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Affective Worldmaking: Narrative Counterpublics of Gender and Sexuality

Lecture and Symposium

Join us for a lecture on “Public Feelings in a Time of Pandemic” by affect scholar Ann Cvetkovich (Carleton University, Ottawa), followed by a one-day symposium that presents the provisional results of a collaborative book project on affect and narrative theory with a focus on the topics of gender and sexuality.

The event is co-hosted by Karl-Franzens-University Graz (KFU) and Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and will be held online via FAU-Zoom. Please note that the event will be recorded (audio only) and excerpts may be used for a radio podcast.

Lecture and Symposium


January 14, 2021
4-6 pm Lecture: Public Feelings in a Time of Pandemic – Ann Cvetkovich (Carleton University, Ottawa)
This presentation will draw on writing that I have been doing over the course of the pandemic in monthly meetings with my Austin (Texas)-based Public Feelings group, whose participants are also in Chicago, Vancouver, and Ottawa, Canada. These short pieces constitute efforts to make sense of what is going on – or just document how it feels – with attention to topics such as covid silver linings (and other pandemic keywords); Zoom-based art and performance; protest under conditions of social distancing; dialectics of hope and despair; black feminist resources for survival and other forms of collective care and mutual aid; and the relation between the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the covid-19 pandemic. Through an exploration of the current state of theories of affect and sensation, I would also hope to prompt discussion of the differences and connections between how the pandemic feels in Canada/US and how it feels in Austria/Europe.

Symposium on book project “Affective Worldmaking”

January 15, 2021 3-8.30 pm

The book project combines fundamental theoretical observations on the role of affect and emotion in narrative texts (literature, film, art, performance, mass media) with analyses of specific genres, time periods, and different geopolitical contexts (from North America, to Southeastern Europe to East Asia) and brings them into dialogue with literary and artistic engagements (poetry, personal essays, comics). During the symposium, the editors and some of the contributors will discuss the overarching questions addressed in the book, such as the power of narrative, the construction of subjectivities of gender and sexuality, and the role of affect in times of crisis. Finally, a roundtable discussion will investigate what makes up a public, what governs dominant discourses, and in how far and in what ways counterpublics can be created through narrative.

3-6.15 pm Perspectives on Affective Worldmaking

3-3.15 pm Introduction (Silvia Schultermandl)

3.15-3.45 pm Panel I
Chair: Dijana Simić
Heike Paul (FAU): #FamiliesBelongTogether: Civil Sentimentalism and the Holy Family

3.45-4pm Coffee Break

4-5pm Panel II
Chair: Si Whybrew
Silvia Schultermandl (KFU): Quick Media Feminisms and the Affective Economies of Hashtag Activism
Jana Aresin (FAU): Compassion, Solidarity, and Recognition: Narrating Shared Identity in Postwar Women’s Magazines in Japan, 1945-1955

5-5.15 pm: Coffee Break

5.15-6.15 pm Panel III
Chair: Jana Aresin
Dijana Simić (KFU): Intimacy, Recognition, and Counterpublics in Contemporary Bosnian-Herzegovinian Prose
Si Whybrew (KFU): Textual Encounters of Hope and Be/Longing: Science Fiction and Trans Worldmaking

7-8.30 pm Roundtable Discussion: Finding a Way Out? Affective Possibilities in Times of Crisis
Chair: Silvia Schultermandl
Panelists: Ahmet Atay (College of Wooster), Claudia Breger (Columbia University), May Friedman (Ryerson University), Renate Hansen-Kokoruš (KFU) and Jelena Petrović (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna)

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