768.2 Women in the streets and affections: Revisiting the debate on the “affective turn” in feminist theory

Saturday, August 4, 2012: 4:25 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Rosimeire SILVA , Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
The feminist practices have contributed, throughout its history, to destabilize categories unquestioned by modern science. The various forms of oppression as well as the diversity of struggles, spaces, and ways of creating these women, their multiple affiliations and silences to which they were relegated to serve as a catalyst for the emergence of a new body of theory that questioned, through the living experience, universalism, essentialism and Eurocentrism. Studies in the political culture of the emotions were written with depth and rigor and the patriarchal structures of modern science were put in check by intense debate. However, it seems to us that even after several advances and the underlining of a complex theoretical framework, the question of objectivity and, therefore, the idea of a supporting reason; even as they appear to be revised and reinterpreted, continue to be rejected by the studies presently named “affective turn”. “The” modernity was questioned, but not the modern practices that persist on informing our speeches. The affective turn, despite being critically striking the deal with the inherited conceptions of modernity, fails by not proposing its transformation.

Thus, the aim of our paper is, through a discussion to dialogue with recent studies that represent the “affective turn” in feminist theory, a proposal to recover the affections of the political philosophy of Baruch Spinoza, while arguing about the need for overcoming the modern legacy and to release our practices and policies from the yoke of “objectivity”. Therefore, we propose the (re)meeting of Spinoza’s philosophy and feminist theory with the struggles of these women, leaders of a movement of people in the Brazilian streets, where the affections are already commonly understood as continuous variations of our ability to exist and as a place to expand our power of action in the world, living, thinking and feeling, inseparably.