2014

How to Feel About Affect

October 23-25, 2014

Keynote speaker: Jonathan Flatley

Call for Papers

This conference aims to clarify and enrich the turn to affect studies. Part of the difficulty of theorizing affect has been an apparent inaccessibility, which often lead to emphases on the subject’s feelings or autonomic responses. Thus there are uncomfortable spaces between affective criticism on the one hand and concepts of emotion, ideology, material reality, and history on the other. Nevertheless, affect offers interesting new ways of thinking through these categories. Rather than something purely subjective or a kind of repurposing of negative emotions, we think affect demands attention as a kind of (literary) criticism. Put differently, can affect be transformative, as for example when an affective map makes “possible the conversion of a depressive melancholia into a way to be interested in the world” (Flatley)?

Our 14th annual conference seeks to explore whether affect is productively considered nonconscious and autonomic and whether it offers new artistic, cultural, or political prospects. Is affect subjective, or is it something we can historicize, periodize, and orient toward politics? How does affect relate to or differ from emotions, feelings, and types of embodiment in our historical context? How do we historicize the affective turn itself? Can affect provide a hermeneutic for literary criticism? What kind of prospects for cultural and interdisciplinary studies open up in the affective turn?

Possible topics include but are certainly not limited to:
positive and negative feelings
happiness and optimism
depression and pessimism
loss, trauma, and melancholia
community and sociability
affective politics
art and media
literature and poetics
liking and taste
queer affects
geopolitical and transnational affects
the autonomic
sensoria
digital affects
neuroscience and the humanities
bodies and posthumanism
creative presentations (fiction, poetry, short film, etc.)

This conference is interdisciplinary; we welcome submissions from a variety of fields. Please send an abstract of up to 250 words for a 20-minute presentation. Please include a few keywords for your presentation, along with your contact information and affiliation. Send abstracts to ufl.ego@gmail.com by August 18, 2014. We will also consider panel proposals. Please submit the abstracts of the panelists along with a rationale and description of what the panel seeks to accomplish. Creative (fiction, poetry, short-films, art, etc.) presentations are welcome as well. Please indicate any A/V requirements (DVD player and data projection available). Authors of accepted papers will be notified by September 15, 2014.

Program

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23
PANELS, PUGH HALL 210

Region and Nation: 2:10-3:50 | Moderator: Asmaa Ghonim
Lorn Hillaker, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
“The East German Smile: An Intermedial Study of Affect in East German Propaganda,1956-1989”
Carlos Hernández, University of Florida
“Historicizing Affect and Nation: Lessons from Nineteenth-Century Mexico”
LeAnne Arnold, Northwestern State University of Louisiana
“Does Affect Heal?: Traiteurs (Cajun Faith Healers) in South Louisiana”

Digital Affect: 4:00-5:40 | Moderator: Sam Grenrock
Jacob Greene, University of Florida
“Premediated News Coverage of Florida Sinkholes”
Anastasia Kozac, University of Florida
““Ok, Google, Translate This”: Exploring the Logic of Immediacy in Online Translation”
Melissa Bianchi, University of Florida
“Hop, Clop, and Plop: Exploring Animal Alterity through Video Game Affect”
Kyle Bohunicky, University of Florida
“Affective Writing Networks in Digital Games”

FRIDAY 24 OCTOBER
PANELS, PUGH HALL 210

Melancholy: 9:00-10:20am | Moderator: Berit Brink
Timothy Michael Robinson, University of Florida
“Melancholia and American war veterans in contemporary art cinema: The Master, Nebraska, and The Hurt Locker”
Kajsa K. Henry, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
“Affect in the Ruins: Tyree Guyton’s Heidelberg Project”

Crowds: 10:30-11:50am | Moderator: Jonathan Hernandez
Melanie Seddon, University of Portsmouth
“The Literary Affect of the City: B. S. Johnson’s Albert Angelo”
Chris Michaels, Florida State University
“Aesthetic Violence: Materiality and Affect in Artaud”
Phillip Grech, Florida State University
“The Emergence of Affect in Crowds for Melville, Poe, and Whitman”

Lunch: 12:00-1:00

Queer Affect: 1:00-2:00 | Moderator: Justin Grant
Amber Christensen, York University
“Becoming an Image: Trauma, Affect and Memory”
Derrick King, University of Florida
“The Antinomies of Temporality: Narrative, Affect, and Neutralization in Sarah Orne Jewett’s Queer Utopias”

Introspection and Spectatorship: 2:10-3:30 | Moderator: Spencer Chalifour
Cristina Ruiz-Poveda, University of Florida
“The Role of Affect in Spiritual Film”
Mary Roca, University of Florida
“Private Spaces: Adapting the Outdoors inPride and Prejudice and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries”
Trevor Weisong Gao, University of Florida
“Beautiful Shame: Identity and Disability in the Dance Performance Thousand Hands Buddha”

Visual Media: 3:40-4:40 | Moderator: Jackie Elliott
Spencer Chalifour, University of Florida
“The Affect of Effects: Violence, Rage, and Meditation in The Question”
Asmaa Ghonim, University of Florida
“The Affect Effect: Can Snapshots Capture Knowledgeable Bodies?”

SATURDAY 25 OCTOBER
PANELS, PUGH HALL 210

Tour of the Samuel P. Harm Museum of Art: 10:00am-Noon
Currently on display is the exhibit “Art, Technology & The Natural World.” Notably, several works on loan from the Andy Warhol Foundation will be at the Harn until July 2015. We would like to invite any and all conference-goers to join us for a tour of the exhibit with Curator of Contemporary Art, Kerry Oliver-Smith. After all, it was the pop art of Warhol that Jameson famously analyzed in relation to the “waning of affect” in Postmodernism.

Lunch: 12:00-1:00

Poetry and Fiction: 1:00-2:20 | Moderator: Paulette Bane
Bryce Emley, North Carolina State University
“Art is Affect: A Conceptual Challenge to Reader Emotion”
Asmaa Ghonim, University of Florida
“1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10: And The There Were None”
Sam Grenrock, University of Florida
““I Like It, But I Don’t Know Why”: Poetry’s Historical Affects”

Affective Labor: 2:30-3:50 | Moderator: Barbara Mennel
Mitch R. Murray, University of Florida
“Financial Horror, Missing Labor and the Affective Turn”
Kenneth Kidd, University of Florida
“Feeling Like a Chair”
Sarika Chandra: Global Food Crisis and the Agrarian Question

4:15-5:15, Ustler Hall Atrium, 2nd Floor
The contradictions of capitalism are sharply evident in the systemic failures of food production and distribution. Capitalist crises and the resulting austerity programs across the world have significantly reduced the ability to secure food for many. This talk will attempt to theorize the crisis by looking at some of the critical literature on food politics. Situating the politics of food in a broader framework of agrarian social relations and imperialism, the discussion will pose the question of contemporary political imagination.

Jonathan Flatley: Reading for Mood
5:30-7:00, Ustler Hall Atrium, 2nd Floor
This paper examines the usefulness of mood as a critical term at the current moment. Beginning with a consideration of the distinct places of affect in aesthetic theory and in critical reading practices, it makes a case for mood, or Stimmung (which could also be translated as attunement, and which I borrow from Martin Heidegger) as a critical concept that helps us to read for the historicity and potentially political effects of aesthetic practices. I propose that Walter Benjamin’s work on Baudelaire offers us one methodological model for “reading for mood,” and then discuss how mood has been important for the work I’ve been doing on Andy Warhol’s promiscuous, persistent and queer liking, and the way he pursues his liking practice through a promotion of likenesses, a stimulation of what Walter Benjamin called the mimetic faculty, the ability to perceive and produce similarities. I conclude with a reading of Warhol’s film Sleep and the mood of boredom.

Reception: 8:00-10:00

 

Program PDF available here.

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