Affect and embodiment.

Callard, Felicity and Papoulias, Constantina (2010) Affect and embodiment. In: Memory: histories, theories, debates. Radstone, Susannah and Schwarz, Bill, eds. Fordham University Press, New York, pp. 246-262. ISBN 9780823232604. [Book Section]


The desire to understand and conceptualise experience has been one of the animating forces underlying work in the humanities and the literature of memory in particular. In the course of the last fifteen years, this conceptualisation is manifesting as a turn to the study of affect and/or the emotions. Such a turn has meant that the understanding of memory (whether individual or social) has become tethered to non-representational embodied models. Affect is seductive to cultural theorists insofar as it is understood as not entirely bound by any psychic or social structuration and working beneath the threshold of representation, thereby problematising the models through which both memory and subjectivity have been apprehended in cultural theory. In turning their attention to affect, these scholars have increasingly engaged psychological and scientific literatures in order to undo what they see as the hegemony of representational theories in the understanding of experience within the humanities and social sciences. Our chapter interrogates the distinction between representation and affect as it is staged in several overlapping disciplines and fields of inquiry: psychoanalysis, developmental psychology, and neuroscience, and literature from the humanities and social sciences that manifests a turn to affect. In so doing, this chapter attempts to elucidate some of what is at stake in relation to conceptualisations of both memory and affect when such interdisciplinary crossings take place.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts
Item ID: 7542
Depositing User: Dr Constantina Papoulias
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2011 12:25
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:22

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