W111
Affect and knowledge: inquiry, breakdown, disquiet

Convenors:
Mattias Viktorin (Stockholm University)
Anthony Stavrianakis (Berkeley)
Discussant:
Frédéric Keck
Location:
V408
Start time:
13 July, 2012 at 11:30
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

In this session we take disquiet as an orienting affect of knowledge about breakdowns in scientific, political, and ethical practice in contemporary knowledge production. We aim to specify common problems and purposes of the production of anthropological knowledge about such breakdowns.

Long abstract:

The theme of this workshop is the affect of knowledge. Empirically, we focus on spaces of contemporary knowledge production which are characterized by breakdowns of scientific, political, and ethical practice. Conceptually, we are oriented to situations in which participant-observation and the analysis of these breakdowns generates an affect of disquiet for the observed as well as the observer. Our aim is to specify common problems, blockages, and strategies, and to interrogate the purpose, affects, and limitations of fieldwork in the production of anthropological knowledge of the contemporary. The capacity to affect and be affected in a certain manner is constituted by a field of relations. We ask through the aggregation of our work: What is the topography of this field of relations in the contemporary? What is the temporality of these relations? To which ends or purposes is fieldwork and anthropological knowledge oriented? We aim within the workshop to do collaborative work on the anthropological concepts and problems appropriate to this temporality, topography and problem of anthropological knowledge in the contemporary. The orienting concept is disquiet. Disquiet orients us both to breakdowns in the object of research and in the subject of research. Thus, we will be attentive to how anthropologists observe, describe and analyze affective situations that produce disquiet and the effects of such disquiet. In security, economic and scientific domains the parameters of such affect will have different ramifications. We intend to render visible these parameters and ramifications.