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4th AEEII International Seminar

Affecting India: Identities at the Crossroads of Emotion in a Global World
9–10 November 2020

Prior to Partition, the then soon-to-be first Prime Minister of India referred to the unity of the country not as a purely "intellectual conception", but as an "emotional experience" (Nehru 1946). In the academic sphere, the blurred division between feelings and cognition as well as the ensuing study of affective phenomena continue to arouse growing interest among scholars across disciplines (Ahmed 2004; Berlant 2011; Massumi 2015). The heterogeneity of the field coincides with an equally varied sense of Indianness which, as indicated by the current socio political panorama, directly challenges the aforementioned unity both in the Indian subcontinent and in its diaspora. Although the perception of "India as an affective rather than territorial formation" remains (Mankekar 2015), globalization has increased its transnational reach (Pedwell 2014; Wise & Velayutham 2017) and reinforced the need to transcend Eurocentric approaches (Gunew 2009). The overall aim of this Seminar is to explore such an "emotional experience" in a wider sense in order to understand the particularities of affect when applied to the Indian context. Spatiotemporal coordinates play an essential role in the stirring, displaying and interpreting of emotions for either individuals or collectives. Likewise, feelings dovetail with further types of location, for instance, the position in the caste system, class hierarchy or gender spectrum. Hence, how does affect work when those categories intersect? Proposed topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Artistic representations of affects: literature, music, painting, film, etc.
  • Nation-building and belonging: language, religion, politics, law, (post-)colonialism
  • Translatability of affect: cross-border/cultural readings, decolonised emotions
  • Public feelings: social media, press, local networks, fake news
  • Digital identities: cybersecurity, mass surveillance, online safe spaces
  • Shared experiences: #MeToo, Anti-Corruption movement
  • Marketization of feelings: advertising, poverty porn, tourism
  • Affective ecocriticism: ecological grief, environmental resilience
  • History revisited: diachronic/synchronic perspectives, reception studies
  • Marginalized affects: Dalits, LGBTIQ+, refugees, subalternity, disability
  • Taboos: sex, menstruation, masculinities/femininities, arranged/love marriage


Call for Papers


Seminar Poster

Plenary Lecture Poster

Workshop Poster


Seminar Programme

Book of Abstracts




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