The Affect Theory Reader


Author: Melissa Gregg,Gregory J. Seigworth
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822347768
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 402
View: 3450

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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: 9830

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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: 4881

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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.

Cruel Optimism


Author: Lauren Berlant
Publisher: Duke University Press Books
ISBN: 9780822350972
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 352
View: 3875

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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.

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: 3990

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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.

Non-Representational Theory

Space, Politics, Affect
Author: Nigel Thrift
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134162723
Category: Social Science
Page: 336
View: 6477

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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


Author: Brian Massumi
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822383578
Category: Philosophy
Page: 336
View: 2238

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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.

Affect and Emotion

A New Social Science Understanding
Author: Margaret Wetherell
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 1446253651
Category: Psychology
Page: 192
View: 8188

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"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: 3852

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'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


Author: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick,Adam Frank
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822330158
Category: Literary Collections
Page: 195
View: 9069

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

Cultural Politics of Emotion


Author: Sara Ahmed
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
ISBN: 0748691154
Category: Philosophy
Page: 224
View: 4105

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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.

Feeling in Theory


Author: Rei TERADA
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674044290
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 221
View: 7907

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Because emotion is assumed to depend on subjectivity, the "death of the subject" described in recent years by theorists such as Derrida, de Man, and Deleuze would also seem to mean the death of feeling. This revolutionary work transforms the burgeoning interdisciplinary debate on emotion by suggesting, instead, a positive relation between the "death of the subject" and the very existence of emotion. Reading the writings of Derrida and de Man--theorists often seen as emotionally contradictory and cold--Terada finds grounds for construing emotion as nonsubjective. This project offers fresh interpretations of deconstruction's most important texts, and of Continental and Anglo-American philosophers from Descartes to Deleuze and Dennett. At the same time, it revitalizes poststructuralist theory by deploying its methodologies in a new field, the philosophy of emotion, to reach a startling conclusion: if we really were subjects, we would have no emotions at all. Engaging debates in philosophy, literary criticism, psychology, and cognitive science from a poststructuralist and deconstructive perspective, Terada's work is essential for the renewal of critical thought in our day.

Ugly Feelings


Author: Sianne NGAI
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674971345
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 432
View: 8719

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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.

Sound, Music, Affect

Theorizing Sonic Experience
Author: Marie Thompson,Ian Biddle
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1441101764
Category: Music
Page: 288
View: 1780

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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.

The Forms of the Affects


Author: Eugenie Brinkema
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822376776
Category: Performing Arts
Page: 368
View: 6960

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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.

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: 1805

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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.

Networked Affect


Author: Ken Hillis,Susanna Paasonen,Michael Petit
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 026232735X
Category: Computers
Page: 280
View: 9939

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Our encounters with websites, avatars, videos, mobile apps, discussion forums, GIFs, and nonhuman intelligent agents allow us to experience sensations of connectivity, interest, desire, and attachment -- as well as detachment, boredom, fear, and shame. Some affective online encounters may arouse complex, contradictory feelings that resist dualistic distinctions. In this book, leading scholars examine the fluctuating and altering dynamics of affect that give shape to online connections and disconnections. Doing so, they tie issues of circulation and connectivity to theorizations of networked affect. Their diverse investigations -- considering subjects that range from online sexual dynamics to the liveliness of computer code -- demonstrate the value of affect theories for Internet studies. The contributors investigate networked affect in terms of intensity, sensation, and value. They explore online intensities that range from Tumblr practices in LGBTQ communities to visceral reactions to animated avatars; examine the affective materiality of software in such platforms as steampunk culture and nonprofit altporn; and analyze the ascription of value to online activities including the GTD ("getting things done") movement and the accumulation of personal digital materials. ContributorsJames Ash, Alex Cho, Jodi Dean, Melissa Gregg, Ken Hillis, Kylie Jarrett, Tero Karppi, Stephen Maddison, Susanna Paasonen, Jussi Parikka, Michael Petit, Jennifer Pybus, Jenny Sundén, Veronika Tzankova

Affective States

Entanglements, Suspensions, Suspicions
Author: Mateusz Laszczkowski,Madeleine Reeves
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 178533719X
Category: Social Science
Page: 158
View: 1526

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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.

The Affective Turn

Theorizing the Social
Author: Patricia Ticineto Clough,Jean Halley
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822339250
Category: Social Science
Page: 313
View: 9498

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In the mid-1990s, scholars turned their attention toward the ways that ongoing political, economic, and cultural transformations were changing the realm of the social, specifically that aspect of it described by the notion of affect: pre-individual bodily forces, linked to autonomic responses, which augment or diminish a body's capacity to act or engage with others. This "affective turn" and the new configurations of bodies, technology, and matter that it reveals, is the subject of this collection of essays. Scholars based in sociology, cultural studies, science studies, and women's studies illuminate the movement in thought from a psychoanalytically informed criticism of subject identity, representation, and trauma to an engagement with information and affect; from a privileging of the organic body to an exploration of non-organic life; and from the presumption of equilibrium-seeking closed systems to an engagement with the complexity of open-systems under far-from-equilibrium conditions. Taken together, these essays suggest that attending to the affective turn is necessary to theorizing the social.

Critical Semiotics

Theory, from Information to Affect
Author: Gary Genosko
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1472596382
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 200
View: 6650

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Critical Semiotics provides long overdue answers to questions at the junction of information, meaning and 'affect'. The affective turn in cultural studies has received much attention: a focus on the pre-individual bodily forces, linked to automatic responses, which augment or diminish the body's capacity to act or engage with others. In a world dominated by information, how do things that seem to have diminished meaning or even no meaning still have so much power to affect us, or to carry on our ability to affect the world? Linguistics and semiotics have been accused of being adrift from the affective turn and not accounting for these visceral forces beneath or generally other from conscious knowing. In this book, Gary Genosko delivers a detailed refutation, with analyses of specific contributions to critical semiotic approaches to meaning and signification. People want to understand how other people are moved and to understand embodied social actions, feelings and passions at the same time as understanding how this takes place. Semiotics must make the affective turn.