Structures of Feeling

Copenhagen, 25-29 June 2012.

Raymond Williams coined the term "structure of feeling" in the 1970s to facilitate a historical understanding of "affective elements of consciousness and relationships." Since then, the need to understand emotions, moods and atmospheres as historical and social phenomena has only become more acute in an era of social networking, ubiquitous media and a public sphere permeated by images, commodities and an ever growing culture of advertisement.

Over the last years, affect studies have become one of the most thriving branches of contemporary humanities and social sciences, ranging from art and literary studies to psychology, sociology, anthropology and geography in a veritable trans-disciplinary venture to chart and understand the social reality and political effectiveness of shared feelings and propensities, of collective hopes and fears.

As a recent and expanding field of research, affect studies are open to all sorts of scrutiny of human feelings in their individual and collective guises, in different historical conditions and circumstances, relative to media, genres and other cultural forms of expression. Thus, recently thinkers as diverse as Brian Massumi, Nigel Thrift and Judith Butler have examined the affective nature and meaning of bodies, of spaces, and of wars, respectively.

With this summer school, we invite participants to take part in the investigation of the social life and cultural forms of affect and affectivity. How are affects important and how does affectivity make a difference in memory studies, in urban studies, in performance studies, and in the entire range of cultural studies across the humanities and social sciences today?

The summer school will accommodate 36 students from the ESSCS consortium. Work formats will alternate between panel presentations, keynote lectures, workshops and master classes.

The European Summer School in Cultural Studies is a joint venture between The International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture, Giessen, The Copenhagen Doctoral School in Cultural Studies, The Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, The London Consortium, Université de Paris VIII, The Lisbon Consortium, Ljubljana Graduate School of the Humanities and the University of Trondheim.

Proposals for 20 minutes papers should be submitted before 15 March 2012. Both doctoral students and junior researchers (post-docs) are invited to apply for the summer school.

Please register here.

Practical information will follow shortly after the registration deadline.