Crossover: Literature──Politics ──Theater──Photography Series
第三場 : Posthumanist Perspectives on Affect
合辦單位：中華民國英美文學學會 / 臺灣師範大學英語系
主持人：Mary Goodwin (國立台灣師範大學英語系教授)
演講人：Magdalena Zolkos (Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Social Justice, Australian Catholic University)
Mary Goodwin is professor of English at National Taiwan Normal University, where she teaches courses in British and American Literature, crime fiction and science fiction. She holds a doctorate in British and American literature from the University of Virginia, and her research interests include travel literature and anglophone writing about Taiwan and other sites in Asia. Her recent publications include essays on migration and memory in Taiwan novels, memory work in G B Tran’s Vietnamerica, and gothic transformations in work by Lafcadio Hearn and Angela Carter. Her essay on campus novels by Lin Yi-han, Chiung Yao, Catherine Dai and Dana Standridge, set in Taiwan, is under review for a new volume of writing about Taiwan, edited by Carlos Rojas.
演講人: Magdalena Zolkos (Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Social Justice, Australian Catholic University)
講題: Posthumanist Perspectives on Affect
Post-humanism has come to designate (often quite diverse) positions that call into question anthropocentrism of Western modernity, whereby the human is assumed to constitute a form of social and biological life distinct from and superior to non-human life. In this context, the notion of “affect” has generated a great deal of discussion to the extent that it has come to designate a non-cognitive and non-volitional expression of socio-biological life. Regarded by various authors as synonymous with, yet non-identical to, the categories of viscerality, intensity and capacity for action respectively, recently affect has also acquired political implications insofar as it critically illuminates the current biopolitical dimensions of neo-liberal governance. In this paper, I will argue that contrary to the dominant discussions of affect as expressive of a certain quality of “resilience” or “vibrancy” of human and non-human subjects, it is important to illuminate the connection between affect and precarity of life, in particular as it is articulated through the concept of trauma. I will discuss the connection between affect and trauma, drawing on the writings of Catherine Malabou, and will then position it in relation to two selected cultural texts: first, a piece of post-colonial writing by a Hawaiian-American author, Hanya Yanagihara, The People in the Trees, which introduces a figure of the irreparably wounded, yet long-living, (traumatized) natives of a fictional island of U’ivu; and second, a ‘failed’ memorial on the Utøya island, seeking to commemorate the victims of the July 22 attacks in Norway, by cutting into and removing parts of an island as a literal and figurative expression of trauma’s irreparability.
Magdalena Zolkos is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Justice at the Australian Catholic University. She is the author of Reconciling Community and Subjective Life: Trauma Testimony as Political Theorizing (Continuum 2010), the editor of On Jean Améry: Philosophy of Catastrophe (Lexington 2011), and co-editor of Critical Childhood Studies and the Practice of Interdisciplinarity (Lexington 2015). Her publications on the topics related to memory studies, politics of historical justice, literary trauma criticism and affect theory appeared in Angelaki, Contemporary Political Theory, Critical Horizons, Humanities, and Textual Practice.