Tuesday, November 06, 2012

CFP: Positioning Love and Affect (ACLA)


Jonathan A. Allan
Following up on earlier CFPs, here is a "theory" CFP dealing with love and affect (American Comparative Literature Association's annual meeting at the University of Toronto, April 4-7, 2013). 
This seminar positions what Anna Jónasdóttrir has termed “love studies” in relation to “the affective turn,” and asks how such a conjunction illuminates and possibly repositions both areas of study.  Affect theory has concentrated on certain emotions and affects, particularly its negative, or “ugly” ones; a focused analysis of “love,” in particular, has seemingly been avoided.  How might attention to love help us to rethink affect studies?  For instance, is love an affect, or an emotion, a feeling, a mood?  Does love function as affective labour, an energy, a force?  How might love undo private/public and personal/political oppositions?  Meanwhile, love, within critical theory, is often contained as an opiate, a harmful ideology, a “cruel optimism,” or as a sentimental, naïve and non-academic subject. 
This panel follows “love studies” in its consideration of love as a serious, important area of academic study, while not precluding a playful or performative approach to the subject.  It encourages examinations of love as a “positive,” or “productive” force, and seeks to consider love itself – romantic, erotic, compassionate love, etc., human and non-human forms of love – without displacing love in favour of other terms, like “care.”  We are also interested in how subjects and objects are “positioned” in relation to love;  eg. who or what is allowed to be a subject/object of love?  Is love temporally or geographically limited/translatable? 
Papers from a variety of theoretical perspectives (psychoanalytic, queer, feminist, etc.) are welcomed, as long as they engage with intersections between “love studies” and the “affective turn.
For more information, including how to submit an abstract (due November 15, 2012): http://www.acla.org/acla2013/positioning-love-and-affect/

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