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Affective Methodologies - seminar series

Graduate School, Arts at Aarhus University


Emotions, embodiment and affects are important drivers in the experience econo- my, in creative industries in general, in global digital forms of communication, in the performative impact of art works, sound, noise and atmospheres, in the manifestation of contemporary social and political movements, and in political  communication becoming predominantly populist. The methodological challenges to investigate new materialities and infrastructures, more-than-representational layers and their affective impact have been addressed by a first generation of affective  methodology books (cf. Coleman & Ringrose (Eds.) 2013, Knudsen and Stage (Eds.) 2015, Vannini (Ed.) 2015). This seminar’s aim is to zoom further in on critical moments in capturing/producing empirical material for the study of affect and emotion – in order to rethink how to “stay with the trouble of affects” without reducing affects to discourses and without opposing a representational thinking with a non-representational thinking and without being satisfied by working on affects as forces that cannot  be approached. It is necessary to reconsider all the steps in a research design in or der to take the leap into the affective realms and in order to fully embrace the empirical opportunities of affective methodologies research.

Questions and key issues guiding the seminar:

  • How to develop an affectively attuned research question? – in relation to wider, theoretically informed conceptual repertoires (charisma, crowd, event, rhythm, contagion, assemblage, networks, flows, hauntings, and so  on).
  • How to balance analytical needs of definition, delimitation, description with theo- retical and/ or empirical openness, in-betweenness, excess, and so  on?
  • How to construct or capture empirical material for the study of affect or emotion in relation to repertoires of established methods or experimental approaches (e.g. auto-ethnography, creative methods, visual methods or practice-based  research).
  • How to analyze affects in mediated textualities (e.g. social media), across sensual modalities (audio, visual, tactile etc.) or within milieus configured by rhythms, atmosphere or im/material practice?
  • How to read for affects in different types and genres of  texts?
  • How to work with and through the researcher’s own body and bodily responses to the research environment?


Participants of this course will get a thorough introduction to the methodological challenges of working with affect. The seminars also poses a chance to meet and talk to prominent people in the field.

Literature & Program

A reading list will be distributed. If you want to see the readings before signing up for the seminars, please see the program or contact us for further information.


Methodology I: What is affect and why is it a challenge to investigate it?

September 19, 13-16. Building 1465, room 215

Guest talk by Anu Koivunen (Stockholm Univ.) [45 min + 30 min discussion] The talk will be followed by an experimental workshop for members of the Body Politics Research Unit.

Responsible: Carsten Stage

Methodology II: How to develop an affectively attuned re- search question?

September 26, 13-16. Building 1465, room 215

Guest talks by Rebecca Coleman (Goldsmith) and Dorthe Staunæs (DPU) [each 45 min + 30 min discussion]

Responsible: Britta Timm Knudsen

Construction/capture of empirical material

October 10, 13-16. Building 1465, room 215

Guest talks by Sophie Hope (Birkbeck) and Martin Trandberg Jensen (AAU) [each 45 min + 30 min discussion]

Responsible: Signe Uldbjerg Mortensen

Analysing affects I: Mediated textualities

October 24, 13-16. Bulding 1453, room 229

Guest talk by Darren Kelsey (Newcastle Univ.) [45 min. + 30 min. discussion]

The talk will be followed by shorter presentations by members of the Body Politics Research Unit: Stage, Knudsen, Kølvraa

Responsible: Carsten Stage

Analysing affects II: Milieu and im/material practices October

October 31, 13-16. Building 1465, room 215

Guest talk by Julian Henriques (Goldsmith) [45 min + 30 min. discussion]

The talk will be followed by an internal workshop with short presentations by members of the Body Politics Research Unit.

Responsible: Mads Krogh

Art and methodology workshop: testing and rehearsing

November 21, 12-18. Langelandsgade 143, building 1585, room “Lille Sal” Workshops by François Piquet (, Guadeloupe) and Jeannette Ehlers (, Denmark)

Responsible: Britta Timm Knudsen

Preliminary readings:

  • Knudsen, B.T. and Stage, C. (Eds.) (2015).Affective Methodologies. Developing Cultural research Strategies for the Study of Affect.New York: Palgrave.
  • Knudsen, B.T., Stage, C. (2016). “Affektteori” in Schiermer, B. (ed.) Kulturteori og Kultursociologi. København: Hans Reitzels Forlag.
  • Vannini, P. (Ed.). (2015). Non-representational methodologies: Re-envisioning research (Vol. 12). Routledge.

Methodology I

  • Koivunen, A. (2010): “An Affective Turn? Reimagining the subject of feminist theory”. In: Marianne Liljeström & Susanna Paasonen (eds): Disturbing Differences: Working with Affect in Feminist Readings (London: Routledge 2010)
  • Massumi, Brian (2002): “The Autonomy of Affect” in Parables for the Virtual, Durham og London: Duke University Press
  • Wetherell, Margaret (2012): “Negotiating Affect” in Affect and Emotion: A New Social Science Understanding:  London: SAGE Publications Ltd

Methodology II

  • Coleman, R. & Ringrose, J. (2013).”Introduction: Deleuze and research methodolo- gies”. in Deleuze and Research Methodologies. Edinburgh University Press.
  • Staunæs, D. & Bjerg, H. (2011): “Self-management through shame: uniting governmentality studies and the affective turn” in Ephemera: Theory & politics in organization volume 11(2): 138-156
  • Lorimer, J.(2007) “Non-human charisma”, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, volume 25, pages 911-932

Construction/capture of empirical material

  • Hope, S. (2006): “Bursting paradigms: a colour wheel of practice-research” In Cultural Trends, Vol. 25, Iss. 2. Routledge, 74-86
  • Hickey-Moody, A. (2013). “Affect as Method: Feelings, Aesthetics and Affective Pedagogy” in Coleman, R & Ringrose, J (eds.) Deleuze and Research Methodologies. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Analysing affects I: Mediated textualities

  • Kelsey, D. (2017): “Why Study Mythology and How is it Affective?” in Media and Affective Mythologies. Palgrave
  • Paasonen, S. (2016): “Fickle focus: Distraction, affect and the production of value insocial media”. First Monday 21(10).

Analysing affects II: Milleu and im/material practices

  • Henriques, J. (2010). “The vibrations of affect and their propagation on a night out on Kingston’s dancehall scene”. Body & Society, 16(1), 57-89.
  • Henriques, J., Tiainen, M., & Väliaho, P. (2014). “Rhythm returns: Movement and cultural theory”. Body & Society, 20(3-4), 3-29.

Art and methodology workshop: testing and rehearsing

  • Sarah De Nardi (2014): “Senses of Place, Senses of the Past: Making Experiential Maps as Part of Community Heritage Fieldwork”, Journal of Community Archaeology & Heritage, 1:1, 5-22
  • Fisher, J & Rechitt, H. (2015): “Museums and Affect” Journal of Curatorial Studies, Volume 4, Number 3, 1 October 2015, pp. 361-362. Intellect.
  • Mignolo, W. (2014): “Decolonial aesthetics/aesthesis has become a connector across the continents”. Contemporary And (C&)

​Additional literature:

  • Ahmed, Sara (2004) The Cultural Politics of Emotion, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press
  • Ahmed, Sara (2010) The Promise of Happiness, Durham og London: Duke University Press
  • Anderson, B. & Harrison, P. (red.) (2010) Taking-Place: Non-representational theories and geography. Surrey: Ashgate
  • Anderson, B. (2014): Encountering affect: capacities, apparatuses, conditions. Ashgate
  • Blackman, Lisa (2012) Immaterial Bodies. Affect, Embodiment, Mediation,(Kap. 1-2) London: Sage
  • Brady, W. J., Wills, J. A., Jost, J. T., Tucker, J. A., & Van Bavel, J. J. (2017). Emotion shapes the diffusion of moralized content in social networks. ProceedingsoftheNationalAcademyof Sciences, 114(28), 7313–7318.
  • Brennan, T. (2004) The Transmission of Affect, Ithaca: Cornell University Press
  • Cho, Grace M. (2008) Haunting the Korean Diaspora. Shame, Secrecy, and the Forgotten War, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press
  • Clough, P.T. (red.) (2007) The Affective Turn. Theorizing the Social, DUrham: Duke University Press
  • Deleuze, Gilles (1985) L’Image-Temps, Paris: Miniut
  • Deleuze, G. (1988) Spinoza. Practical Philosophy. San Francisco: City Light.
  • Deleuze, G. (1990) Expression in Philosophy: Spinoza. New York: Zone
  • Deleuze, G & Guattari, F. (1996) Hvad er filosofi? København: Gyldendal
  • Fox, N. (2015). “Emotions, affects and the production of social life”. TheBritishJournalofSociology,66(2)
  • Gibbs, Anna (2008) “Panic! Affect contagion, mimesis and suggestion in the social field” in Cultural Studies Review, 14, 130-145
  • Goodman, S. (2012). Sonic warfare: Sound, affect, and the ecology of fear. MIT Press
  • Hemming, C. (2015). “Affect and feminist methodology, or what does it mean to be moved?” In: Devika, S. and Tygstrup, F., (eds.): Structures of Feeling: Affectivity and the Study of Culture. Concepts for the Study of Culture (5). De Gruyter, 147-158
  • Henriques, J. (2008): “Sonic diaspora, vibrations, and rhythm: thinking through the sounding of the Jamaican dancehall session” in African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal, Vo.1(2) 215 - 236
  • Henriques, J. (2011). Sonic Bodies. Continuum
  • Jasen, P. C. (2016) Low End Theory: Bass, Bodies and the Materiality of Sonic Experience. Bloomsbury
  • Karatzogianni, A. (2015). “The fourth phase (2010–2014). Digital activism invades mainstream politics”. In Firebrand: WavesofDigitalActivism1994–2014. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 66-120
  • Kuntsman, A. & Karatzogianni, A: (2012). Digital Cultures and the Politics of Emotion. New York: Palgrave
  • Lacey, J. (2016). Sonic rupture: a practice-led approach to urban soundscape design. Bloomsbury
  • Leys, Ruth (2011) ”The Turn to Affect: A Critique” i Critical Inquiry, vol. 37, nr. 3 (2011), s. 434-472
  • Lury, C., & Wakeford, N. (Eds.). (2012). Inventive methods: The happening of the social. Routledge
  • Massumi, B. (2008), ”Of microperception and micropolitics”, Inflexions, 3, 1-20
  • Ngai, Sianne (2005) Ugly Feelings, Cambridge: Harvard University Press
  • Papacharissi, Zizi (2015) Affective Publics, Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • Salter, C. (2015).Alien Agency: Experimental encounters with art in the making. MIT Press
  • Sampson, Tony D. (2011) Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press
  • Seigworth, G.J & Gregg, M. (2010).The Affect Theory Reader. Durham,London: Duke University Press
  • Sundén, Jenny (2013) “Corporeal Anachronisms: Notes on affect, relationality, and power in steapunk”,Somatehcnics, 3:2, 369-386
  • Thrift, Nigel (2008) Non-Representational Theory, London & New York: Routledge
  • Tolia-Kelly, D.V., Waterton, E., Watson, S. (eds.) (2017): Heritage, Affect and Emotion. Politics, Practices and Infrastructures. London and New York: Routledge

Target group

The seminars are directed at PhD students on all levels working with affect. The course give an overview of affective methodologies but it also gives room for reflections and debate.




The series consists of 5 seminars of three hours each and a final workshop of 6 hours. It is possible to only participate in the seminars, that are relevant to you. Please find the descriptions of the seminars in the program or contact us for more information.


Each seminar is rewarded 0.5 ECTS credits.

For students participating in the entire series is rewarded 3.5 credits due to extra readings.


Britta Timm Knudsen,

Carsten Stage,

Mads Krogh,

For practical information on registration etc. contact Signe Uldbjerg Mortensen

Dates and time

September 19, 13-16

September 26, 13-16

October 10, 13-16

October 24, 13-16

October 31, 13-16

November 21, 12-18


Seminar 1-3 & 5: building 1465, room 215 (Jens Chr. Skous Vej, Aarhus C)

Seminar 4:  building 1453, room 229 (Jens Chr. Skous Vej, Aarhus C)

Workshop (6): building 1585, room “Lille Sal” (Langelandsgade 143, Aarhus C)

Application deadline

It is possible to apply to the seminars separately. Application must be send ten days before the first seminar you are planning to attend.

Please apply for a spot to Signe Uldbjerg Mortensen

Organizing team:

Britta Timm Knudsen,

Carsten Stage,

Mads Krogh,

Signe Uldbjerg Mortensen,

Ann-Katrine Schmidt Nielsen,

Josefine Brink Siem,

Christina Jerne,


Course dates
19 September 2018 - 21 November 2018
See "Program"
See "Program" and "Venue"
Aarhus C
0,5 points

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