Public Spheres of Resonance: Constellations of Affect and Language
Anne Fleig, Christian von Scheve – 2019
To understand the profound changes in the modes of public political debate over the past decade, this volume develops a new conception of public spheres as spaces of resonance emerging from the power of language to affect and to ascribe and instill collective emotion. Political discourse is no longer confined to traditional media, but increasingly takes place in fragmented and digital public spheres. At the same time, the modes of political engagement have changed: discourse is said to increasingly rely on strategies of emotionalization and to be deeply affective at its core. This book meticulously shows how public spheres are rooted in the emotional, bodily, and affective dimensions of language, and how language – in its capacity to affect and to be affected – produces those dynamics of affective resonance that characterize contemporary forms of political debate. It brings together scholars from the humanities and social sciences and focuses on two fields of inquiry: publics, politics, and media in Part I, and language and artistic inquiry in Part II. The thirteen chapters provide a balanced composition of theoretical and methodological considerations, focusing on highly illustrative case studies and on different artistic practices. The volume is an indispensable source for researchers and postgraduate students in cultural studies, literary studies, sociology, and political science. It likewise appeals to practitioners seeking to develop an in-depth understanding of affect in contemporary political debate.