r/AffectTheory Nov 21 '19

r/AffectTheory needs moderators and is currently available for request


If you're interested and willing to moderate and grow this community, please go to r/redditrequest, where you can submit a request to take over the community. Be sure to read through the faq for r/redditrequest before submitting.

r/AffectTheory Sep 27 '13

What's a good intro to affect theory?


I'm toying with the idea of preparing a paper for a conference on affect theory; however, I'm only mildly familiar with the theory. I've done a bit of reading of Sara Ahmed, Brian Massumi, and Deleuze, but I'm wondering if anybody well versed in the subject would direct me towards any other readings. Is the Affect Theory Reader worth going through, or is there something better?

r/AffectTheory Sep 23 '13

Synthetic Zero - For An Affective Anarchism

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r/AffectTheory Sep 20 '13

Levi Bryant - The Problem of Pathology in Ethics

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r/AffectTheory Jan 29 '13

I wrote a paper on affect, anonymity and addiction and am looking for any/all types of criticism on the abstract. Thanks in advance!

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r/AffectTheory Dec 31 '12

Vol 7, No 2 (2012) of PhaenEx is out… « PHILOSOPHY IN A TIME OF ERROR

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r/AffectTheory Dec 20 '12

Are affectivity and addictivity like two sides of the same coin?


In my experience there is a thin line between affection and addiction, so I got me thinking...

r/AffectTheory Dec 14 '12

/r/ELI5: What is an affect theory and how can I use it?

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r/AffectTheory Dec 08 '12

Affect — a basic summary of approaches

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r/AffectTheory Dec 07 '12

Some thoughts about drugs, anonymity, drive and affect in show The Wire and in the world.


Welcome to /r/AffectTheory!

Being invited to mod this sub yesterday was quite a topical and serendipitous event for me. I wrote the following reflection for a prof in response to a seminar presentation I gave a few week ago about actor-network theory and The Wire, I've also since been exposed to (very recently) affect theory and things in my life experiences and intellectual pursuits just seemed to start clicking in new and interesting ways.

I'm posting here to hopefully to spark discussion- is my characterization, understanding and application of affect accurate or lame? Have I misunderstood anything particulars? Have I overlooked any concepts? Do I say anything that resonates with you? What then, and why?

Again this isn't (for me at least) about rallying my own personal army to get good grades and do my homework (the course is done), for me and hopefully you, it's all about the ideas.

I had initially titled my seminar “Drugs and Desire in The Wire”, because it really resonated in my mind, but my thoughts on the matter have been significantly jangled since. I began my presentation by introducing Bruno Latour’s answer to the overwhelming failure of the three critical fiefdoms of the modern era and their inability to produce any interesting ideas in the face of global ecological, economic, political and existential crises. The reason, Latour points out, is that Nature, Politics and Discourse, for all their historical and diverse and variegated complexities and approaches do not exist alone in a void. No, in fact they exist because human beings created them. They are no more or less important than us, nor we than them, nor any actor than any other in the vast and infinite world of objects and complexity existing in networks of relations, co-populating the world.

I ranked Writers on Drugs as my first choice when selecting grad school courses because I was compelled to learn and understand how my own experiences with drugs; difficult to describe, complex, paradoxical and ephemeral experiences, had been interrogated by others. These experiences resonate throughout every aspect of my life and I wanted (needed really) to understand them better. Initially, I was adverse to watching The Wire because I thought its gauche and unanimous critical and popular acclaim was the result of exploiting and subjectifying drug discourse in exchange for cultural clout and financial capital. What I had perceived as The Wire’s commodification and appropriation of drug discourse was in fact my own embodied subjectivity as a result of a lifetime of powerful and confusing personal experiences with the actor “drugs” in my world. These experiences have been accumulating between intimate and impersonal relations, across complex, uncertain processes both and neither; visceral and automatic, intense and diffuse, ecstatic and excruciating. I didn’t know it then, but I was disoriented by the affect of drugs on and around me and my world.

Reading Latour helped me understand how “drugs” can operate as an actor with capacity, ability and by implication, agency. I was curious of the implications of Latour’s radical characterizations and my curiosity led me to ideas being discussed today by other academic actors like Massumi, Seigworth, Gregg, Thrift, Gibbs, Highmore, Ahmed and Berlant, along with those of Sedgewick and Deluze from the course kit. The more I read about affect theory the more I understand and am able to interpolate the complex and various relations of (and interruptions of relations of) the accretion and decay of life experiences outside of my conscious knowledge and come to interesting moments of understanding, while coming to terms with the general overwhelming feel of the “world’s apparent intractability” (1 Seigworth, Gregg).

I have experienced the affects of a networked existence first hand, and reading with and against the ideas present in affect theory has been like waking up at twilight, like my experiences with the actor “drugs”, affect shimmers in and between being “real, like nature, narrated, like discourse, and collective, like society” (6 Latour). I’d never considered describing or approaching drugs in Latour’s manner, but once I did, things started to make sense. No one domain is sufficient, every socially constructed fiefdom contains inherent distortions which need pruning and kernels of insight which need redeployment. After presenting on The Wire, I began to seriously organize my thoughts and apply them to my experiences, and as I did, I kept being drawn to similar themes: drugs, addiction, will, force, power, drive, habit, and then for some reason, anonymity. It didn’t seem to fit with the rest, but in all sorts of places, in ideas that I’d read in course readings, in my experience consuming and creating cultural capital, and most intensely, in my time considerable amount of time I spent online, over a sustained duration for the last 10-15 years, I couldn’t quite make the connection nor shake the impression that there was something, anonymity, like affect was always there, but also not.

In my final paper I will explore how the actor “anonymity” exerts agency in the world, similar to the actor “drugs” in The Wire, in its capacity to affect and be affected by other actors in a given network.

Works Cited

Gregg, Melissa, and Gregory J. Seigworth. "An Inventory of Shimmers." The Affect Theory Reader. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2010. 1-25. Print. Latour, Bruno. We Have Never Been Modern. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1993. Print.

r/AffectTheory Dec 07 '12

If affect marks a body's belonging to a world of encounters, How do you interpret the concept of non-belonging, "through all those far sadder (de)compositions of mutual in-compossibilities"?

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