affects within the specific details of cinematic and textual construction. Through close readings of works by Roland Barthes, Hollis Frampton, Sigmund Freud, Peter Greenaway, Michael Haneke, Alfred Hitchcock, Søren Kierkegaard, and David Lynch, Brinkema shows that deep attention to form, structure, and aesthetics enables a fundamental rethinking of the study of sensation. In the process, she delves into concepts as diverse as putrescence in French gastronomy, the role of the tear in philosophies of emotion, Nietzschean joy as a wild aesthetic of repetition, and the psychoanalytic theory of embarrassment. Above all, this provocative work is a call to harness the vitality of the affective turn for a renewed exploration of the possibilities of cinematic form.

Desire/Love

Author: Lauren Berlant

Publisher: punctum books

ISBN: 0615686877

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 142

View: 5724

"There is nothing more alienating than having your pleasures disputed by someone with a theory," writes Lauren Berlant. Yet the ways in which we live sexuality and intimacy have been profoundly shaped by theories - especially psychoanalytic ones, which have helped to place sexuality and desire at the center of the modern story about what a person is and how her history should be read. At the same time, other modes of explanation have been offered by popular and mass culture. In these domains, sexual desire is not deemed the core story of life; it is mixed up with romance, a particular version of the story of love. In this small theoretical novella-cum-dictionary entry, Lauren Berlant engages love and desire in separate entries. In the first entry, Desire mainly describes the feeling one person has for something else: it is organized by psychoanalytic accounts of attachment, and tells briefly the history of their importance in critical theory and practice. The second entry, on Love, begins with an excursion into fantasy, moving away from the parent-child structure so central to psychoanalysis and looking instead at the centrality of context, environment, and history. The entry on Love describes some workings of romance across personal life and commodity culture, the place where subjects start to think about fantasy on behalf of their actual lives. Whether viewed psychoanalytically, institutionally, or ideologically, love is deemed always an outcome of fantasy. Without fantasy, there would be no love. Desire/Love takes us on a tour of all of the things that sentence might mean.

Cultural Politics of Emotion

Author: Sara Ahmed

Publisher: Edinburgh University Press

ISBN: 0748691154

Category: Philosophy

Page: 224

View: 4239

A bold exploration of the relationship between emotions and politics, through case studies on international terrorism, asylum, migration, reconciliation and reparation. Develops a theory of how emotions work and their effects on our daily lives.

Cultural Studies' Affective Voices

Author: M. Gregg

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 023020757X

Category: Social Science

Page: 183

View: 9062

In a series of encounters with key figures in the field of cultural studies, this book draws together interest in affect theory and contemporary politics to describe the mobilising effects of individual scholarly voices in cultural studies' history, emphasising the ongoing importance of engaged, public intellectualism throughout.

Exploring Affect

The Selected Writings of Silvan S Tomkins

Author: Silvan S. Tomkins,E. Virginia Demos

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521448321

Category: Psychology

Page: 516

View: 2172

Silvan Tomkins was one of the most influential theorists on emotion and emotional expression. Over a period of 40 - some years - until his death in 1991 - he developed a set of original, important ideas about the nature of affect and its relationship to cognition and personality. Tomkins dealt with fundamental questions in a fresh and provocative way, establishing affect as a separate, biological system, and providing compelling data on discrete affect expressions. Several years before his death, Professor Tomkins agreed to bring his papers (unpublished and published) together into Exploring Affect for Cambridge Studies in Emotion and Social Interaction. He worked with Paul Ekman and Klaus Scherer to develop a structure for the book that would synthesize his theory of emotion. Unfortunately, he died before he was able to complete the process. Virginia Demos, who knew Professor Tomkins well, took on the enormous task of compiling the papers and writing connective material for the book. This volume of Tomkins selected writings on affect brings together his works of four decades and makes them available at a more receptive time in the field. It is a treasure trove of provocative, insightful and relevant ideas.

Affective States

Entanglements, Suspensions, Suspicions

Author: Mateusz Laszczkowski,Madeleine Reeves

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 178533719X

Category: Social Science

Page: 158

View: 4033

In recent years, political and social theory has been transformed by the heterogeneous approaches to feeling and emotion jointly referred to as 'affect theory'. These range from psychological and social-constructivist approaches to emotion to feminist and post-human perspectives. Covering a wide spectrum of topics and ethnographic contexts-from engineering in the Andes to household rituals in rural China, from South African land restitution to migrant living in Moscow, and from elections in El Salvador to online and offline surveillance among political refugees from Uzbekistan and Eritrea-the chapters in this volume interrogate this 'affective turn' through the lens of fine-grained ethnographies of the state. The volume enhances the anthropological understanding of the various ways through which the state comes to be experienced as a visceral presence in social life.