Raymond Williams coined the notion "structure of feeling" in the 1970s to facilitate a historical understanding of "affective elements of consciousness and relationships." Since then, the need to understand emotions, moods and atmospheres as historical and social phenomena has only become more acute in an era of social networking, ubiquitous media and a public sphere permeated by commodities and advertisement culture. Concomitantly, affect studies have become one of the most thriving branches of contemporary humanities and social sciences. This volume explores the significance of the study of affectivity for already thriving fields of cultural analysis such as media studies, memory studies, gender studies and cultural studies at large. The volume is divided into four sections. The first part, Producing Affect, brings together contributions which explore some of the ways in which new media works to produce and intensify affectivity. The essays making up the second part, Affective Pasts, explore the significance of affect to the ways we remember, commemorate and in other ways get hold of things in our recent and not so recent past – or fail to do so. The essays engage the affective production of presence in contexts such as 9/11, the emotional culture of the eighteenth century, and literary auto-fiction. The third part, Affective Thinking, examines various concepts, theories, and forms of thinking not so much to show how the thinking in question may inform the field of affect studies but rather in order to draw attention to the way in which these modes of thinking are themselves already attuned to matters of affect. New social relations and ways of being in a networked world are the common themes of the essays in the final part of the volume, Circulating Affect.
Structures of Feeling in Seventeenth-Century Cultural Expression explores how artists made use of various cultural forms - notably the visual arts, poetry, theatre, music, and dance - to grapple with human values in the increasingly heterodox world of the 1600s.
This publication "makes available two decades of work by the pioneering scholar of Spanish cultural studies, Jo Labanyi, covering literature, cinema, painting, photography, and memory studies, with a frequent focus on gender. The essays explore the ways in which cultural texts serve as a vehicle for negotiating cultural anxieties, through their encoding of emotional structures that reveal social tensions and contradictions. The discussion of a wide range of Spanish texts, from the early nineteenth-century to the present, traces stages in the history of the emotions and their imbrication in political processes. The essays have in common an attempt to read against the grain; in many cases, the focus on gender is what makes that possible."--Publisher's website.
In this book, Glenn Hendler explores what he calls the "logic of sympathy" in novels by Walt Whitman, Louisa May Alcott, T. S. Arthur, Martin Delany, Horatio Alger, Fanny Fern, Nathaniel Parker Willis, Henry James, Mark Twain, and William Dean Howells. For these nineteenth-century writers, he argues, sympathetic identification was not strictly an individual, feminizing, and private feeling but the quintessentially public sentiment--a transformative emotion with the power to shape social institutions and political movements. Uniting current scholarship on gender in nineteenth-century American culture with historical and theoretical debates on the definition of the public sphere in the period, Hendler shows how novels taught diverse readers to "feel right," to experience their identities as male or female, black or white, middle or working class, through a sentimental, emotionally based structure of feeling. He links novels with such wide-ranging cultural and political discourses as the temperance movement, feminism, and black nationalism. Public Sentiments demonstrates that, whether published for commercial reasons or for higher moral and aesthetic purposes, the nineteenth-century American novel was conceived of as a public instrument designed to play in a sentimental key.
This book examines linguistic expressions of emotion in intensional contexts and offers a formally elegant account of the relationship between language and emotion. The author presents a compelling case for the view that there exist, contrary to popular belief, logical universals at the intersection of language and emotive content. This book shows that emotive structures in the mind that are widely assumed to be not only subjectively or socio-culturally variable but also irrelevant to a general theory of cognition offer an unusually suitable ground for a formal theory of emotive representations, allowing for surprising logical and cognitive consequences for a theory of cognition. Challenging mainstream assumptions in cognitive science and in linguistics, this book will appeal to linguists, philosophers of the mind, linguistic anthropologists, psychologists and cognitive scientists of all persuasions.
This anthology brings together classic perspectives on violence, putting into productive conversation the thought of well-known theorists and activists, including Hannah Arendt, Karl Marx, G. W. F. Hegel, Osama bin Laden, Sigmund Freud, Frantz Fanon, Thomas Hobbes, and Pierre Bourdieu. The volume proceeds from the editors' contention that violence is always historically contingent; it must be contextualized to be understood. They argue that violence is a process rather than a discrete product. It is intrinsic to the human condition, an inescapable fact of life that can be channeled and reckoned with but never completely suppressed. Above all, they seek to illuminate the relationship between action and knowledge about violence, and to examine how one might speak about violence without replicating or perpetuating it. On Violence is divided into five sections. Underscoring the connection between violence and economic world orders, the first section explores the dialectical relationship between domination and subordination. The second section brings together pieces by political actors who spoke about the tension between violence and nonviolence—Gandhi, Hitler, and Malcolm X—and by critics who have commented on that tension. The third grouping examines institutional faces of violence—familial, legal, and religious—while the fourth reflects on state violence. With a focus on issues of representation, the final section includes pieces on the relationship between violence and art, stories, and the media. The editors' introduction to each section highlights the significant theoretical points raised and the interconnections between the essays. Brief introductions to individual selections provide information about the authors and their particular contributions to theories of violence. With selections by: Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin, Osama bin Laden, Pierre Bourdieu, André Breton, James Cone, Robert M. Cover, Gilles Deleuze, Friedrich Engels, Frantz Fanon, Michel Foucault, Sigmund Freud, Mohandas Gandhi, René Girard, Linda Gordon, Antonio Gramsci, Félix Guattari, G. W. F. Hegel, Adolf Hitler, Thomas Hobbes, Bruce B. Lawrence, Elliott Leyton, Catharine MacKinnon, Malcolm X, Dorothy Martin, Karl Marx, Chandra Muzaffar, James C. Scott, Kristine Stiles, Michael Taussig, Leon Trotsky, Simone Weil, Sharon Welch, Raymond Williams
An overview of the filmmaking of postcolonial, Third World, and other displaced individuals living in the West. How their personal experiences of exile or diaspora translate into cinema is a key focus of the text. The text presents comprehensive and global coverage of this genre.
The surprising claim of this book is that dwelling on loss is not necessarily depressing. Instead, embracing melancholy can be a road back to contact with others and can lead people to productively remap their relationship to the world around them. Flatley demonstrates that a seemingly disparate set of modernist writers and thinkers showed how aesthetic activity can give us the means to comprehend and change our relation to loss.
What does it mean to live during wartime away from the battle zone? What is it like for citizens to go about daily routines while their country sends soldiers to kill and be killed across the globe? Timely and thought-provoking, War at a Distance considers how those left on the home front register wars and wartime in their everyday lives, particularly when military conflict remains removed from immediate perception, available only through media forms. Looking back over two centuries, Mary Favret locates the origins of modern wartime in the Napoleonic era and describes how global military operations affected the British populace, as the nation's army and navy waged battles far from home for decades. She reveals that the literature and art produced in Britain during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries obsessively cultivated means for feeling as much as understanding such wars, and established forms still relevant today. Favret examines wartime literature and art as varied as meditations on the Iliad, the history of meteorology, landscape painting in India, and popular poetry in newspapers and periodicals; she locates the embedded sense of war and dislocation in works ranging from Austen, Coleridge, and Wordsworth to Woolf, Stevens, and Sebald; and she contemplates how literature provides the public with methods for responding to violent calamities happening elsewhere. Bringing to light Romanticism's legacy in reflections on modern warfare, this book shows that war's absent presence affects home in deep and irrevocable ways.
In Encountering Affect, Ben Anderson explores why understanding affect matters and offers one account of affective life that hones in the different ways in which affects are ordered. Intervening in debates around non-representational theories, he argues that affective life is always-already ‘mediated’ - the never finished product of apparatuses, encounters and conditions. Through a wide range of examples including dread-debility-dependency in torture, ordinary hopes, and precariousness, Anderson shows the significance of affect for understanding life today.
The past decades have seen significant advances in the sociological understanding of human emotion. Sociology has shown how culture and society shape our emotions and how emotions contribute to micro- and macro-social processes. At the same time, the behavioral sciences have made progress in understanding emotion at the level of the individual mind and body. Emotion and Social Structures embraces both perspectives to uncover the fundamental role of affect and emotion in the emergence and reproduction of social order. How do culture and social structure influence the cognitive and bodily basis of emotion? How do large-scale patterns of feeling emerge? And how do emotions promote the coordination of social action and interaction? Integrating theories and evidence from disciplines such as psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience, Christian von Scheve argues for a sociological understanding of emotion as a bi-directional mediator between social action and social structure. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of the sociology of emotion, microsociology, and cognitive sociology, as well as social psychology, cognitive science, and affective neuroscience.
Over the past few decades, we have witnessed the growth of movements using digital means to connect with broader interest groups and express their points of view. These movements emerge out of distinct contexts and yield different outcomes, but tend to share one thing in common: online and offline solidarity shaped around the public display of emotion. Social media facilitate feelings of engagement, in ways that frequently make people feel re-energized about politics. In doing so, media do not make or break revolutions but they do lend emerging, storytelling publics their own means for feeling their way into events, frequently by making those involved a part of the developing story. Technologies network us but it is our stories that connect us to each other, making us feel close to some and distancing us from others. Affective Publics explores how storytelling practices facilitate engagement among movements tuning into a current issue or event by employing three case studies: Arab Spring movements, various iterations of Occupy, and everyday casual political expressions as traced through the archives of trending topics on Twitter. It traces how affective publics materialize and disband around connective conduits of sentiment every day and find their voice through the soft structures of feeling sustained by societies. Using original quantitative and qualitative data, Affective Publics demonstrates, in this groundbreaking analysis, that it is through these soft structures that affective publics connect, disrupt, and feel their way into everyday politics.
Fifteen thought-provoking essays engage in an innovative dialogue between cultural studies of affect, feelings and emotions, and digital cultures, new media and technology. The volume provides a fascinating dialogue that cuts across disciplines, media platforms and geographic and linguistic boundaries.
The Dynasty Years documents and analyses in detail 'the Dynasty phenomenon', the hotly debated success of the Hollywood-made 'Rolls Royce of a primetime soap' which heralded a profound transformation of European television. From the operatic camp of Krystle and Alexis' fight in the lilypond or the Moldavian wedding massacre to the unprecedented gay sub-plot, Dynasty represented, in the words of co-producer Esther Shapiro, "the ultimate dollhouse fantasy for middle-aged women". Using evidence from audience survey results, newspaper and magazine clippings and letters to broadcasters and drawing on semiotics, psychoanalysis, feminism and critical social theories, Jostein Gripsrud examines every aspect of Dynasty's production, reception and context. The result is a groundbreaking critical study. Jostein Gripsrud offers a theoretical but empirically grounded critique of many central positions in media studies, including notions of 'audience resistance' and the 'sovereign' audience and its freedom in meaning-making, arguing against what he perceives as the uncritical celebrations of the soap-opera genre in much contemporary media criticism.
We take for granted the idea that white, middle-class, straight masculinity connotes total control of emotions, emotional inexpressivity, and emotional isolation. That men repress their feelings as they seek their fortunes in the competitive worlds of business and politics seems to be a given. This collection of essays by prominent literary and cultural critics rethinks such commonly held views by addressing the history and politics of emotion in prevailing narratives about masculinity. How did the story of the emotionally stifled U.S. male come into being? What are its political stakes? Will the "release" of straight, white, middle-class masculine emotion remake existing forms of power or reinforce them? This collection forcefully challenges our most entrenched ideas about male emotion. Through readings of works by Thoreau, Lowell, and W. E. B. Du Bois, and of twentieth century authors such as Hemingway and Kerouac, this book questions the persistence of the emotionally alienated male in narratives of white middle-class masculinity and addresses the political and social implications of male emotional release.