On religion, affect, norms (including whiteness), on film and philosophy, you all should be following colleague and friend Gail Hamner’s blog; and this piece in particular is worth a close look
Our faculty colloquium this fall asked colleagues to select one word that motivates our work in religion (teaching, scholarship, or both). My word, unsurprisingly, was affect. These are my remarks:
In turning to the noun, affect, I want to foreground its forcefulness, the way this noun indexes its correlative verb–to affect and be affected, to influence and be influenced– and I want to conjoin this forcefulness with an atmospherics that curiously dis-places agency.
Consider this. Claudia Rankine opens her recent short drama, The White Card, with two images. The first is one of Robert Rauschenberg’s “White Paintings”*, this one a triptych of plain white panels, and second a photograph by Robert Longo titled “Untitled (Ferguson Police, August 13, 2014).”** The photograph is also a kind of triptych, turned horizontal to Rauschenberg’s vertical panels, with two bands of blackness on the top and bottom of the photo and a center…
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