On good listening, postcritique, and Ta-nehisi Coates' affective testimony
This chapter argues that a methodological shift from critical inquiry driven by a hermeneutics of suspicion toward more affective modes of reading can make literature a useful technology for cultivating a sensibility to the affective experiences of other corporealities. In contrast to skeptical approaches to "fellow-feeling" and "compassionate emotions' exhibited by prominent feminist figures like Sara Ahmed and Lauren Berlant, this chapter adopts the ideas of affect theory and new materialism to the study of literature by means of what Rita Felski has termed a "postcritical attitude." Turning to Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me (2015), the chapter shows how such an adaptation makes literature available as a useful technology for—in Latour's phrasing—"learning to be affected" by the lives of others.
Skiveren, T. (2019)., On good listening, postcritique, and Ta-nehisi Coates' affective testimony, in S. Ahern (ed.), Affect theory and literary critical practice, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 217-233.
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