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Fires on the BorderThe Passionate Politics of Labor Organizing on the Mexican Frontera$
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Rosemary Hennessy

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780816647583

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816647583.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MINNESOTA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.minnesota.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MNSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

The Materiality of Affect

The Materiality of Affect

(p.37) 2 The Materiality of Affect
Fires on the Border

Rosemary Hennessy

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter explores the question of affect-culture—that is, the “affective” dimension of maquiladora workers’ labor and community organizing for justice—in relation to some of the theories of affect that have proliferated over the past two decades. Drawing on materialist and Marxist-feminist traditions, it discusses what is meant by the materiality of affect and the role of affect in labor organizing. The chapter first reviews the arguments on affect proposed by theorists such as Antonio Damasio, Brian Massumi, Raymond Williams, Sylvan Tompkins, Teresa Brennan, Lawrence Grossberg, and Jonathan Flatley. It then examines how the materiality of affect-culture is inflected by the social relations through which needs are met and produced by capitalism, as well as the place of affect-culture in organized resistance from the perspective of Marxist feminism, which embraces the fundamental premise of historical materialism. The chapter concludes by assessing the relation of affect-culture to sexual identity.

Keywords:   affect-culture, materiality, labor organizing, Antonio Damasio, social relations, capitalism, Marxist feminism, historical materialism, sexual identity

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