“Can the subaltern feel?” asks José Esteban Muñoz (2006, 677) in response to Gayatri Spivak’s well-known dictum “Can the subaltern speak?” According to Spivak (1988), the subaltern, a postcolonial variation of the Gramscian figure of the economically dispossessed, cannot speak, let alone know herself under the neocolonial structures of discourse she seeks to disrupt. But does this also preclude the subaltern from feeling? Muñoz’s provocative retort gets to the epistemological problem at the center of affect studies: Can knowing be felt, and is feeling a way of knowing?

This essay may be found on page 15 of the printed volume.

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