Low Affect / High Stakes Symposium


A Sussex Symposium

Friday, 9 November 2012

This Sussex symposium, was  co-sponsored by Centre for Modernist Studies, the Centre for Sexual Dissidence, and the Centre for Visual Fields and took off thematically from the Thinking Feeling conference held at Sussex in 2011. It questioned how we manage emotion in the wake of the painful paradoxes and eviscerated futures of the neo-liberal contemporary moment. Low Affects/High Stakes considered the future (and the pasts) of not feeling very much, or avoiding feeling very much, or not feeling very human, in times of political and personal crises. The symposium featured keynote talks from Professor Peter Coviello (Bowdoin College), ‘The Pistol in the Suitcase: Motive, Temporality, Queer Youth Suicide’ on queer teen suicide and the ‘It Gets Better’ campaign, and Professor Heather Love (University of Pennsylvania), ‘The Natural History of Reading,’ on post-war social science and Erving Goffmann.



Pam Thurschwell (Sussex) “Pauses and Pessimism in Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From the Goon Squad

Doug Haynes (Sussex) “Obstacles: Cruel Optimism or Kind Pessimism?”

Karen Schaller (UEA) “Crimes of Passion: Deconstruction and the Economy of Criticism”

Rachel O’Connell (Sussex) “Middlebrow Affects: Aestheticism and Lifestyle Journalism at the Fin de Siècle”

Sara Crangle (Sussex) “Martyrs and Willed Passivity”

Ruth Charnock (Sussex) “Nin, Incest, and the 1990s”

Event Director – Pam Thurschwell (Sussex)