[013 - Affect Inquiry/Space Making]
April 19, 2018 by alex christie
I am excited to be participating in the Affect Inquiry/Making Spaces Conference (Aug 8-11) hosted by Capacious Journal. My paper, titled 'diffracting autotheory,' extends my current research in impersonal agency and posthuman affectivity, smeared across the terrain of autotheory. In coupling diffraction and autotheory, I hope to elucidate alternative modalities of subjectivity predicated on affective entanglement. You can find the full abstract below.
The body was never whole to begin with: humanism's unified and autonomous subject is a potent fantasy for securing the body's borders. Autotheory disrupts the subject with the voices of others, introducing discontinuity into narrative and making explicit the (non)human affects cutting through our bodies. In blending narrative and theory, these works offer novel modalities for reimagining embodiment and subjectivity as emergent phenomena of various (non)human relationships to hormones (Preciado 2008), toxicity (Antonetta 2001), dogs (Myles 2017), or theory broadly conceived (Nelson 2015). These formal experimentations in representation both depict and introduce discontinuity into reading and readers, requiring a reading practice we might call diffractive. Privileging entanglement and difference rather than the self-similarity of reflection, diffraction “troubles dichotomies, including some of the most sedimented and stabilized/stabilizing binaries, such as organic/inorganic and animate/inanimate" (Barad 2014). Taken together, autotheory and diffraction attune us to subjectivity’s affective entanglement with and within the world over and against autonomy and innocence. These metatheoretical modes offer both a site and methodology to explore the breakdowns of bodies and genres, blurring distinctions between self and other, narrative and theory, reader and text. Leveraging affective vulnerability and susceptibility renders new versions of embodiment, which might allow us, following Nelson following Deleuze and Claire Parnet, “not to rediscover the eternal or the universal, but to find the conditions under which something new is produced (creativeness)” (Nelson 2015).