Response to Clough’s “The Affective Turn”

I struggled with this piece, feeling like I lacked a common vocabulary with the author and the theorists she presents.  I was surprised, since I thought I understood our previous class discussion on affective labor — “work to produce and reproduce life” as someone quoted this week — so I had an easier time following Clough’s couple of sections that dealt with labor, but I stuggled most with the concept of the affective body: the pre-individual, pre-emotional, indeterminate, body-not-as-organism body.

One way that I’ve tried to make sense of this is to think of the affected body, which is what I believe the theorists in Clough’s examples were studying when they investigated the automatic, non-conscious bodily reactions of pupil dilation, etc. that occur immediately in response to a stimulus, even as conscious awareness of the stimulus lags behind by a half second or so.  Is this understanding of “affectedness” compatible at all with Clough’s conception of the affective turn?  If so, how does it illustrate an idea of the body as indeterminate or non-organismic?

Hopefully the class can help me understand this material, since I feel like my questions keep spinning me in circles.


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