Workshop: Affect, Politics & Religion at the The Museum of Jón Sigurðsson, Hrafnseyri, The Westfjords of Island
The Museum of Jón Sigurðsson, Hrafnseyri, The Westfjords of Island
Religion is arguably the most socially and politically consequential domain in the regulation of
cultural diversity in Western liberal democracies today. Religious difference evokes heated
debates in secular public spheres, challenges not only ideas and practices of solidarity, but also
of tolerance and identity.
This workshop postulates the idea that we can only understand these phenomena if we take the
affective and emotional dimensions of these social processes seriously. We will therefore
explore how we can theorize and study affect and emotions to better understand current
interplays of politics with a variety of inequalities such as religion and racism. Throughout the
workshop we will read, discuss and reflect on different theoretical and methodological
perspectives from cultural studies to social sciences to ask how a social relational account of
affect can inform our own research projects.
The two and a half day workshop is designed to provide an cooperative setting for up to 12
participants to read and discuss texts. Our aim is (1) to scrutinise current theoretical perspectives
on affect with regard to inequalities, religion and the political; (2) to understand how these
intertwined concepts can be approached methodologically in empirical research; (3) to guide
participants in advancing their own knowledge and research of affect both theoretically and
methodologically. The sessions include the following topics: Affect as a Social Relational
Phenomenon, Affect and Theories of Democracy, Affect and Populism, Affect and Racism,
Affect and the Secular, Affect and Religious Lives in the Nordic Countries, Methodological
Perspectives on Affect.
We approach these topics by reading assigned texts and by discussing them with the authors
If desired, opportunties to present and get feedback on own research projects will be provided.
The workshop will be held by the sociologists Dr. Antje Kahl and Aletta Diefenbach from the
Collaborative Research Center (CRC) “Affectives Societies”, Freie Universität Berlin.
The workshop is organized by the Musuem of Jón Sigurðsson at Hrafnseyri, Island and Jón
Sigurðsson Professorship at the University of Iceland, Reykjavík, with the CRC “Affectives
Societies”, Freie Universität Berlin.
Applicants should be advanced MA or PhD students in the field of humanities, law or social
sciences. The workshop will take place in English, thus a good command of English is required.
To apply, please send a CV and a brief (max. one page) letter of interest. In your letter of
interest, please consider addressing the following questions:
- What is your motivation to participate in the workshop?
- How does the topic(s) of the workshop relate to your (research) interests and/or your
Deadline for applications is Sunday, May 1st, 2022.
Applicants will be informed about the decision by May 10th, 2022 at the latest.
The workshop is free of charge, as well as the sleeping facilities and transport from Reykjavík
to the Museum of Jón Sigurðsson and back. Participants will have to pay 21.000 Isl. kr. per
person (146,67 Eur) for their food during the workshop.
For application submission or further questions please contact Valdimar J. Halldórsson: