Post/Doc Perspectives: The Nano-Politics of Affect
26th April 2016
Affect has become one of the key terms in contemporary critical thought and within post-deconstructive cultural studies. But, why are so many scholars in the humanities and social sciences fascinated by the idea of affect? Affect, as I will argue, does not only serve as a ‘new’ scientific concept, but even more as an ethical category and as a nano-political strategy conjuring the belief in the recreative value of affective connections as well as in affect’s capacity to exceed social subjection. In order to critically investigate the political potential of affect, one has to understand the theoretical claim for affect as a product of our current socio-historic condition. In my lecture I will demonstrate that the so-called affective turn represents an epistemological shift not only within critical-academic, artistic, and ethico-political discourses, but also in the overall way we envision social reality and humanity. Theorizing affect requires a quite specific social ontology. Taking this into account I want to disentangle the premises of affect theory to, first, analyze the underlying onto-political belief system that fuels affect theory in order to, secondly, demonstrate in how far this represents a new notion of the social, a vital political hope that is conditioned by the metaphysics of late capitalism.
Veronika Zink (JLU, Gießen, GER)
Main Research Interests
Sociology of Religion and Secularism
Economic Anthropology and Political Economy
Sociology of Emotions and Affect Studies
With Bernd Giesen, Francis Le Maitre, Nils Meise: Überformungen. Wir ohne Nichts. Weilerswist: Velbrück, in Print.
With Johanna Fernandez and Danae Gallo Gonzalez: W(h)ither Identity. Positioning the Self and Transforming the Social. Trier: VWT, 2015.
Von der Verehrung. Eine kultursoziologische Untersuchung. Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2014.