[014 - diffracting autotheory/autotheory's diffractions]
August 09, 2018
This weekend, I'm presenting on the intersections of autothoery, affect theory, and posthumanism at Capacious Journal's Affect Inquiry/Making Spaces Conference. The paper itself is a messy tangle of things. It's interested in the resonances between affect theory and diffraction, an anti-representationalist methodology initially proposed by Donna Haraway and later refined by Iris van der Tuin. The paper frames autotheory as about diffraction, as an apparatus for describing and mapping diffraction, and as enacting diffraction patterns within the encounter of reading. In surveying texts we might think of as autothoeretical or doing autotheoretical work--Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts, Eileen Myles's Afterglow, and Suzanne Antonetta's Body Toxic, among others--I attempt to articulate how our encounters with these texts reconfigure our relation to both human and nonhuman forces. Autotheory becomes a potent resource for mapping and enacting new territories and for exploring the possibilities and boundaries of subject formation, knowing full well its contingency.