Critical Affect: The Politics of Method

Ashley Barnwell

Edinburgh University Press | Published : 2020


Following the rising interest in affective aspects of social experience, there has been a rush to set aside poststructural critique and embrace methods that are seen to be more in touch with emotional truths and embodied sensations. The central claim is that critique has become routinely suspicious, always searching for hidden motives or seeking to debunk false consciousness, and is therefore unable to read people’s everyday beliefs for ‘what they are’. Bruno Latour (2004), for example, argues that critique has now ‘run out of steam’ and likens the critic to a conspiracy theorist, obsessed with unveiling hidden motives. Eve Kosofsky...