Colloquium on Affect Generates Good Affect/Ideo(logies)

15 faculty and advanced doctoral students assembled at the University of Georgia on February 20, 2009 to discuss readings on affect by Brian Massumi, Lauren Berlant, and Theresa Brennan. As befitted the topic, the discussions were lively, good-natured, and far-ranging. The readings and the participants’ diverse interests generated wide-ranging discussions of rhetoric’s engagement with the “affective turn”. Participants hailed from Georgia State, U of North Carolina, Mississippi State, U of Minnesota, and Syracuse.
The discussion raised many issues, including: 1) the difficulty of generating methods for studying “affect” due to its innately supra-linguistic character, 2) the potential for affect to provide dynamic “pauses” that enable resistance, 3) the “subtractive” processes by which affects are “captured” by speeches, monuments, agents and institutions of mass media, etc., 4) the relationship of affect to signifying systems (especially language) and Symbolization (in psycho-analytic and non-psa senses).
Participants were asked to submit three recommended readings to
ccondit@uga.edu. The reading list generated thereby will be posted to this website.



Stace Treat (U North Carolina) and Barb Biesecker (U Georgia), one of the session’s organizers, share an affective moment.



Sam Perry (Georgia State), Andrew Barnes (Georgia State), and Blake Abbott (Georgia) join in the discussion.



One unidentified graduate student joins Lisa Slawter-Volkening, Bethany Keeley, and Jamie Landau (all of U Georgia)



Erin Rand (Syracuse) and Megan Foley (Mississippi State)

Readings:


Brian Massumi's, "The Autonomy of Affect" (PARABLES FOR THE VIRTUAL)

Teresa Brennan's "Interpreting the Flesh" (THE TRANSMISSION OF AFFECT)

Lauren Berlant's "Cruel Optimism: On Marx, Loss and the Senses" (New Formations, Winter 2007/2008, Issue 63, p. 33-51).