Critical and Ethical Matters — The Affects of Fear, Love, and Disbelief (or an ethics of care)

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14 Mar 2018

6pm to 8pm

Wednesday 14 March
6 - 8pm
Royal Society for the Arts, London - Shipley Room


Whilst welcoming graduate, doctoral students and researchers from across the university to attend please apply by sending a short summary of your interests, in the current texts and/or theme to no later than 5th March 2018 of no more than 250 words. This will benefit researchers of all levels to engage critically and gesture at parts of this text that may or may not work for them and with the benefit of two guest speakers whose own work has engaged in a critical understanding of digital media.

An evening seminar responding to readings of affect chosen to critically inform ethical practice:

1. Eugenie Brinkema (2014) A Tear That Does Not Drop, But Folds, In The Form of Affects, p.18-26.

2. Chloe Silverman (2011) Parents Speak: The Art of Love and the Ethics of Care, In Understanding Autism: Parents, Doctors, and the History of a Disorder, 2013, p.125-141.


Taking the main question from George M. Pullman to Lauren Berlant this roundtable considers the question: “I’m wondering what role you conceive affect theory playing in the face of an increasingly austere imaginary?” (2012). This informal seminar, which will take place at the Royal Society of the Arts, London, will be a contextualised reading of three texts about affect, namely of fear, love, disbelief, care and suffering. How we encounter affect in terms of practice, research or indeed research-practice is up for discussion as a critical-ethical matter.

These texts bring a range of disciplines, topics and subjects, into account in particular — film studies, literary studies, and disability studies. The readings will resonate for a wide-range of practices and theoreticians. The writing has been carefully selected to think ethically about our topics of study, be they humans, technologies (i.e. films), or indeed legislative matters or an entangling of three.

Current political changes in ethics in relation to consent and practice may be a backdrop for the more advanced scholar to think through an ethics of affect. This does not mean you need to be versed with ethical issues to attend this event, but expect to be introduced to weighing the ethics of an affective commitment in your current work.

You will be expected to read Brinkema and Silverman and the texts will follow shortly upon invitation. The Berlant interview offers further questions but is not the primary read in some respects.

Impairments and bodily suffering do alter experiences in the world, and sometimes in a range of ways. This gives much for us as a group to ponder.


For further reading:

Provocations and Propositions from Berlant:

Lauren Berlant (2012), Affect in the End Times: A Conversation with Lauren Berlant, In Qui Parle, Vol. 20, No. 2 (Spring/Summer 2012), p. 71-89.


How Roundtable discussion

Who The event will collectively bring together members from the DigiLab, LCC Graduate School and there will be two special guests: Dr Alex Taylor (Reader), Centre for Human Computer Interaction Design at City, University of London, Dr Rebekah Cupitt, Digital Anthropologist, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm. The session is convened by Dr Amanda Windle, Head of the LCC Graduate School and DigiLab Fellow, and Dr Sarah Cefai, Lecturer in Communications and Media.

Part of Research Fortnight