Feeling Modern/Modeng/Modan–cfp

Feeling Modern/Modeng/Modan: Emotionality vis-à-vis Modernity in East Asia
Call For Papers: ACLA 2018


Organizer: Chun-yu Lu <clu02@wm.edu>

This seminar explores the roles of emotion, feeling and affect in facilitating the discourses of modernity in China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and other East Asian regions.  We intend to examine the emotive and affective responses to various conditions and discourses in the East Asian modern, such as colonialism, imperialism, war, revolution, enlightenment, conservatism, high-modernism, capitalism, etc. One pioneer of the study of affective modernity in East Asia is Haiyan Lee’s Revolution of the Heart, which expounds a genealogy of love in modern China and suggests that love interpellates the modern notions of self, gender, sexuality and nation. In addition to romantic love in Lee’s study, the emotions and affects that are used to engage the modern subject formation may, broadly defined and sometimes contradictory, include the “ugly feelings,” “cruel intimacy,” eerily sensations, melodramatic tears, hysterical laughter, sensual excitement, traumatic pain, patriotic passion, etc. We will discuss how emotions and affect construct, contradict or complicate the tensions and the bonds between the mind and the body, the subject and the object, the psychic and the social, the individual and the collective, the public and the private, the hegemony and the subordinated, the nation and diaspora, as well as politics and aesthetics.

Questions we may ask include: How emotions and affect are “directed” towards an object, an other, or an idea, in various political and economic situations? How did East Asian writers, intellectuals, filmmakers and audiences conceptualize “modern” in emotive terms? How are emotion and affect mobilized by the individual, the state, or the market to produce modern subjectivity? How did emotions mediate or negotiate the subject’s experience and imagination of being modern in East Asia? How East Asian modernities are affected by the West and by each other? How the theories of emotion and affect inform and challenge our understanding of East Asian modernities? How do the East Asian modernities complicate, intervene or destabilize the theories of affect and emotion?

The papers in this seminar will provide opportunities to understand the affective modernity in East Asia from comparative perspectives and to examine the interconnectedness and transculturation when East Asia feels “modern.”

To submit a paper proposal, please write up a 250-word abstract. Please include the title of your paper, your abstract, your rank and your email address via the ACLA website.

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