University of Amsterdam
Affective Privilege. Towards a Standpoint Theory of Emotion
13 April 2021, 18h00 (Lisbon summer time — GMT+1)
Online seminar (zoom link here)
Throughout history, oppressed groups have described their respective practices as being accompanied by intense feelings of joy, solidarity, transgression, or solace – the misery of their material living conditions notwithstanding. According to the self-description of such groups, they were able to unfold these feelings not despite, but because of their subaltern positions. How can this be explained? In this talk, I will try to lend plausibility to the notion of “affective privilege.” I argue that counter-communities – that is, oppositional communities of excluded, oppressed, exploited, or marginalized subjects – have access to “better” affects than their oppressors and exploiters. Dominant groups, according to this thesis, have more social power but worse emotions, they are economically or politically superior but affectively inferior.