Archive for October, 2007

On “affective turn”

to read: Cultural studies (19.5)

Pedagogy 2005 5(1):151-156; DOI:10.1215/15314200-5-1-151

St. Ovid: The Patron Poet of the Contact Zone

Gray Kochhar-Lindgren


A word about the Public (notes to myself)

Public rhetorics are “archival” in character. They comprise texts, feelings, images, etc. A person’s “publicness” is actually a statement of their involvement in certain archives over others.

  • Considering the public after affect studies: The Public not as multiple-individuals.
  • but rather the public as archive. Public not only context of content, but (also) context of affect (use rhetorical ecologies piece). the archive itself circulates and these texts take on lives beyond their original contexts.
    • Case study
  • Public/rhetorical involvement of individuals = a proximity to and use of certain archives over others
    • Case study
  • Changing public discourse = disarticulation in the archive
    • Case study
  • Teaching public rhetoric? Teaching affect?

The point of the book? Defining public rhetoric as a proximity to affective archive, rather than as the deliberation of individuals through texts.

Taxonomies: The “affect” in “Affect Studies”

I’ll organize this by author first, and then topologically.*

*(In other words, this is a growing post.)

1. Theresa Brennan’s The Transmission of Affect.

TAG: sociality

Affects are “material, physiological things” (6). Affects transmit between bodies, and between bodies and environments. This tells us that there “is no secure distinction between the ‘individual’ and the ‘environment'” (6). These quotation marks around these two words indicates one of the keys to understanding affect. Affect is not personal feeling, but is instead the means through which bodies act in context with each other. Affect’s sociality is more than a group of individuals: “[T]he emotions of two are not the same as the emotions of one plus one” (51). According to Brennan, this sociality is the zone of relations between “you” and “me.” She writes, “My affect, if it comes across to you, alters your anatomical makeup for good or ill” (74). Not only are we together in a social sense, we are one another.

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