'Happy Objects'

Ahmed, Sara. 2010. 'Happy Objects'. In: Melissa Gregg and Gregory J. Seigworth, eds. The Affect Theory Reader. Duke University Press, pp. 29-51. ISBN 978-0822347767 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

This field-defining collection consolidates and builds momentum in the burgeoning area of affect studies. Major thinkers theorize affect: visceral forces beneath, alongside, or generally other than conscious knowing that can serve to drive us toward movement, thought and ever-changing forms of relation. As Lauren Berlant explores "cruel optimism," Brian Massumi theorizes the affective logic of public threat, and Elspeth Probyn examines shame, they, along with the other contributors, show how an awareness of affect is opening up exciting new insights in disciplines from anthropology, cultural studies, geography, and psychology to philosophy, queer studies, and sociology. In essays diverse in subject matter, style and perspective, the contributors demonstrate how affect theory illuminates the intertwined realms of the aesthetic, the ethical and the political as they play out across bodies (human and non-human) in both mundane and extraordinary ways. They reveal the broad theoretical possibilities opened by an awareness of affect as they reflect on topics including ethics, food, public morale, glamour, snark in the workplace and mental health regimes. The Affect Theory Reader includes an interview with the cultural theorist Lawrence Grossberg and an afterword by the anthropologist Kathleen Stewart. In the introduction, the editors suggest ways of defining affect, trace the concept's history and highlight the role of affect theory in various areas of study. Contributors; Sara Ahmed; Ben Anderson; Lauren Berlant; Lone Bertelsen; Steven D. Brown; Patricia Ticineto Clough; Anna Gibbs; Melissa Gregg; Lawrence Grossberg; Ben Highmore; Brian Massumi; Andrew Murphie; Elspeth Probyn; Gregory J. Seigworth; Kathleen Stewart; Nigel Thrift; Ian Tucker; Megan Watkins

Item Type:

Book Section

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies

Dates:

DateEvent
2010Published

Item ID:

13933

Date Deposited:

06 Oct 2015 12:32

Last Modified:

22 Apr 2016 16:39

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/13933

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