Springe direkt zu Inhalt

The Weight of History. From Heidegger to Afro-Pessimism

Phenomenology as Performative Exercise (Cover)

Phenomenology as Performative Exercise (Cover)

Slaby, Jan – 2020

How does affect relate to time? This chapter offers a phenomenological perspective on the temporal character of affectivity. It argues that the past predominates, and that a concrete, ongoing history prevails within the embodied and embedded unfolding of affect. While affect happens in the present and instigates, pre-figures and transitions to the future, it is decisively anchored in what has been: in a materially sedimented past which continues to weigh on all practically conceivable ways of being. With reference to Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Fanon and contemporary feminist and anti-racist phenomenologists, I outline the contours of a temporal account of affectivity that foregrounds the past. Subsequently, I relate this outlook to Christina Sharpe’s powerful conceptual metaphor “the Wake,” suggesting that it is not historicity as such but a particular ongoing history of violent appropriation, oppression and displacement that keeps setting the tone for affective being-in-the-world in this day and age. Thereby, the present account makes tentative contact with a strand of work in black studies that is sometimes called “Afro-Pessimism.”

The Weight of History
Slaby, Jan
DOI: 10.1163/9789004420991_012
Erschienen in
Guidi, Thomas (Ed.) 2020 – Phenomenology as Performative Exercise
Größe oder Länge
pp. 173–195