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2015-2016: Affective Relationality

Prof. Brigitt Röttger-Rössler / Prof. Jan Slaby

winter term 2015/16 - summer term 2016

The first designated tandem composed of a social anthropologist and a philosopher will work on comprehensively developing the conceptual core of the central relational understanding of affect and emotion for the CRC. Röttger-Rössler and Slaby both have relevant expertise in not only disciplinary but also interdisciplinary emotion research—not least through working together in the Cluster of Excellence Languages of Emotion. Hence, this cooperation is based on both researchers being embedded soundly in the state of the art in emotion research.

The disciplinary combination permits a close interplay between working out and testing empirical social anthropological procedures and initiating transformative work on concepts and theories. The concept of emotion repertoires illustrates this. This concept is gaining shape particularly from being reframed in a relational understanding so that it can serve as a guiding concept for the CRC. One area of collaboration will be to take empirical studies and extend the established understanding of individual emotion repertoires (as deeply embedded bodily affective dispositions) to make the possibility of a collective carrier of the repertoire conceivable in which the relational character of the interactively and performatively enacted repertoire should be determined more precisely.

The relational understanding of affect in the CRC can then be developed into an empirically grounded and conceptually selective battery of instruments that will serve as an alternative to the broadly established—but suffering from a strong western bias—concepts of discrete emotions. The first tandem cooperation will probably be flanked by working groups addressing aspects of the research on emotion and affect in sociology and media studies.