Affective Response-ability

Year: 2017

Author: Charteris, Jennifer, Jones, Marguerite, Mayes, Eve, Nye, Adele, Page, Angela, Wolfe, Melissa, Hook, Genine

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This symposium draws on the theme of affective relationality within education and ways potential capacity/s are negotiated and de/activated. We are interested in affect and affecting in a movement of boundary un/making and un/belonging. Our diverse papers enact a queer(y)ing manoeuvre, a reading through and with, which seeks to re/intervene in educational practices and produce academic work that affirmatively re/generates feminist entanglements that enhance capacity. This is enacting a response-ability (Haraway, Barad): An acknowledgement of how matter is co-produced and ways matter matters and for whom.
We concur that education is a critical site for the maintenance and privilege of hierarchies that enable affective violence/s on bodies in ways that reiterate normalised inequity. This work re/thinks or rather renormalizes (Barad, 2015) regulatory practices, not as an exterior force of repression but as a phenomenon of non-linguistic affective violence produced within everyday modes of living where 'things' are assumed as in fixed patterns of hierarchal relation. This rethinking of 'force' is a purposeful shift away from the binary interplay of autonomous beings in conflicts of power and resistance. We engage and scrutinize affective investments, or what Butler (2015) discusses as 'that form of relationality that we might call 'ethical'' (p.11), as a felt obligation that is too often affectively violent. Butler implicates relationality as both uneasy and unstable, and difficult to deny. This conceptualisation of ethical does not concern conduct but rather ways to understand 'the relational framework within which sense, action, and speech become possible (Ibid. p. 12) and for whom, it beckons us to respond or not in particular ways.
We critique power hierarchies within Australian education models to draw attention to the ways in which disadvantaging entanglements come to materialise, including ways they may be contested and refused. We do this manoeuvre with purpose, understanding that the way we theorise, understand, and negotiate feminist discourses often re/embeds and gives new life to the limiting power structures we are questioning.