The affect theory reader

The affect theory reader / edited by Melissa Gregg and Gregory J. Seigworth.Publisher: Durham, NC : Duke University Press, 2010.Description: xi, 402 pages ; 24 cm.ISBN: 082234758X; 0822347768; 9780822347583; 9780822347767.

Happy objects / Sara Ahmed — Future birth of the affective fact : the political ontology of threat / Brian Massumi — Writing shame / Elspeth Probyn — Cruel optimism / Lauren Berlant — Bitter after taste : affect, food, and social aesthetics / Ben Highmore — An ethics of everyday infinities and powers : Félix Guattari on affect and the refrain / Lone Bertlesen and Andrew Murphie — Modulating the excess of affect : morale in a state of “total war” / Ben Anderson — After affect : sympathy, synchrony, and mimetic communication / Anna Gibbs — Affective turn : political economy, biomedia, and bodies / Patricia T. Clough — Eff the Ineffable : affect, somatic management, and mental health service users / Steven D. Brown and Ian Tucker — On Friday night drinks : workplace affects in the age of the cubicle / Melissa Gregg — Desiring recognition, accumulating affect / Megan Watkins — Understanding the material practices of glamour / Nigel Thrift — Affect‘s future : rediscovering the virtual in the actual / Lawrence Grossberg (an interview with Gregory J. Seigworth and Melissa Gregg).

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.

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