Political Theology Call for Proposals
Special Issue: Affect, Temporality, and Political Theology
This special issue aims to engage both contemporary affect theory and prior theorizations as they intersect with political and theological thinking. We are interested in proposals that bring past and present theorizations together or grapple with how temporality, history, and context shape affect and its theorization.
In designating affect as our central concept, we also invite work that engages adjacent categories such as sentiment, enthusiasm, feeling, attachment, or emotion. We seek analyses of ways that affective phenomena are interpreted across a wide range of political and cultural contexts and are eager to see submissions that think affect at the intersections of race and gender and that draw on non-Christian traditions. Amy Hollywood notes that “the Latin affectus, from the verb afficio — to do something to someone, to exert an influence on another body or another person, to bring another into a particular state of mind” (Cambridge Companion to Christian Mysticism, 2012) has a long history in Christian theology. While we hope some authors critically investigate this history, we hope others will demonstrate ways of moving beyond, or working outside it. We recognize that the central vocabularies for such projects may range widely.
Articles can take affect (or a related concept) as topic or method: they can center particular approaches to working on oneself, a framework for understanding or generating political energies, or a mode of interpreting ethics and politics. We invite reflection upon questions such as: In what ways does contemporary affect theory inherit from prior theorizations and conceptions (e.g., Augustine, Calvin, Romantics)? How does a European genealogy for thinking about affect continue to impact who is seen as practicing affect theory? How might concepts in political theology (i.e. sovereignty, the exception, the people, decision, biopolitics) that are presumed to be enduring, if not timeless, be reconceptualized when attuned to contextualized affect? What roles do affects or affective categories typically associated with religious experience (awe, piety, hope, and love, for example) play in political life; under what conditions do they inform what is seen as properly or improperly political? How do we think about temporality and affect in efforts to combat systemically embedded injustice in the Movement for Black Lives, advocacy for Indigenous sovereignty, environmental justice movements, or im/migrant resistance?
Please send 400 word abstracts by January 15, 2021, emailed to both jlupo (at) nd.edu and eleanor_craig (at) fas.harvard.edu. Those whose abstracts are selected will be invited to submit full articles due August 15, 2021, with anticipated publication in 2022.