Symposium: Affect(ing)/Effect(ing)

28 August 2017 - 29 August 2017

9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Level 3 Function Rooms, Campus Hub Building (C10A), Macquarie University

The emergence of the concept of affect in recent scholarship raises important questions for research programs, strategies and positions across the humanities and social sciences. One effect of this recent scholarship on affect has been the articulation of alternatives to cognitivist approaches. By emphasizing and exploring moments of commitment and passion – as opposed to understanding, neutrality and rational elaboration – affect theory offers both a new social epistemology and new relationships between academic research/ers and the/ir ‘objects’ of study. These are characterized not so much by distanciation, universality and objectivity, but rather by entanglement, accountability and reflexivity. A renewed interest in affect – emotions, feelings, passions – has also led to new ways of thinking critically about problems of the contemporary moment, such as post-factualism.

The symposium seeks to explore how social and cultural research might navigate between theoretical and political calls to take seriously the epistemological challenges to paradigms of rationality posed by the dimension of affect on the one hand, and the potential for relapse into a destructive confrontation between rationalist-empiricist and affect-oriented approaches on the other. Affect may well be a useful concept in critical analysis of certain contemporary developments in public political deliberation, but it cannot be reduced to a label for anti-rationalist public politics. Rather, affect should be seen as an epistemological device and a dimension of social life that is entangled in co-constitutive dynamics with its (self-declared) respective others, such as rationality, neutrality, or cognitivism. The valorization of affect as part of co-constitutive dynamics located beyond ‘mere’ affect is at the core of the symposium’s program.

In short, the conference deals both with affect as an effect of meaning- and knowledge-making practices, and with affect as effecting these practices.

View Program details here

When:  28 August 2017 – 29 August 2017

Where: Level 3 Function Rooms, Campus Hub Building C10A, Macquarie University NSW 2109

Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Cost: Free

Parking: Free parking is available, a parking permit will be attached to the registration confirmation email

RSVP: Bookings are essential,  Register here


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Event contact

Nicole Anderson

(02) 9850 2258