Emotions and Affects of Convolution

Blackman, Lisa. 2023. Emotions and Affects of Convolution. In: C Pedwell and G Seigworth, eds. The Affect Theory Reader (Second Edition). Durham, NC: Duke University Press. [Book Section] (In Press)

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Abstract or Description

This chapter is an investigation into technologies of the non-rational through emotions and affects of convolution. Emotions and affects of convolution traverse many different settings and are part and parcel of forms of power that link the military, colonial forms of power, media power, soft power, and the “grey areas” of non-physical abuse primarily associated with coercive control and narcissistic abuse. The chapter specifically explores the connections between what I call a social and political apparatus of narcissism and the particularity and genealogy of narcissistic abuse as a way of unpacking some of these issues. At the heart of this discussion are communication strategies based upon very strange and duplicitous forms of communication. They use methods that have largely been excised from reason or are only allowed to appear in certain sanitized forms, including techniques and practices related to: suggestion, priming, precognition, retrocausality, retroactivity, time travel, non-causality, cognitive reattribution, confabulation, anticipation, pre-emption, subliminal, non-conscious, and other paradoxical forms of communication, especially the case of counterfactuals. I have explored how these paradoxical forms of communication are central to modern technologies of power by drawing on a range of strategies that are neither rational nor irrational, but more akin to what some affect scholars have called the “non-rational”

Item Type:

Book Section

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


7 October 2021Submitted

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Date Deposited:

31 Jan 2022 16:56

Last Modified:

25 Nov 2022 09:22



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