Call for papers: Emotion/affect and imperial formations Postgraduate/ECR virtual workshop

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Fresco depicting the Quit India Movement by artist Beohar Rammanohar Sinha

How do emotion and affect continue to play a role in the construction of imperial power dynamics and imperial relationships? From anti-immigrant sentiments to forced displacement, echoing historical patterns of exclusion to affective legacies of imperialism within colonised populations through historical traumas and loss, the affective dimension of the fabric of postcolonial and imperial relationships is significant. Emotions and affective attachments related to particular historical contexts and locations need to go beyond universalistic interpretations. By incorporating perspectives from decolonial and postcolonial studies, anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, media studies, and history, our workshop seeks to explore affective experiences in imperial formations that go beyond the local, regional, and global levels. Our workshop broadly asks the following questions: 

- How are imperial affects activated and remain affective?

- To what extent is affective relationship critical in the dynamics of imperial mediation and contestation? 

- What does it mean to interrogate imperial power and knowledge via affect? 

We invite papers that explore these issues by bringing a critical attention to the intersections of the affective with embodied, gendered, racialized, and classed subjectivities, geographies, and histories in their relation to structures of power. These topics may include (but are not limited to) the following: 

- The emotional legacies of imperialism 

- Gendered and racialized dimensions of affect in imperial contexts and coloniality 

- The emotional dimension of resistance against imperial rule and colonial power 

- Contemporary affective registers of imperial narratives and legacies 

- The emotional reactions (e.g., anger, grief, and frustration) to environmental injustice and neo-imperialism 

- Reflection on Western-centrism and Eurocentrism in emotion studies 

- Exclusion of experiences of the Global South in affect and emotion studies 

We especially invite submissions from PhD/early career researchers. Please send us your abstract (max. 200 words) and a short biography by 29 February.

The virtual workshop will take place on 19 March 2024.


Attendance is free for BISA members. Due to obtaining funding we are offering free registration tickets for 6 postgraduate/ECR non-members. Please send a short application (max. 300 words) for this fund. 

Prices for non-members are as follows: Standard non-member: £49, PGR Student/ECR: £32

Find out more about becoming a BISA member

Submissions and inquiries: BISA Emotions in Politics and IR WG