Call for Abstracts: Affect Theory Conference, due May 18

Together with Aren Aizura and Kyla Schuller, I will be organizing a stream of panels on the topic “Affect and its Queer Intersections: Race, Trans*, and Biopolitics” at a very exciting conference this fall, October 14-17, 2015.  bloodofmyblood

Affect Theory: Worldings | Tensions | Futures takes place at Miller’s University in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It is organized by the kickass team Gregory Seigworth, Heather Love and Lisa Marie Blackman. So CHECK IT OUT and remember: Monday 18 May is the deadline for ABSTRACTS to all of the streams… and please especially send in work for Stream #7.

All stream descriptions are downloadable as a pdf too. Spread the word! Get your abstract in! Affect Theory WTF! . Please be in touch with me if you want to discuss ideas for your paper or a panel.

Our stream description: “Affect and its Queer Intersections: Race, Trans*, and Biopolitics”

This stream solicits scholarship that searches for ways that affect theory can inform political discussions, activism, artistic interventions, and critical academic research. Our framing question is about how we reflectively analyze tense biopolitical atmospheres, with special attention to eruptions of racial tension and gender training spaces. Think: public restrooms, demonstrations, museums, community meetings, markets, taxi encounters, police shootings, fascist race riots. More broadly, the affective infrastructures of power and inequity are at stake. Theories of biopolitics and necropolitics describe the conceptual and actual means of forcing some to live and condemning others to (slowly) die. Affect theory has fruitfully been used to account for how to think the “micro” of embodiment and intersubjectivity within biopolitical and necropolitical state formations in racialized neoliberalism. Queer theory has similarly been a productive site of thinking affect and the micro through intimacy, sex and mediation. Yet queer theory itself has often been slow to fully embrace intersectionality and racialization as dominant processes of assemblage and subject formation. How might affect help us to attend to the multiple and competing ways that bodies, forces, and things are compelled to live, die, and signify?

In examining affective atmospheres as a mode of biopower, we seek to expand its temporal and geographic registers within and beyond the Euro-American world in the contemporary moment. We invite careful examination of the ways that affect serves as a register of racial, gender, and sexual formation across different spaces and times, a project that brings affect theory into conversation with important fields and disciplines it has tended to elide, such as black feminist theory, critical ethnic studies, postcolonial studies, the history of science, anthropology, queer of color critique, and trans studies. How does affect move throughout these different spaces? Does affect have a history? Toward what political trajectories are different notions of affect deployed?

In addition to these disciplinary approaches we suggest the following topics, concepts or analytics:

  • (Auto-)Ethnography of Micro-aggressions
  • Crowds and Mobs (Le Bon / Tarde)
  • Protest Cultures
  • Trans Triggers
  • Capitalism and Intimacy
  • Calling-In rather than Calling-Out
  • Safe Space Desires
  • Racial Intimacies (e.g. Queen, Stud)
  • Affective Geographies
  • Vitalisms and Racialization
  • “Gay Is the New Black” and other Affective Analogies
  • Sensation and Sentimentalism
  • Affect and Occupation
  • Bonds of War
  • Queer and Trans of Color Critique
  • Affective Performances of Normativity (Muñoz)
  • Cultural Production and Emergent Structures of Feeling (Williams)
  • Aesthetics of Framing and Getting Framed
  • Cruel Optimism (Berlant) and Attachment Theory
  • Affect and Diversity Labor (Ahmed)
  • Race, Sex, and the Nervous System
  • The Coloniality of Being and the De-colonial Option
  • Racializing Assemblages (Weheliye)
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