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The Affective Commons: Gay Shame, Queer Hate, and Other Collective Feelings

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, February 7, 2018. 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Meeting Location: 
Humanities Center Boardroom
Workshop: 
Feminist/Queer Colloquium
Meeting Description: 

For this workshop, Eric Stanley will expand on their recent essay published in GLQ, “The Affective Commons: Gay Shame, Queer Hate, and Other Collective Feelings,” which is part of a larger project focusing on the geographies of dislocation and trans resistance, specifically in the Bay Area. Through Indigenous critiques of the commons, Stanley asks what forms of collectivity might be built against the drives of settler-sovereignty. By centering various scales of forced removal and its resistance, Stanley offers a reading of Gay Shame, a queer direct action group based in San Francisco, and its work confronting the hypergentrification of the Bay Area propelled by the tech industry. While positive attachments and shared identification are argued to be necessary for a liberatory politics, in contrast Gay Shame builds an affective commons through negative relationality. Indeed, the Left’s attachment to love as the revolutionary affect persist, yet here Stanley centers organizing where a desire for struggle collects around bad attitudes. To this end, how might queer hate delineate the ways the traffic in good feelings accelerates racial capitalism’s motors of accumulation and dispossession?

Eric A. Stanley is an assistant professor in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Their research and teaching work with radical trans/queer critique, anti-colonial feminisms, and critical theory. Along with Reina Gossett and Johanna Burton, Stanley edited the anthology Trap Door: Trans Cultural Production and the Politics of Visibility (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2017), which won the Publishing Triangle Award for Trans and Gender-Variant Literature and the John Leo & Dana Heller Award for Best Single Work, Anthology, Multi-Authored, or Edited Book in LGBTQ Studies from the Popular Culture Association. With Nat Smith, they edited Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex (AK Press 2011/15), which won the Sylvia Rivera Award in Transgender Studies from CLAGS: Center for LGBTQ Studies. In collaboration with Chris Vargas, Eric directed the films Criminal Queers (2019) and Homotopia (2008).

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