The Political Life of Affective Spaces

Book Talk

May 14, 2024 | 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Common Room (#136), 2 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA,

Speaker

Shih-Diing Liu | Professor, Department of Communication, University of Macau

Chair/Discussant

Elizabeth J. Perry | Henry Rosovsky Professor Of Government, Harvard University; Director, Harvard-Yenching Institute

China is saturated with complex emotions. Although emotions are constitutive in Chinese public culture, their implications are poorly understood. In this presentation, I aim to illuminate how and why emotions and affect open up new avenues for understanding the dynamics, struggles and tensions in contemporary Chinese society and politics. This discussion revolves around the analytical foundation for our new book, Affective Spaces: The Cultural Politics of Emotion in China (Edinburgh University Press, co-authored with Wei Shi). I will contextualize the concept of affective space, explaining why it provides a unique lens for exploring topics such as emotional mobilization, psychoanalysis of nationalism and nativism, workers’ embodied fear, digital affective publics, and the evolving state-society relations with distinct Chinese characteristics.

Shih-Diing Liu is Professor of Communication and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Macau. His research has appeared in Positions: Asia Critique, Third World Quarterly, Social Movement Studies, and New Left Review. He is the author of The Politics of People: Protest Cultures in China (State University of New York Press, 2019).

 

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The Political Life of Affective Spaces