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Affective Infrastructures and the Political Imagination

Knox, HC; (2017) Affective Infrastructures and the Political Imagination. Public Culture , 29 (2(82)) pp. 363-384. 10.1215/08992363-3749105. Green open access

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Abstract

This essay explores how contemporary political life is framed through engagements with material forms. Extending work that has demonstrated that politics is best understood not as a discursive or institutional sphere but as the effect of material engagements, the essay asks, just how is it that materials become the grounds for politics? Focusing on the history of a road construction project in the Peruvian Amazon, the essay illustrates how politics becomes realized through engagements that entail the affective force of emergent materialities that break through or rupture a normalized understanding of sociomaterial relations. This rupture cracks open a space for material diagnostics, wherein both familiar and unfamiliar political forms are able to take shape. Thus in material diagnostics are found both the potential for ontological difference and considerable repair work wherein the grounds for a future politics is remade.

Type: Article
Title: Affective Infrastructures and the Political Imagination
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1215/08992363-3749105
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1215/08992363-3749105
Language: English
Additional information: © Copyright 2016 by Duke University Press
Keywords: affect, anthropology, infrastructure, politics, roads
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1522052
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