Springe direkt zu Inhalt

MESA Panel “Emotion, Affect and Political Transformations in the Middle East” (Boston)

The project C01 participated in the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Annual Conference, which took place from 17-20 November 2016 in Boston Massachusetts. The panel entitled “Emotion, Affect and Political Transformations in the Middle East” explored the role of emotions and affect in the context of mass mobilization and political transformation in Egypt and Turkey. Drawing on the mass protests in Tahrir and Taksim squares, the papers of this panel engaged with conceptual issues while presenting original qualitative empirical data from both countries. One central argument that was developed throughout the contributions is that the mass protests unleash highly productive affective and emotional dynamics, which e.g. helped to (momentarily) bridge existing cleavages in both societies. The other central argument of all papers was, that these extraordinary moments of affective resonance also fed into new forms of political participation on the squares and beyond such as the Gezi-Forums in Turkey or the popular committees in Egypt. The panel looked at these new political practices while employing an intersectional perspective, which takes the gendered and racialized dimensions of emotional repertoires into consideration. Another focus was to explore the sustainability and transformative potential of emotional and affective bonds for collective action and political change. Did e.g. the Gezi protests offer a space for new affective bonds and transform the Turkish-Kurdish relationship? Finally, all papers critically engaged with the conceptual tensions between emotions and affect literature and a narrowly defined social science research agenda in Middle Eastern studies.