Affect

The concept of affect has opened up the study of media practices and technologies as carriers and mechanisms that articulate, direct, intensify, and orient feeling within context-specific social and political configurations. Affect theory provides a way into these configurations, by rethinking and privileging the felt aspects of everyday life, social change, and durable structures of power, in their (in some cases) nonrepresentational aspects. In studying affect, scholars aim to analyze what is not typically accounted for in media studies: how things feel, for whom, and with what potential. As Terri Senft (forthcoming) puts it, the concerns of affect theory exceed what can easily be located in the traditional study of meaning, representation, symbols, and signs.

In The Affect Theory Reader, Melissa Gregg and Greg Seigworth define affect as “what arises in the midst of inbetweenness, in the capacities to act and be acted upon.” It is the term …

This essay may be found on page 12 of the printed volume.

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