Prof Ruth Leys (Department of History, Johns Hopkins University)
The seminar will take place on Tuesday 13 May from 17.00 – 18.30 in S-1.04, Lecture Theatre (King’s College London, Strand Building, Strand Campus). The talk will last 45 mins, followed by 45 mins of Q&A.
Abstract: Prof. Leys will offer an assessment of the latest twists in the ‘turn to affect’ in the humanities and social sciences. Among the questions to be posed are: If the 20th century was the Freudian century, the century of libido, will the 21st century — as has been suggested — be the century of the ‘post-traumatic’ subject, whose affective indifference and profound disengagement with the world mark him or her as a victim of brain damage? Will political, economic, and natural violence now take the form of a meaningless traumatic shock to the ‘emotional brain’ thereby depriving victims of all affect and meaning? What are the stakes and implications of such claims? The talk will draw on material being prepared for her forthcoming book on the post-war history of experimental and theoretical approaches to the study of the emotions, with a special emphasis on the philosophical issues at stake in the competing cognitivist and neo-Darwinian paradigms of the emotions. The book builds on her critique of the ‘affect turn’ in the humanities and social sciences which continues to create heated debate.
This event is sponsored by the CMP Research Group
More information about our SSHM Seminar Series can be found here.