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CUSP Vol2. No.1. : On AFFECT

This issue of CUSP (Journal of Studies in Culture Subjectivity Psyche) looks at and reflects on the question of ' affect' . It attempts to bring the clinical, the legal, the political, the larger social, as also the cultural to dialogue through the question of affect. In this issue, we intend to push the limits of disciplinary boundaries and critically-clinically think through the reason-affect binary that frames the language of law, the grammar of the political, and the methods of the natural and the social sciences. In recent years there has been a proliferation of writing on emotion and/or affect in the humanities and the social sciences, which not only contested the epistemological foundations of many modern disciplines but also opened up multidisciplinary ways of thinking about individual and collective experience. While affect is often characterized as non-cognitive, non-linguistic, pre-subjective visceral force, and seen in terms of asocial assemblages, without falling into this frame, we, in this Volume of CUSP explore how affect is constituted by and felt within the socio-politico-economic-legal contexts and histories, in as much as it influences and shapes the political, the social, the legal, and the cultural; as also the clinical.

Who is the modern affective subject?

How do pain, cruelty, guilt, suffering, violence get scripted on the human (and the socio-legal) psyche? How is the affect of peoples, communities, and nations formed through the workings of the unconscious, albeit, in all its uncanniness? Situated in the context of the postcolonial, spatially and temporally, we ask: on which register, can cultures of affect be traced? Is there an 'affect of Europe' , distinct from the 'affect of the postcolonial' ? How do we explore the affective dimensions of the 'post' in the postcolonial? Where do we locate bhaava, anubhaava and associated feelings of daya, prem, byatha, dukkha, ananda, glaani?

Effect of the Affective Turn

How would the affective turn or the turn to affect influence the logic and rationale of the political and legislative exercises, adjudicative hermeneutics, as well as the theories of the nation, the state and the nation-state? What would the affective-epistemic shift mean for the category of human rights and the juridical/ political contestations based on caste, sexuality, violence, state impunity, globalization and market logic? Would this expose the underbelly of ever increasing entitlements and rights? What would the nation look and feel like post the affective turn? Would it lead to the surfacing of the wounds of the unwritten histories of exclusions and compel us to ask, what does the evocation of We, the people actually suppress? Is there an unaddressed collective rage or an unacknowledged guilt, threatening the fragile promise of equality, liberty and fraternity?


These are some questions and issues that CUSP attempts to engage with in the present issue. In addition to these overarching issues, we also invite papers on the following topics (these topics are only suggestive and not exhaustive):

  • Philosophy and Cultures of Affect
  • The Affective-turn in Philosophy and Social Sciences
  • Affect in the Psychoanalytic Setting
  • Caste, Sexuality, Humiliation
  • Space, Affinities, Desire
  • Love, Silences, Death
  • Rights, Moral, Trust
  • Affect and Science and Medicine
  • Affective Publics – Collective Affect
  • Political Affect and Marxist Rationalism
  • Affective Faith, Religion, Dogma

Guidelines to the authors:

Those who wish to contribute papers may send their abstracts of about 500 words by 15th July, 2016 to: cuspaffect@gmail.com

Date of submission of first draft of the paper will be 31st October, 2016. After the blind peer review, the authors will be requested to send their final submissions by 15th December, 2016. The word limit for each paper is 8000-10,000 words. Authors are requested to follow the APA citation format.

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