PAL and the Franklin Humanities Institute Seminar are delighted to welcome Ruth Leys to Duke on Tuesday 25 January. Professor Leys, a historian of science, is well known for her books Trauma: A Genealogy and From Guilt to Shame: Auschwitz and After. She will give a talk called “The Turn to Affect: A Critique” in the “Garage” (C105) in the Smith Warehouse (Bay 4) at 5:30 p.m. For more information click here.
In this talk, Professor Leys will argue that the recent turn to affect in the humanities and social sciences is marred by untenable assumptions about the absence of intention, signification and meaning in affect. She will also suggest that, in denying the role of intention and meaning in affect, the new Deleuze-inspired affect theorists make common cause with today’s affective neurosciences, which likewise mistakenly tend to separate emotion or affect from cognition and meaning. In the course of her paper, Leys will work through some of the neuroscientific experiments that play a strategic role in recent writings on affect and will reflect on the general theoretical, political and other implications of the recent turn to affect. Her talk will be of interest to scholars and students in the humanities, social sciences, and neurosciences, including philosophers, literary critics, historians, cultural theorists, anthropologists, and others.