Blog Post

Blog Diss: Crowdsourcing Reading Lists, Part One-Affect Theory

Hey everyone,

Thanks for bearing with me last week as I began to work on my Statement of Research Plan. There’s still a fair amount of work to go on that, but hopefully it gave you a better idea of what I’m working on and how I’m currently thinking about the project. It also gave me a lot to think about in terms of how to 'translate' my written work into the blog format. (If you didn’t get a chance to check it out but want to, here’s the link to part one.)

This week, though, hopefully things can be more participatory for readers. Over the next few days I’ll be posting my reading lists, and I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions about what’s on them so far. Read something that isn’t on here and think it should be? Read something that is on here and think I (or anyone) should know about a particular aspect of it? I can’t promise to read everything if there’s a lot of feedback here, but I will definitely give a serious look at anything proposed, and I’d also be happy to engage in conversation about anything I have read/am in the process of reading.

I’m starting with the field of affect studies. I’ve tried to limit this field to general discussions of affect, as well as particular uses of affect theories within queer, critical race, gender, sexuality and disability studies. What this does not include, most importantly for our purposes, are discussions of affective/’immaterial’ labour (which will be in the materialist field) and discussions of affect and digital media (which will be in the digitial humanities/new media and critical media studies fields). There are obviously several texts that could work in other categories (the Nixon and the Illouz could both easily be under the materialist heading, for instance), but for now I’m making these somewhat arbitrary divisions in ways that make sense to me. If you have strong feelings about this rather provisional categorization, though, I welcome that feedback too!

So what do you think? Read something amazing lately? Want to advocate that something in the ‘maybe’ pile get moved to the ‘definite’ pile, or vice versa? Just let me know in the comments!

Affect Studies


Have Read

Ahmed, Sara. “Affective Economies.” Social Text 79.2 (Summer 2004): 117-139. Web.

Ahmed, Sara. The Promise of Happiness. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010. Print.

Berlant, Lauren. Cruel Optimism. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2011.

Brown, Wendy. “Wounded Attachments.” Political Theory 21.3 (1993): 390-410. Web. 2 December 2011.

Butler, Judith. Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable? New York: Verso, 2009. Print.

Hemmings, Clare. “Invoking Affect: Cultural Theory and the Ontological Turn.” Cultural Studies 19.5 (2005): 548-567. Web. 23 April 2011.

Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003. Print.

Williams, Raymond. “Structures of Feeling.” Marxism and Literature. New York: Oxford UP, 1977. 128-135. Print.


Have to Read

Ahmed, Sara. The Cultural Politics of Emotion. New York: Routledge, 2004. Print.

Berlant, Lauren. The Female Complaint: The Unfinished Business of Sentimentality in American Culture. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2008.

Berlant, Lauren. “The Subject of True Feeling: Pain, Privacy and Politics.” Cultural Pluralism, Identity Politics, and the Law. Eds. Austin Sarat and Thomas R. Kearns. Ann Arbor: U Michigan P, 1999. 49-84. Print.

Brown, Wendy. “Learning to Love Again: An Interview with Wendy Brown.” Contretemps 6 (January 2006): 25-42. Web. 24 January 2014.

Clough, Patricia T. “The Affective Turn: Political Economy, Biomedia and Bodies.” Theory Culture Society 25.1 (2008): 1-22. Web. 21 January 2014.

Donaldson, Elizabeth J and Catherine Prendergast. “Disability and Emotion: ‘There’s No Crying in Disability Studies!’” Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies 5.2 (2011): 129-135. Web. 15 January 2014.

Gregg, Melissa and Gregory J. Seigworth, eds. The Affect Theory Reader. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010. Print.

Hardt, Michael. “What Affects are Good For.” The Affective Turn: Theorizing the Social. Patricia Ticineto Clough and Jean Hally, eds. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2007. Ix-xii. Print.

hooks, bell. All About Love: New Visions. New York: William Morrow, 2000. Print.

Leys, Ruth. “The Turn to Affect: A Crtique.” Critical Inquiry 37.3 (2011): 434-472. Web. 14 June 2013.

Love, Heather. Feeling Backward: Loss and the Politics of Queer History. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard UP, 2007.

Massumi, Brian. Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2002. Print.

Muñoz, José Esteban. “Feeling Brown: Ethnicity and Affect in Ricardo Bracho’s The Sweetest Hangover (and Other STDs).” Theatre Journal 52.1 (2000): 67-79.

Ngai, Sianne. Ugly Feelings. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005. Print.

Snediker, Michael D. Queer Optimism: Lyric Personhood and Other Felicitous Persuasions. Minneapolois: U Minnesota P, 2009. Print. 

Stewart, Kathleen. Ordinary Affects. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007. Print.

Thrift, Nigel. “Intensities of Feeling: Towards a Spatial Politics of Affect.” Geografiska Annaler Series B: Human Geography 86.1 (2004): 78-78. Web. 3 March 2012.


Might Read

Brennan, Teresa. The Transmission of Affect. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2004. Print.

Clare, Eli. Exile & Pride: Disability, Queerness, Liberation. Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 2009. Print.

Cvetkovich, Ann. An Archive of Feelings; Trauma, Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Cultures. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003. Print.

Eng, David L. The Feeling of Kinship: Queer Liberalism and the Racialization of Intimacy. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2010.

Flatley, Jonathan. Affective Mapping: Melancholia and the Politics of Modernism. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 2008. Print.

Hesford, Victoria. “The Politics of Love: Women’s Liberation and the Politics of Feeling Differently.” Feminist Theory 10.1 (2009): 5-33. Web. 16 February 2011.

Illouz, Eva. Cold Intimacies: The Making of Emotional Capitalism. Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2007. Print.

Mouffe, Chantal and Ernesto Laclau. “Hope, Passion, Politics.” Hope: New Philosophies for Change. Ed. Mary Zournazi. New York: Routledge, 2002. 122-149. Print.

Nixon, Rob. Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard UP, 2011.

Potamianou, Anna. Hope: A Shield in the Economy of Borderline States. Trans. Phillip Slotkin. New York: Routledge, 1997. Print.



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