Working Session: Affect and Place in the Contemporary Pacific
Organizers: Paige West and Jamon Halkavsz
In this ongoing working session we ask how people become emplaced and understand place across the Pacific today. Drawing on conceptual work that argues that experience prior to language and cognition is primary in our feelings about and understandings of place (affect theory), we ask how places (e.g. land and sea, forest and reef, neighborhood and settlement, town and country) are affectually or bodily known. We also ask, at the conceptual level, how this notion of the experience of place differs from older phenomenological and materialist notions of place-making. Through all of this we will raise questions about how places become today in the face of climate change, migration to urban centers, and other contemporary processes taking place across the Pacific. Our goals for a final product are threefold. First, a discussion of the methodological issues surrounding our understanding of place through affect theory (e.g. once you ask someone a question about place, they translate affect into language). Second, we explore ways of narrating people’s experiences of place that might serve to galvanize social and political action around events that are seen as troubling by Pacific Islanders. Finally, we collectively imagine new kinds of representational practices, in addition to writing, that might allow us to narrate affectual place (e.g. music, film, sound, images). We will be going forward with a publication later this year.
For more information please contact Jamon Halvaksz at <email@example.com>