Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Meeting (Affect Theory)

Queer Phenomenology
by Sara Ahmed

The fourth meeting of MATCH was held at the end of January to launch the Working Group into a series of discussions on "Making It Personal," culminating in a Round-Table on "Attitudes, Affects and Alliances in Scholarship" to be held as part of the Temporal Slippages and Spatial Slidings Symposium in Washington DC on February 15th.

In reading Ahmed's Introduction "Getting Into It," we followed up on her invitation to consider how we come to occupy certain spaces and take on certain forms of occupation in response to different "things" which orient us. Those present developed a working list of "things" that seem to have us in their gravitational pull, simultaneously informing our scholarship but with a life and a livelihood outside it.

At times, Ahmed notes, we become formed and directed by dis-orientation and an expulsion from spaces which seem to allow certain bodies to extend and not others. We discussed how such "queerness" launches us on certain trajectories which in turn orient and re-orient us. The idea of objects which move with us became particularly important at this time, occupations which demand that we remain constantly on the move.

In turn, we thought about identity as the inscription of these lines of movement, push and pull, on our bodies and how different things "stick" to us like glue or else slide off us as a result of taking on these identity positions. Without a doubt, scholarship becomes a large gravity well which pull in a lot of our life, but these too can and often does exist either in competition with or in orbit around other "things" which hold a stronger sway on us at this time.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Upcoming January Meeting on Affect

Join M.A.T.C.H., a Theory Reading Group, for our discussion of Affect Theory, with selected readings (aprox. 20 pgs) from Sara Ahmed's Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others.

The trajectory of this month's meeting will be to prepare for next month's MATCH round-table on "Attitudes, Affects, & Alliances in Scholarship" by holding our own informal discussion of the personal side of our work & careers.

For first timers: meetings are once a month. Contact M Bychowski (mbychows@gwmail.gwu) for the reading; aprox. 20 pages from a selected theorist. You will be e-mailed a pdf file.

We will meet in the Rome Hall vestibule (1st floor), move to a classroom where we will have introductions, then begin an hour discussion of the material. Afterwards all are invited to dinner at a local restaurant.

All are invited! Come if you are anxious about Theory and have questions to share (in a low-pressure setting), excited about Theory and have comments to share, or want to meet people that share similar interests!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Coming Soon: MATCH Round-Table

Attitudes, Affects, & Alliances in Scholarship: A Round-table
Sponsored by M.A.T.C.H., a theory working group

"I define affect without necessary restriction, that is, I include the notion that affect is something not necessarily corporeal and that it potentially engages many bodies at once, rather than (only) being contained as an emotion within a single body. Affect inheres in the capacity to affect and be affected." 
Mel Y Chen, Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect

What question are we trying to answer? - An unusual query for us in the Humanities, in part because many of us aren't looking for answers. Some of us aren't looking for anything, the looking itself is the thing. If those in other disciplines and professions often misunderstand what the Humanities "does," it may certainly stem from the lack of conversations in the Liberal Arts that allow us to articulate to each other and ourselves what it is we do and why. By holding a round-table on attitudes, affects, & alliances in scholarship, we intend to open up such a dialog, where participants will be invited to discuss what personal tics, dispositions, pleasures, friendships, and goals direct us to work in academia.

This round-table will be a part of Temporal Slippages and Spatial Slidings: A Symposium on Failed Fixities hosted by the George Washington University English Graduate Student Association (GW EGSA) on February 13, 2013 in Washington DC at 9:10-10:10 AM.