Spring 2022

Feeling Politics: An Anthropology of Political Affect

Listed in: Anthropology and Sociology, as ANTH-329


Nusrat S. Chowdhury (Section 01)


When were you last outraged at the state of politics? When did you feel an inexplicable love for political symbols, either objects or personalities? Do they ever make you cringe? Or perhaps you glean much pleasure from the often-farcical nature of modern political life? Do you cry, laugh, get scared, or feel overwhelmed by political spectacles that make up our 24/7 existence? If so, you, like most of us, experience politics at a corporeal level. Instead of discounting these “feelings” as irrational and secondary to reasoned deliberations and solemn institutions, this course takes them seriously. The readings at this seminar consider public political life as an affect-laden world where emotional and bodily attachments – some articulate, others unconscious – are as indispensable and effective as discourse and procedure. This course is as much about feeling politics as it is about the politics of feelings. Even when our feelings seem deeply personal, the forms of their expression reveal larger histories – of modernity, colonialism, secularism, and the economy, to name a few. In other words, our senses, much like our institutions, are shaped by culture. Feeling Politics aims to understand the cultures of affect in politics and the lifeworlds that are shaped by them.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Chowdhury.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Emphasis on written work, intensive reading, and speaking in class Students with documented disabilities who will require accommodations in this course should be in consultation with Accessibility Services and reach out to the faculty member as soon as possible to ensure that accommodations can be made in a timely manner.


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022