This presentation will draw from a larger project that aims to articulate notions of sovereignty, democracy, and freedom in affective and sensory terms. It conceives of sovereignty as an embodied practice rather than an abstract concept and as something that must be learned and experienced collectively over time rather than as a fixed and final condition of a sovereign or discrete individual or nation. Focusing in particular on how my work on affect has been informed by art practice, the talk will develop the concept of the “sovereignty of the senses” through a discussion of Alison Bechdel’s graphic narrative memoir, Are You My Mother?; the work of Haisla/Hieltsuk First Nations writer Eden Robinson; and queer and feminist installation projects by Zoe Leonard, Rachael Shannon, and Karin Michalski that use built environments to transform affective, sensory, and social experience.
A reception will follow the lecture.
This event is free and open to the public.
About the speaker:
Ann Cvetkovich is Ellen Clayton Garwood Centennial Professor of English and Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of Mixed Feelings: Feminism, Mass Culture, and Victorian Sensationalism (Rutgers, 1992); An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Cultures (Duke, 2003); andDepression: A Public Feeling (Duke, 2012). She co-edited (with Ann Pellegrini) “Public Sentiments,” a special issue of The Scholar and Feminist Online, and (with Janet Staiger and Ann Reynolds) Political Emotions (Routledge, 2010). She has been coeditor, with Annamarie Jagose, of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. Her current writing projects focus on the current state of LGBTQ archives and the creative use of them by artists to create counterarchives and interventions in public history.