[csaa-forum] CFP: Theorising Affect

Ben Anderson Ben.Anderson at durham.ac.uk
Wed Jun 21 20:55:57 CST 2006

Dear all,
Please find attached a CFP for a conference on 'Theorising Affect' to be held in the Department of Geography, Durham University (UK). A long way to travel but hopefully it will be of interest to some list members.  
best wishes, 

Theorising Affect


10/11 January 2007

Department of Geography, Durham University (UK)


A two day conference organized by the Social/Spatial Theory research cluster on affect within the social sciences, cultural studies and humanities.


Call For Papers


Over the past decade affect has emerged as a distinct object of inquiry in the humanities and social sciences. From the micro-political geographies of everyday life, through to the media and military strategies deployed in the 'war on terror', it is increasingly recognized that affect is a constitutive element in almost all social and cultural practices. Emerging from a range of partially connected literatures, and resonating with a parallel attention to emotion and feeling, the emergence of affect and affectivity as objects of inquiry raises a series of questions about what social and cultural theory is, about its general field of inquiry, about the composition of its object(s) and subject(s) and about the nature and status of its accounts and claims.

This two day conference aims to provide a forum to think through the problems, and questions, that animate social and cultural theory's entanglements with affect. Drawing into conversation a range of work and writing on affect and affectivity, a range which could include feminism, queer theory, Deleuze, Tomkins, psychoanalysis, deconstruction, phenomenology, literary and performance studies, and social science engagements with bio and neuro sciences, the conference seeks to develop and establish affect as a major cross-cutting object for social and cultural reflection, investigation and action.


Abstracts are sought on topics such as: 


1: What difference(s) do theories of affect make? What does it mean to offer a theory of affect(s)? What, thereafter, do such theories promise for the social sciences and humanities? And what, thereafter, could or do such theories fail to do?


2: What is the relation between affect and ... 

a)      Other modalities of the more-than or less-than rational, such as mood, feeling, emotion, or passion.

b)      Modalities of the body, such as memory, imagination, perception, sensation, language, and the senses. 

c)      Different types of human and non-human collectives and associations. 

d)      Non-humans e.g. artefacts, objects, technologies, animals, complex heterogeneous systems, natures.


3: How to develop a theoretical vocabulary and grammar specific to affect and/or affects? What could such a vocabulary be composed of?

a)      How could such a vocabulary and grammar relate to the striations and differences that pattern the social and cultural, including, for example, the classic categories of social thought, relations between humans and non-humans, the technological and natural, or the fictive and the factual?

b)      How does such a vocabulary and grammar redescribe social and cultural processes? i.e., the dynamics of social and cultural change and stability, the dissemination of the new, the historicity of forms and practices? 

c)   How does such a vocabulary and grammar reconfigure the nature of subject, of, for example, self-awareness, consciousness, reflexivity, agency, habit and skill?


4: What are the relations between theories of affect and the political and the ethical?  

a)    Given events such as the enrolment of certain affects in the strategies of the new right, or the disclosure of an intimate public sphere, how could or how should a social and cultural theory of affect respond and engage with the contemporary political moment? 

b)    How to theorize the relation between affect and the political, around, for example, rethinking conceptions of power, resistance, the political decision, sovereignty, ideology or hegemony? 

c)    How to theorize the relation between affect and the ethical, around, for example, (in)justice, responsibility or alterity.


The cost of the conference will be approximately £50 (exlcuding accomodation and evening meals). We welcome proposals for 20 minute papers (to be followed by 10 minutes for discussion/questions) that address these and any other relevant questions or problems around affect. Papers can work through these questions/problems in multiple forms, for example through theoretical work, through empirical work, or through performance. 200 word abstracts to be sent to Ben Anderson (ben.anderson at durham.ac.uk) by 1st August 2006.  


On behalf of the organising committee: 


Dr Ben Anderson http://www.dur.ac.uk/geography/staff/geogstaffhidden/?mode=staff&id=985

Dr Paul Harrison http://www.dur.ac.uk/geography/research/researchclusters/?mode=staff&id=341

Dr Rachel Colls http://www.dur.ac.uk/geography/staff/geogstaffhidden/?mode=staff&id=2712

Dave Bissell http://www.dur.ac.uk/d.j.bissell/

Dan Swanton http://www.dur.ac.uk/geography/postgrad/students/?mode=staff&id=2280

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://bronzewing.cdu.edu.au/pipermail/csaa-forum/attachments/20060621/aaff6f9d/attachment.html 

More information about the csaa-forum mailing list