#43, emotional+rational resonances needed
March 12, 2017
In my previous #100hardtruth (#42) I quoted from a recent piece by Farhad Manjoo, including this line: “You might even credit cameras — or blame them — for our more emotional, and less rational, politics.”
I’d like to trouble or deepen Manjoo’s observations, however, by noting that feminist/queer affect theory proposes that connections that are drawn through the body, in its lived spaces and encounters, and outside or alongside the merely cognitive, honor ways of knowing and being that are entirely necessary for both our well-being as humans and our most complete possibilities as viable social and political agents within communities and movements.
In our current world order—where the most powerful people are nothing but irrational, where deception underwrites a good deal of communication and the media systems that move it, and where hard facts tumble in the face of pulpy greed and corruption—it goes without saying that we must encourage and support systems (intellectual, artistic, economic, technological, political, communicative) that engage in and with the cogent. But reasoned thinking, speaking and representation need not be enjoyed at the diminishment of feeling, affect and other embodied forms of knowing. Not only is this not a zero sum game, but the most compelling truths are the ones made and received when the emotional and the rational co-exist to create an opening up to the “possibilities, gaps, overlaps, dissonances and resonances” where lie true beauty, meaning, and purpose.
“That’s one of the things that “queer” can refer to: the open mesh of possibilities, gaps, overlaps, dissonances and resonances, lapses and excesses of meaning when the constituent elements of anyone’s gender, of anyone’s sexuality aren’t made (or can’t be made) to signify monolithically.” ― Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick,
- “We Have Come to Dance for our People,” Antonia Juhasz
- The Affect Theory Reader, Melissa Gregg, Gregory J. Seigworth
- Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
- #100hardtruths-#fakenews: a primer on digital media literacy