From page 2 of the pre-circulated paper ("Emotional States: Jill Johnston’s Lesbian Nation as Affective Cartography," Sara Warner, Cornell) for a talk I'm not going to:
Ann Cvetkovich has suggested that “the archive demanded by gay and lesbian history is an emotional one. It not only demands new kinds of evidence but also requires that we think about evidence as an emotional category” (137). As a queer past “is produced through memory as much as through documents,” those in search of history “must construct an archive through the work of emotional investment” (137). In suggesting that we read queer cultural texts as “repositories of feelings and emotions,” Cvetkovich construes affects as objects that are embedded in the material remains and ephemeral traces of the past (7). Emotions are not things, however, and most certainly not coherent or stable things that reside in people or objects. Affects are not artifacts that can be filed in or salvaged from “an archive of feelings.” A queer archive, cautions Catherine Lord, “must refuse a stable architecture of political identity, memory, or faith in information as a retrievable commodity” (443).***
Cvetkovich, Ann. An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Cultures. Durham: Duke UP, 2003.
... and I don't actually see Catherine Lord in the Bibliography.
The Gender and Sexuality Seminar of the Harvard Humanities Center presents
Assistant Professor of Theatre, Cornell University
"The Affective Cartography of the Lesbian Nation"
Thursday, November 19
4:00p - 6:00p
Barker Center 133
This study takes as its premise the notion that the "imagined community" known as "the lesbian nation" is best understood not as an ideological construct or a realizable geographical entity but as an affective assemblage, as an affiliation of emotional states. We can credit radical feminism with ushering in the "affective turn" in critical theory. Insisting that a revolution in though involves, first and foremost, a rejection of the binary opposition between thinking and feeling, second wave feminists debunked the notion that enlightenment requires the subjugation of emotions to reason. Emotions move us; they push us and pull us, attract and repel us, orienting us toward and/or away from others, (re)aligning bodies into collectives and assemblages, into aesthetic and political movements. Affects bleed and flow across boundaries (political, sexual, racial, class, etc.). Lesbian feminists understood that these forces are not the property of particular subjects nor are they expressions of inner feelings, rather, they are socio-cultural practices that begin and end in broad circulation, cohering temporarily in various emotional states and corporealities. Drawing upon recent developments in affect theory, queer theory, and performance studies, I offer an affective cartography of radical feminism. My focus in this paper will be on the state of rage and its most notorious denizen, the angry lesbian. Case studies include Louise Fishman, the Radicalesbians, Valerie Solanas, Maxine Feldman, Audre Lorde, the Van Dykes, and the Furies collective.