Theory Reading Group: readings and next meeting (4-6pm Friday 7 October)

Russell Smith’s TRG update, including details about readings for the next meeting:

We had a great session last week, dwelling at length on the various lines of inquiry suggested by William Davies’s incredibly compact and lucid essay, and covering all the ills of neoliberalist emotional life, from anxiety inducing children’s advertising to the deadening upbeatness of social media, from the hidden kinds of emotional labour to those horrible people on reality tv that you know you are being manipulated to hate. So much so, in fact, that we didn’t get around to discussing Illouz at all. However, we were agreed that discussing Cold Intimacies would be a VERY GOOD THING, and that we would do it in the next session, focussing on the first chapter ‘The Rise of Homo Sentimentalis’ and the third chapter ‘Romantic Webs’, in which she tests out her theory of a confluence between managerial theory, therapeutic discourse and liberal feminism in the twentieth-century’s invention of a new kind of entrepreneurial rationalist approach to one’s own emotional well-being. Sadly David Bissell won’t be with us this time, but if we go as slowly as last time, we’ll still be discussing Eva Illouz a fortnight later…

4-6pm Friday 7 October, in the first-floor common room, AD Hope room 113.



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