Exploring Affect

    Project: Research

    Project Details


    Affective processes are present in all human experience and activity. The omni-presence of affect makes it relevant within a broad range of disciplines (from humanities and social sciences to the natural sciences) and thus cross-disciplinary approaches can be fruitful in the investigation of the phenomenon.
    There exist different versions of the distinction between the concepts of affect, emotion, and feelings. The concept of affect is often used to refer to the pre-verbalized, undifferentiated bodily states, whereas emotion is generally used to describe communicated cultural qualities. Feeling, on the other hand, is often used to describe the subjective experiences of these qualities. Another use of the concept of affect is as an umbrella term connoting the broad spectrum of forms within and between these three concepts. It is this latter understanding that is implied in the title of the suggested circle.
    Thus we wish to shed light on the phenomenon as it pertains to all these aspects; the non-verbal psychophysical (mind/body) processes, which are constructed in complex inter- and intra-subjective processes entangled with cultural meaning, and are experienced by a subject "internally". The concept of affect can be used to challenge epistemological dichotomies present in modern academia (such as essence vs. social construction) and central conceptual dichotomies of Western thought (examples include rationality vs. emotions and mind vs. body) where the one is highly valued, and typically ascribed to white male, and the other is less valued, and typically ascribed to women and people of color.
    In this understanding of affect, affect is not something present in certain situations and absent in others. Therefore, we plan to form a circle where we will focus both on situations where affect is obviously present (e.g. intimacy), and on situations where affect has traditionally been seen as problematic (e.g. decision making and academia).
    Effective start/end date01/01/201331/12/2015