9534 - Citizenship and the Bonds of Affect - This course is an investigation into the potentially inhuman or anti-human subject at the heart of citizenship. As the very title of the 1789 Déclaration des droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen indicates, the continuity between the figure of the human and that of the citizen cannot be taken for granted. Emotion and affect negotiates the chasm between the human and the citizen. As Susan Maslan observes, Marquis de Lafayette, argued that the declaration should “dire ce que tout le monde sait, ce que tout le monde sent.” The world should not only know but also feel these foundations of contemporary citizenship. The capacity to feel becomes just as, and perhaps even more, indicative of humanity as the capacity to reason. However, recent theories of affect and emotion contend that the capacity for feeling does not necessarily affirm a human subject. Perhaps citizenship is not so human and not so humane. What would it mean for our understandings of contemporary citizenship to divorce the citizen from the human? What is the role of emotion and affect in citizenship? How does guilt, love, paranoia, forgiveness, melancholia, shame and compassion intersect with the production of citizenship? Given much of the current thinking on citizenship which argues for its disarticulation from the nation-state, can citizenship be unbound from the nation-state and articulated through the bonds of affect? This course brings together two bodies of theory, that of citizenship and that of affect, in order to investigate these questions and possibilities.
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