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IKH-PhD course: Affectivity and Affective Theories

Uddannelse ph.d.
Undervisningssprog English
National_online Kurset vises på den nationale database
Vært Ph.d.-skolen for kommunikation og humanistisk videnskab

Deadline for registration: 1 November 2019 to msha@ruc.dk (Marianne Sloth Hansen)

Deadline for submitting papers: 5 November 2019 (at the latest) to rikkean@ruc.dk, (Rikke Andreassen)

1) A paper drawn outlining considerations on how and why to use affectivity, and reflecting on analysis and methodology in relation to own plans for using affectivity in research. The paper can be an excerpt from the dissertation (as draft or work in progress). It should be 10-20 pages length (not including references). These paper drafts will be reviewed for application as well as be read by teachers in order to prepare individual response at the course. Papers must be in English or in Scandinavian languages.

2) A “description” of the empirical materials that your wish to work more with – during the course. It should be 1-3 pages long, in a Scandinavian language or English. The term description is meant in the widest sense – the empirical materials can be excerpts of your actual fieldwork, observations, ethnographic notes, an analysis from your dissertation, interviews, photos, notes, interviews, research log book, or other materials. The course participants will work with this materials during the course. Do include a 2-3 introductory sentences about the materials (who, when, where, what, why, how gathered or created).

Kursus starter 05-12-2019
Kursus slutter 06-12-2019
Ekstern underviser

Guest teachers: Professor Lisa Blackman (Goldsmith University), associate professor Carsten Stage (University of Aarhus) and associate professor Mons Bissenbakker (University of Copenhagen).


**Language: ** Teaching will be in English (and Danish, if understandable to all participants). Feedback is offered on English, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian texts.


5 & 6 December 2019. Department of Communication and Arts, Roskilde University Building 43.3-29b




Research within the social sciences and humanities has in recent decades increasingly turned towards affect, emotions and sensory registers. This preoccupation marks a partial or more complete turn away from approaches to theorizing and analyzing culture, society, politics, matter, the human as well as the non-human that prioritize representation, signifying systems and the (human) subject. The ‘affective turn’ is not uniform in terms of how affect is defined and theorized, but may instead be described in terms of variety of turns to affect (cf. Ahmed 2004; Clough 2007; Gregg and Seigworth 2010; Massumi 2002; Sedgwick 2003; Thrift 2008). Despite this recent increase, a preoccupation with what Lisa Blackman terms “invisible animate forces” (2012, xii) can be excavated across the scientific archive.

In this PhD course, we are in particular interested in exploring various methodological and analytical approaches to affect, emotion and sensory registers. Or in other words: how affective approaches play into methodology and analysis? How do we as researchers attend to and analyse “invisible animate forces”? Or perhaps rather: how do we attend to what these forces do? How they circulate and perhaps also how are they arrested? Do we need to take up a speculative mode of analysis and/or focus on mediations of affect? (Anderson 2014; Blackman 2012; Timm Knudsen and Stage 2015)? What are the benefits and what are the shortcomings? Attending to affect is also preconditioned on how we work with empirical data for research; how can data be collected or produced via affective approaches; how can data be documented or identified?

In order to work with these questions – and to connect them with the PhD students’ own work, the course will be a production course, where each PhD student brings her/his/their own research (and own research challenges) into dialogue with the PhD course’s keynote speakers, literature reading list and the methodological and analytical aspects of the course.


The course is open to PhD students from all fields of the humanities and social sciences working with – or interested in working with – affectivity, emotion and sensory registers (e.g. the fields of media, communication, history, gender studies, cultural studies, literature, political science, etc.)

PhD student outside the humanities and social sciences will be charged for 2.400 DKK.


Students do not have to have read all literature on the reading list but it would be beneficial to be familiar with the literature Ahmed, Sara. 2004. The Cultural Politics of Emotion. Edinburgh University Press. Anderson, Ben. 2014. Encountering Affect: Capacities, Apparatuses, Conditions. Surrey and Burlington: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. Blackman, Lisa. 2012. Immaterial Bodies: Affect, Embodiment, Mediation. London: Sage. Clough, Patricia. 2007. The Affective Turn. Theorizing the Social. Durham & London: Duke University Press. Gregg, Melissa, and Gregory J Seigworth, eds. 2010. The Affect Theory Reader. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Massumi, Brian. 2002. Parables for the Virtual. Durham & London: Duke University Press. Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. 2003. Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Thrift, Nigel. 2008. Non-Representational Theory. Space, Politics Affect. London: Routledge. Timm Knudsen, Britta, and Carsten Stage, eds. 2015. Affective Methodologies: Developing Cultural Research Strategies for the Study of Affect. Palgrave Macmillan ; New York, NY: Basingstoke, Hampshire.

Ansvarlig Rikke Andreassen (rikkean@ruc.dk )
Underviser Kirsten Hvenegård-Lassen (kirs@ruc.dk )
Maria Bee Christensen-Strynø (mariabee@ruc.dk )