The Affect Theory Reader

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Melissa Gregg, Gregory J. Seigworth
Duke University Press, Nov 12, 2010 - FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS - 402 pages
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

 

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Great collection

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But the vexed questions of 'what is affect?' and 'can we know it properly if it is non-conceptual?' are not broached in the collection. Affect is one of those 'believe it or not' terms of human experience that works only for believers and not critical enquiring thinkers. Too much hype and not enough careful explication. 

Contents

An Inventory of Shimmers Gregory J Seigworth Melissa Gregg
1
One Impingements
27
Two Aesthetics and the Everyday
91
Three IncorporealInorganic
159
Four Managing Affects
227
Five After Affect
287
Worlding Refrains Kathleen Stewart
339
References
355
Contributors
381
Index
385
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About the author (2010)

Melissa Gregg works in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney in Australia. She is the author of Cultural Studies' Affective Voices.

Gregory J. Seigworth is a professor in communication and theater at Millersville University in Pennsylvania.

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