“Recent discussions of the affective dimension of democratic politics focus upon bodily energies, sensations and non-human actants. Dissensual experiences are believed to trigger responsiveness and provide democratic moments. While I agree that dialogue and argument are insufficient to understand political mobilization, there is little talk of how commitment is fostered or resilience cultivated. Persistence is urged, but having erased the subject and having glossed over the importance of emotion and commitment there are few resources to sustain democratic movements. In this paper, I turn to Simone de Beauvoir and put her in conversation with Gilles Deleuze, Jane Bennett and Teresa Brennan. In rethinking the subject as a “body in situation”, she avoids the rationalist humanism that is usually attributed to her. Furthermore, in acknowledging the significance of affects, emotions and bodily sensations as well as conscious commitment and creative projects, her theory of agency provides a much needed corrective to the current wave of democratic anti-humanists”.

 

More information about Elaine Stavro can be found here: https://www.trentu.ca/politics/stavro.php