To understand the profound changes in the modes of public political debate over the past decade, this volume develops a new conception of public spheres as spaces of resonance emerging from the power of language to affect and to ascribe and instill collective emotion.
Political discourse is no longer confined to traditional media, but increasingly takes place in fragmented and digital public spheres. At the same time, the modes of political engagement have changed: discourse is said to increasingly rely on strategies of emotionalization and to be deeply affective at its core. This book meticulously shows how public spheres are rooted in the emotional, bodily, and affective dimensions of language, and how language – in its capacity to affect and to be affected – produces those dynamics of affective resonance that characterize contemporary forms of political debate. It brings together scholars from the humanities and social sciences and focuses on two fields of inquiry: publics, politics, and media in Part I, and language and artistic inquiry in Part II. The thirteen chapters provide a balanced composition of theoretical and methodological considerations, focusing on highly illustrative case studies and on different artistic practices.
The volume is an indispensable source for researchers and postgraduate students in cultural studies, literary studies, sociology, and political science. It likewise appeals to practitioners seeking to develop an in-depth understanding of affect in contemporary political debate.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Public Spheres of Resonance – Constellations of Affect and Language
Anne Fleig and Christian von Scheve
2. It’s the Language, Stupid!
Part I: Publics, Politics, and Media
3. Affective Publics: Understanding the Dynamic Formation of Public Articulations Beyond the Public Sphere
4. Resonant networks: On Affect and Social Media
5. The Sentimental Contract: Ambivalences of Affective Politics and Publics
6. Rhythm, gestures and tones in public performances: Political mobilization and affective communication
Britta Timm Knudsen
7. Affective Dynamics of Public Discourse on Religious Recognition in Secular Societies
Christian von Scheve and Robert Walter-Jochum
Part II: Language and Artistic Practice
8. Put A Spell on You: Poetry, Politics, and Affective Resonance in the Age of the Algorithm
9. German 'Sprechtheater' and the Transformation of Theatrical Public Spheres
Friederike Oberkrome, Hans Roth and Matthias Warstat
10. The Alphabet of Feeling Bad: Environmental Installation Arts and Sensory Publics
11. Affect and Accent: Public Spheres of Dissonance in the Writing of Yoko Tawada
Marion Acker, Anne Fleig and Matthias Lüthjohann
12. Affect(ive) Assemblages: Literary Worldmaking in Fatma Aydemir’s Ellbogen
13. Theory’s Affective Scene: Or, What to Do with Language after Affect
Anne Fleig is professor of Modern German Literature at Freie Universität Berlin.
Christian von Scheve is professor of Sociology at Freie Universität Berlin.