2017-18: CFA—Affect, Emotion & Sensation

2017-18 Bingham Faculty Fellows Theme

Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society (CCHS)

2017-18: CFA—Affect, Emotion & Sensation

CCHS is organized around an annual theme that provides the foundation for the academic year's scheduled events and for a Humanities Research Lab, involving a bimonthly colloquium.  The theme for the 2017-2018 academic year is Affect, Emotion, Sensation.

This year’s theme explores the significance of affect, emotion, and sensation for humanistic research. Might emotion be a route to knowledge, implicated even in those forms of scholarship that pride themselves on objectivity and reasoned response? How can we see the affective dimension of experience as indispensable to the production, reception, understanding, and criticism of art? What are the relations between emotion and sensation: do we (must we) understand feelings as embodied? What are the histories of affect, emotion, and sensation and of human experiences of them? Can we think with and through “attachment,” theorize its role in reading and response? Can there be an ethics of feeling, an epistemology of trauma, a politics of empathy, or an aesthetics of sentimentalism? To what extent might gender, racial, and national identities have an irreducibly affective dimension? This year’s theme invites faculty to bring new perspectives to scholarship on the nature and significance of affect.

CCHS themes are designed to touch upon diverse disciplinary questions and approaches. In keeping with the core mission of CCHS, they seek to foreground forms of humanistic inquiry in research and advanced learning not only in humanities departments but also across the whole range of departments of the college.

The CCHS theme provides the rubric for the Humanities Research Lab. While the theme needn’t be the explicit topic of all research proposals, it is expected that Fellows will position themselves to contribute substantively to scholarly discussion of the theme.

Humanities Research Lab will be held twice monthly on second and fourth Thursday afternoons and run as a colloquium, focusing on written materials disseminated by the Faculty Fellows and special guests. Humanities Research Lab will typically feature remarks by the one of the Fellows, responses by experts from UofL and distinguished visitors, and an open discussion among the participants and the audience. As space permits, graduate students and other faculty are invited to participate. Readings for the Humanities Research Lab series will be provided by sending an email request to the CCHS Program Coordinator at tracy.heightchew@louisville.edu.