Affect and Periodization: Rethinking the Long 19th Century

full name / name of organization: 
Justin Rogers-Cooper & Neil Meyer / NEMLA: Northeast Modern Language Association

Brian Massumi writes that affect is "ever on the move from situation to situation." This observation might also describe the use of affect in contemporary scholarship, and raises question around periodization and the stable categories we use in our discipline to demarcate historical boundaries.

This panel seeks to investigate the parameters of the increasing scholastic interest in affect by situating it at the intersection of Early and post-Civil War American literature. We'd like the panel to consider how theorizing affect might replace, subvert, or change the boundaries of such periodization by using the "long nineteenth-century" as a way to think through their possible continuities. Does examining the representation of affects in literary texts comfortably map onto our understanding of U.S. historical and cultural boundaries? As an emerging methodology, does it disrupt or alter the historical narratives in our field?

We seek papers that address these issues through readings of relevant literary texts and/or through papers that address the concept of affect more broadly, since a synthetic move to integrate or resist the various affective turns (queer, Spinozist) is also at the very center of our theoretical inquiry.

The submission deadline is September 30th.