Reconciliation: Theories of affect and its potential for Indigenous studies

Theme 4. Education
Session Name 4.8 Research as reconciliation: What is the situation in Canada and the Nordic countries?
Datetime Sep 06, 2018 02:35 PM - 02:45 PM (UTC +3)
Location IT113
Presentation Type Oral
Presenter Astri Dankertsen
Author(s) Astri Dankertsen (Nord University, Norway)
Abstract text

In this presentation, I will talk about the advantages of using theories of affect in combination with Indigenous perspectives when studying processes of reconciliation and decolonization. As Indigenous scholar Linda Tuhiwai Smith writes, “there are numerous oral stories of what it means, what it feels like, to be present while your history is erased before your eyes, dismissed as irrelevant, ignored or rendered as the lunatic raving of drunken old people” (Smith 2012:30-31). I argue that theories of affect by authors such as Ann Cvetkovich (2012), Judith Butler (2004), Sara Ahmed (2004) and Lauren Berlant (2011) are useful when analyzing processes of reconciliation and decolonization. It is a perspective that has as its main purpose to analyze the relationship between our bodies and the societies that we live in. According to Ahmed (2004: 5-7) involves thinking about the relation between emotion, bodily sensation and cognition, shaped by cultural histories and memories. Rather than analyzing processes of reconciliation and decolonization primarily as rational or juridical processes, theories of affect helps us analyze the complex process of decolonization as a complex and disparate phenomena. I argue that it is necessary to analyze processes these processes in relation to structures of emotions and complex intercultural practices both in everyday life and political processes.

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