Affection: Essays on Affect, Empathy, and the Politics of Feeling
Bachelor of Arts
Often, we view feelings as squishy—personal and subjective, therefore private and apolitical. Even within ourselves, our feelings can often seem reflexive and out of our own control. This thesis represents my attempt to hold these squishy feelings and look at them up close, from different angles. In doing so, I hope to see how our affects may not only be personal to ourselves, but also highly communal, performative, and regulated by and within communities. Affects—our feelings, emotions, and moods—are a matter of political and intellectual concern. Different political aims often mobilize our affects and manipulate them to conform to certain desirable shapes. Thus, paying attention to affects—the ways they are evoked, politicized, and ascribed (un)desirability—may help us stay close to our own needs and the needs of our community.
Affects; Affect Theory; Literary Studies; Critical Theory; Feminist Theory