Yesterday I sent off the first chapter in the third iteration of my dissertation. Half was chopped up and reordered work already done. The other half was made in part from fieldwork notes and new stuff. This version of the dissertation is organised around argument. It is a kind of weaponised version of previous iterations, transformed with the same malicious care that a bully cares for the pain of his or her victims. I have stopped trying to explain every single thing in my argument, which makes it less dense and paradoxically much easier to read.
The chapter is on ‘Enthusiasm’ and I argue that ‘enthusiasm’ is a complex of impersonal, but subjectively experienced affects. This flies in the face of most affect research, but even though it is ‘weaponised’, I don’t frame it in a combatitive way. Working from the amplificatory capacity of affects — so one’s affects can amplify the affects of another — I argue that affects of enthusiasm belong to events and not to bodies as such. (Of course certain types of bodies are certain types of event.) Think of crowds. However, I trouble the notion of simple conjunctural phenomenological events of when something simply ‘happens’ by demonstrating that the ‘happening’ extends across the heterogeneous materiality of multiple durations. Think of media. It shall be developed throughout the rest of the dissertation building up to the final chapter on media where I talk about enthusiasm in terms of the media and biopower (and a very radical biopolitical ‘media effects’ theory, lol). Next chapter is on ‘Knowledge’.
The last three blog post had been languishing in my drafts for ages (as you can deduce from the ‘numbers’ of the actual post URLs) and had not been written yesterday or whatever. Just in case there are a few readers wondering if I still have “my eye on the big task I have set myself”. 😉 I needed to clean my drafts out.