Affect studies

Bridges birds-nest-and-fernsAn emerging field under this rubric, affect studies describes the investigation of how emotions frame and propel our perceptions of social relations and textual phenomena. An interdisciplinary endeavor that encompasses research ranging from cultural studies and literary studies to geography, psychology, and biology, affect studies investigate variegated topics that include public-private sphere relationships, political representations, and aesthetic strategies.

Professor Kilcup has addressed central concerns of affect studies for many years, beginning with her exploration of Emily Dickinson’s and Walt Whitman’s affective stances, particularly their use of sentimental sympathy and their intimate engagements with readers. Her recent work in Fallen Forests formulates the concept of literary emotional intelligence, which clarifies how nineteenth-century American women writers’ affective strategies contributed to social and cultural change, and argues that emotional discourses possess continuing efficacy to intervene in contemporary environmental debates.

Please click on the image above for examples of Professor Kilcup’s work in affect studies.

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