Spaces of Affect

Authored by: Paul Simpson

The Ashgate Research Companion to Media Geography

Print publication date:  August  2014
Online publication date:  March  2016

Print ISBN: 9781409444015
eBook ISBN: 9781315613178
Adobe ISBN: 9781317042822


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Recently, work in human geography has undergone an expansion of its epistemological boundaries. There has been an increasing interest in “how life takes shape and gains expression in shared experiences, everyday routines, fleeting encounters, embodied movements, precognitive triggers, practical skills, affective intensities, enduring urges, unexceptional interactions and sensuous dispositions … which escape from the established academic habit of striving to uncover meanings and values that apparently await our discovery, interpretation, judgment and ultimate representation” (Lorimer 2005: 84). Emerging from frustrations with the perceived overemphasis on textuality in post-structural analyses that so influenced human geography during the 1990s and beyond (Thrift and Dewsbury 2000), it has been argued that we need to pay more attention to the “dynamism immanent to bodily matter” and so to recognize the significance of affect to the experience and production of social spaces (Clough 2010: 207). As such, attempts have been made to “slow the quick jump to representational thinking and evaluative critique” so as to approach “the complex and uncertain objects that fascinate because they literally hit us or exert a pull on us” (Stewart 2007: 4).

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