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Beginning in the mids there was increasingly consensus that the tools and principles of poststructuralism were unable to accommodate or even recognize central facts about human experience, those that did not rise or fall to the level of signification. The privilege granted to language in poststructuralism filtered out pre-cognitive modes of awareness that were felt to be more basic, even more real than the ideated forms of linguistic apprehension.

Affect theory does discontinuity with a difference. Affects are of a different ontological order from linguistic representation, so that even the most advanced modes of poststructural analysis end up privileging language and the subjectivity it generates. The Affect Theory Reader shows how affect can be deployed in a range of frameworks including the neurological, psychological, social, cultural, philosophical and political, and that there is room for debate among these various fields—above all between the Deleuze-inspired writings of Brian Massumi and his followers, and that of the more scientifically-minded followers of Eve Sedgwick, whose work was formulated in dialogue with affect psychologist Silvan Tomkins 1 —but there is much more room for agreement among the various camps.

And the agreement hinges on a core claim. The difference in kind between affect and meaning, experience and representation, sense and significance, is a categorical assumption of affect theory and one I propose to interrogate here. Part of the project of affect theory is to go back precisely to those poststructuralist masters—at least some of them, Lacan and Derrida, for instance, are conspicuously absent—but more often it is to seek an alternate genealogy in the deeper past. Lone Bertelsen and Andrew Murphie take their cue from Deleuze and Guattari in their philosophical reading of a political incident.

They write:.

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It becomes the mark, the possibility of a new event a new virtual potential for things to happen differently , of a new set of physical territories …and of a new set of existential territories these include…new modes of living, new laws, new sign systems,…new emotions and feelings, new powers to affect and be affected. In sum, a new field of expression arises.

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At the bottom of every interpretation, understanding, analysis, meaning, was red. Affects, that is, are not only ontologically parallel with cognition, they are prior to it. All thought is an afterthought. Even the skeptics of the affective reduction reiterate its terms. According to Grossberg, Massumi and Co.

Once you recognize that culture love, poetry, rock music, desire , and not economics, is the real problem, then your theory is fit for the unemployed and the CEO alike. In the absence of a proper introduction, Chapter One situates the book within the literature on national identity and ethnicity and introduces the key concepts guiding the analysis. Discourse plays a key role in the mutual constitution of ethno-politicisation and ethnicisation.

Introduction to Affect Theory: Brian Massumi & Eve Sedgwick

Discourse becomes a vehicle for the circulation of affect, with semiotic commonplaces as the basic elements linking the affective and the discursive, to potentially generate an array of axes of collective solidarity, whilst performativity contributes to determine which of these will become politically relevant. Thus performativity is closely connected to agency, here presented as intersubjectively generated. I would like to encourage them to resist such temptation. Once applied to the empirical findings, the theoretical framework will not only make much more sense, but, above all, it will provide a deeper understanding of the dynamics at stake.

But the reading nevertheless flows, even if densely packed with historic details as well as analytical insights.

Politics of Affect

It is clear the author has spared no efforts in his data collection, and the book includes an array of information not previously known or adequately explored. The following two chapters explore resource mobilisation, focusing on the organisational resources available Chapter Five , as well as the material resources, including funding, access to media technologies and to weaponry Chapter Six. Finally, the author examines cultural framings to analyse the performative structure of SDS discourse before and after the election campaign through an exploration of its master frames Chapter Seven and collective action frames Chapters Eight and Nine.

Looks like you are currently in Finland but have requested a page in the United States site. Would you like to change to the United States site? Brian Massumi.

The politics of affect in: Focaal Volume Issue 83 ()

This simple definition opens a world of questions - by indicating an openness to the world. To affect and to be affected is to be in encounter, and to be in encounter is to have already ventured forth. Adventure: far from being enclosed in the interiority of a subject, affect concerns an immediate participation in the events of the world.

It is about intensities of experience.

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What is politics made of, if not adventures of encounter? What are encounters, if not adventures of relation? The moment we begin to speak of affect, we are already venturing into the political dimension of relational encounter. This is the dimension of experience in-the-making.

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