Guest Lecture, “Cute 21st-Century Postfembots” (Düsseldorf)

AffectPlakat_SS16_Web_040416Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf
July 20, 2016

Part of a lecture series entitled Affect and Authority: Things that Move Us hosted by the Institute for Media and Cultural Studies, this guest lecture by Julia Leyda will present sections of her chapter in the forthcoming volume.

The theme of the lecture series–affect and authority–makes it an ideal venue to discuss the chapter on female androids as well as the wider concerns of the book. As described in the program, the semester-long series brings scholars from Europe and North America to deliver presentations and discuss intensively the workings of affect:

Affect – a palpable intensity, the atmosphere in a room – is transmitted between people, below the threshold of conscious perception, manifesting as bodily tension and relaxation. Affect is involuntary, non-conscious, contagious, and to a certain degree automatic. Affect’s political potential has been investigated with renewed intensity from gender and queer studies perspectives in the previous fifteen years. Scholars working along these lines focus particularly on negative affects such as shame, fear, outrage, depression and failure, asking the question: how can negative affects be (made) productive? They consider the enabling moments produced by choosing not to turn away from these affects, critically investigate their societal causes, and explore the creative employment of these intensities. These foci of investigation speak to the broader question: how can affects facilitate a thinking process? The lectures in this series address this question by exploring how affects are transmitted and negotiated in media cultures, how they enter scholarly practice, and what is the relation between scholarly authority and affect.