Æffective Æsthetics: Representations of Emotion


 Rice University's 30th Annual

 Graduate Symposium 




About the Conference

Conference Schedule

About Houston





Hosted by Rice University's Department of English


Artwork by D. G. Smith

 Call for Papers


September 26-27, 2008

Keynote Speaker

Jennifer C. Vaught


Affective representation in both artistic and lived experience is frequently explained in terms of competing social, political, and cultural systems that often nullify one another. Compounding the problem is the tendency for affect to complicate how we think about representation; it seems that the two are inextricable. Through investigating representations of affect within a variety of fields, this conference proposes to find inroads that will bring the competing claims of various discourses together into productive dialogue.


This conference will focus on how certain texts and practices--religious, literary, philosophical, scientific, or artistic--transmit and inform our understanding of historical and contemporary affective experience. We invite submissions that consider what work is accomplished within the interstices of affect and representation: through what mechanics do representations produce affect, and vice-versa; what kinds of tension arise between affect and representation; and how do all these factors combine to shape the perceived world of experience.



Possible paper topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Social and/or psychic processing of affect
  • History of affect, affective histories, affect in historical construction.
  • Science, scientific methodologies, and representations of affect.
  • Affect and the production(s) or representations of gender.
  • Performativity of affect in film or theater.
  • Spectator or audience emotive responses to material representations or artistic works.
  • Technology, media, and affective representations.
  • Intercultural exchanges, globalization, (post)colonialism, nationalism, and affect.


We invite both individual and panel submissions from all disciplines. Please send abstracts of 250 words or less to rice.symposium@gmail.com. Presentations should be no more than 20 minutes in length. Our submission deadline is May 15, 2008.