Call for Abstracts: Workshop on Affect and Methods with Lisa Blackman & Patricia Clough

University of Tampere (Finland), May 23-24 2016

How can we develop new methodological approaches for registering and studying affect in empirical research?

We invite abstracts for an international workshop on Affect and Methods, to be held at the University of Tampere, Finland, on May 23-24, 2016. The workshop includes open to public keynote lectures by Professor Lisa Blackman (Goldsmiths) and Professor Patricia Ticineto Clough (CUNY), as well as a two-day workshop, where the participants’ papers will be commented on by the keynote speakers and their fellow participants.

We welcome contributions from scholars, PhD students included, who address affect in their empirical research. As intersecting inequalities are increasingly mediated affectively, we assume that the arrangements of gender and sexuality can be approached in novel ways by attuning them to affects. Albeit we encourage submissions from participants whose work stems from different theoretical and methodological backgrounds, the workshop is especially targeted at those working on feminist research or other scholars dealing with questions of power and inequality within cultural or social research.

There has been ongoing theoretical interest in the affects in social sciences and humanities with sophisticated outcomes. In recent years the interest has shifted to include empirical questions regarding affect and methods, which also coincides with the rise of post-qualitative approaches. The latter development has raised the question about whether affects can simply be integrated into the already established research methodologies, or whether profound rethinking is required, especially as the current qualitative methodologies mostly rely on language and sight without attuning them to alternative technologies of noticing and observing.

Hence the themes about developing and employing inventive and experimental methods for the study of affect that can be discussed in the workshop may include but are not limited to the following:

–          How can we work with the notion of affect in a particular research process?

–          How can we enrich our understanding of attuning, noticing, observing and registering non-verbalized signals of affect? How do they support, challenge or complicate the verbalized emotions?

–          What does the study of affect require from the data, if we are to attune to affective dynamics or to access atmospheres, moods, and energies? How does such an approach shift the relations between affect and knowledge production?

–          If one seeks to work with one’s empirical data without renewing post-positivist ideas of coding, verification and measurement, how can one address the questions of describing, interpreting, positioning, and naming affects?

–          How can we examine the cultural and social shaping of affect? How can we analyze the affective dimension of gendered and sexualized power dynamics?

–          How can we make use of affective intensities while conducting research, and how can we conceptualize the affective relationships between the researcher, the research, and/or the researched? How can we avoid relying on the idea of singular, autonomous subjects?

The maximum number of participants presenting their papers will be 12, and the auditing of the workshop is limited by registration only. Participation is free of charge, yet participants are expected to cover their own travel and accommodation costs as well as their meals.

The deadline for abstracts (max. 250 words) is February 15th, 2016. The decisions about acceptance are based on the abstracts and are due at the end of February. The accepted participants are expected to submit a work-in-progress paper of 10-12 pages by April 30, 2016. The papers should preferably present and analyze empirical data and address questions that are pertinent to affect and methods. Papers will be circulated among the participants, and all participants are expected to read both the work-in-progress-papers as well as the literature suggested by the keynotes. Please submit your abstract to: affective.inequalities(a)

For further information, please contact:

Dr. Tuula Juvonen (Academy Research Fellow): tuula.juvonen(a) or Dr. Marjo Kolehmainen (Post-Doctoral Research Fellow): marjo.kolehmaine(a)

The workshop is organized by an Academy of Finland funded research project “Just the Two of Us? Affective Inequalities in Intimate Relationships” led by Dr. Tuula Juvonen.

PS. Please note that the project has started negotiations on publishing an edited volume “Affect and Inequalities in Intimate Relationships” (working title) with Routledge in 2018. The call for papers will be opened in spring 2016. We encourage prospective participants to also consider responding to that call.