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This special issue on posthumanist perspectives on affect seeks to create a platform for thinking about the intersection of, on the one hand, the posthumanist project of radically reconfiguring the meaning of the “human” in light of the critiques of a unified and bounded subjectivity and, on the other, the insights coming from recent scholarship on affect and feeling about the subject, sociality, and connectivity. Posthumanism stands for diverse theoretical positions which together call into question the anthropocentric assertion of the human as a distinctive, unique and dominant form of life – in turn, the concept of affect has been linked with ideas of increasing and decreasing energetic intensities, which underlie, but for some also precede, processes of individuation and subjectivation. The contributors to this issue consider critically the vistas opened by affect studies and by posthumanism. Coming from diverse disciplinary traditions, including literature, philosophy, critical sociology, visual arts, and heritage studies, the articles contribute to the four thematic idioms of this issue (sensation, subjectivity, sociality, and politics) in an attempt to structure a dialogical space on posthumanist perspectives on affect and on affect-based politics. Questions of environmental governance, the critique of speciesism, the formation of cross-species solidarity, the politics of the “inhuman”, biopolitics and necropolitics form the intellectual mosaic of this issue. Finally, we pose the question of “academic affects”, in circulation in the researcher's encounter with her others – humans, insects, ghostly presences or inanimate objects – and we ask how these affects, including anger and mourning, but also joyful affirmation, are brought to bear on the process of writing.


Institute for Social Justice

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Journal Article

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