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The affective politics of the early Frankfurt School
Author: Simon Mussell

This book offers a unique and timely reading of the early Frankfurt School in response to the recent 'affective turn' within the arts and humanities. It revisits some of the founding tenets of critical theory in the context of the establishment of the Institute for Social Research in the early twentieth century. The book focuses on the work of Walter Benjamin, whose varied engagements with the subject of melancholia prove to be far more mobile and complex than traditional accounts. It also looks at how an affective politics underpins critical theory's engagement with the world of objects, exploring the affective politics of hope. Situating the affective turn and the new materialisms within a wider context of the 'post-critical', it explains how critical theory, in its originary form, is primarily associated with the work of the Frankfurt School. The book presents an analysis of Theodor Adorno's form of social critique and 'conscious unhappiness', that is, a wilful rejection of any privatized or individualized notion of happiness in favour of a militant and political discontent. A note on the timely reconstruction of early critical theory's own engagements with the object world via aesthetics and mimesis follows. The post-Cold War triumphalism of many on the right, accompanied by claims of the 'end of history', created a sense of fearlessness, righteousness, and unfettered optimism. The book notes how political realism has become the dominant paradigm, banishing utopian impulses and diminishing political hopes to the most myopic of visions.

Critical theory and the affective turn
Simon Mussell

1 Thinking through feeling: critical theory and the affective turn The assumption that thought profits from the decay of the emotions, or even that it remains unaffected, is itself an expression of the process of stupefaction.1 In this opening chapter, I will begin by offering an overview of the particular form of critical theory on which this book will focus, namely that of the first-​ generation Frankfurt School, since I believe that there is still much of interest within this tradition of thought for our present time. I will then set out the contemporary

in Critical theory and feeling
Covert racism and affect in the United States post-9/11

‘I am the least racist person,’ Donald Trump declared. This book unpacks how it is possible for various American administrations to impose discriminatory counterterrorism (CT) and countering violent extremism (CVE) measures on Muslim communities and yet declare that ‘Islam is peace’ or that ‘Muslims are our friends’. The book addresses some of the paradoxes of the securitisation by linking discourses about the role of Muslims in the war on terror in the United States with covert forms of racism. The book is concerned with a securitisation that is covertly rather than overtly expressed, which enables securitising actors like Trump to deny plausibility of racism and claim that they are ‘the least racist person’. The book offers a critique of the ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ approaches to CT and CVE and advances an alternative way to understand radicalisation and terrorism by introducing a quantum perspective. Lastly, drawing on the affective turn, the book adds body to the analysis by theorising emotions and affect in the securitisation of Islam. The book argues that this covert securitisation constructs white American subjects as innocent, unprejudiced and living in a post-racial society averse to racism, whilst constructing Muslim subjects as potential terrorists and thus as sites of securitisation. This book is a timely analysis of the securitisation of Islam since 9/11 and presents an original study that contributes to debates on Islamophobia, white fragility and white victimhood, which have proliferated since the rise of far-right (populist) parties in Europe and the US.

Gardens and wilderness in ‘The Man who Went too Far’ by E. F. Benson and ‘The Man whom the Trees Loved’ by Algernon Blackwood
Ruth Heholt

practises stillness, observation and openness. Then, one day he hears a flute playing. It came from the reeds and the sky and from the trees: ‘It was everywhere, it was the sound of life. It was … as the Greeks would have said, it was Pan playing on his pipes, the voice of Nature. It was the life-melody, the world-melody’ (129–30). Frank moves away from a distanced observation of Nature and begins to respond affectively to it; the ‘affective turn’ in contemporary culture is discussed, for example, in cultural geography (Clough and Halley 2007 ). In this schema, the

in EcoGothic gardens in the long nineteenth century
Abstract only
Cora Fox, Bradley J. Irish, and Cassie M. Miura

modern Europe. Positive emotions, historical texts In drawing attention to positive emotions, this collection participates in two larger intellectual projects and interdisciplinary scholarly movements. The first is what Sara Ahmed has termed a ‘happiness turn’ in contemporary affect theory, reflecting a developing popular cultural interest in happiness and well-being. 4 The ‘happiness turn’ is an expansion and intensification of the much larger ‘affective turn

in Positive emotions in early modern literature and culture
Abstract only
Rob Boddice

there a cultural history of the emotions?’, in P. Gouk and H. Hills [eds], Representing Emotions: New Connections in the Histories of Art, Music and Medicine (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005 ), 35–48. 4 Recent surveys include B. Rosenwein, ‘Problems and methods in the history of emotions’, Passions in Context , 1 ( 2010 ): 1–32; S. Matt, ‘Current emotion research in history: Or doing history from the inside out’, Emotion Review , 3 ( 2011 ): 117–24; R. Boddice, ‘The affective turn: Historicizing the emotions’, in C. Tileagă and J. Byford [eds], Psychology

in The history of emotions
Open Access (free)
Mia-Marie Hammarlin

-science disciplines as well as on society in general. As time went by, this development came to be known as the affective turn, foregrounding – among other things – an acute need for an academic rapprochement between different disciplines, such as psychology and sociology (see Clough & O’Malley Halley 2007). The key role of emotions in the elementary forms of social life had been neglected for a long time, certain theoreticians claimed, and that neglect had impeded a socialscience-based understanding of the basic conditions of human beings here on earth. Since then, during the most

in Exposed
Pain in Dutch stock trade discourses and practices, 1600–1750
Inger Leemans

environment would always make the best choices. Marxists and socialists, on the other hand, labelled capitalism a cold system: a money-based system that deprived people of their happiness and affections towards their trade. The result was comparable: a separation of economics from affects or emotions. In recent years economics seems to have taken an affective turn. Economists have started to point out that our hypermodern, hyper-capitalistic lives are hyperemotional. A new field of ‘emotionomics’ is on the rise, researching how ‘animal spirits’ drive economic processes

in The hurt(ful) body
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Marguerite Dupree, Anne Marie Rafferty, and Fay Bound Alberti

about the rise of AMR aimed explicitly at a lay audience, demonstrating how high profile and highly emotive the issue has become. 5 This fear of ‘superbugs’ and politics of disgust harmonises with the ‘affective turn’ today. 6 The importance and power of the collective memory and the lived experience of patients, family and staff touched by the consequences of AMR have been moving to the fore, and are now the touchstone for scholarly accounts, news reports, television documentaries and the ability of hospitals and healthcare communities to develop new processes

in Germs and governance
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Jackie Stacey and Janet Wolff

example, Sara Ahmed, The Cultural Politics of Emotion; Lauren Berlant (ed.), Compassion: The Culture and Politics of an Emotion; Patricia Ticineto Clough, The ­Affective Turn: Theorizing the Social; Melissa Gregg and Gregory J. Seigworth (eds), The Affect Theory Reader; Sianne Ngai, Ugly Feelings; Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Adam Frank (eds), Shame and Its Sisters: A Silvan Tomkins Reader; Janet Staiger, Ann 11 Writing otherwise 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 ­ vetkovitch and Ann Reynolds (eds), Political Emotions; Kathleen Stewart, Ordinary C

in Writing otherwise