Political Emotions Conference


The Australian Sociological Association’s Sociology of Emotions and Affect Thematic Group, together with the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, invites you to a conference on Political Emotions, to be held in Adelaide on 22 July 2019.


Call for Papers

From Obama’s hope to Trump’s ‘Emoto-Coaster’, the significance of emotion to political relationships has never been more apparent. Emotions are increasingly viewed as key to interpreting rising nationalisms in Europe, media responses to terrorism, or the backroom dealings of politicians imagined with murderous intentions towards their colleagues. Emotions are not just for high-politics, of course, but implicated in power relationships at all social levels – infusing analyses of class, gender and race, household dynamics, or the relationship between researcher and the researched. Emotions can be imagined as political through their role in shaping and mediating human relationships, but also as politicised when performed or practiced in everyday life. As ‘regimes’ or in the formation of ‘communities’, emotions can be imagined as social structure, producing the boundaries of the political and enabling historical change.

Topics might include but are not limited to:

  • Emotions and democracy, nation and international relations
  • The emotions of war and peace
  • Legal emotions
  • Religion and political emotion
  • Medias and the politics of emotion
  • Gendered emotions and power
  • Race, post-colonialism, and decolonisation and emotion
  • The politics of caring
  • The political emotions of family life
  • Childhood, aging and emotional power dynamics

Scholars from any discipline who are thinking about politics and emotions in a social context are invited to send an abstract of 150 words, plus a short biography, to political.emotions@gmail.com by 5pm, Monday 18 February 2019, AEST. Enquiries can be made to the same address.

A PDF of the Call for Papers can be downloaded HERE.


Keynote Presentation and Public Lecture

Decolonising Multilingualism: What Happens To Emotions When English Takes a Step Back

Professor Alison Phipps – University of Glasgow

Professor of Languages and Intercultural Studies
UNESCO Chair Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts (Creativity Culture & Faith)


Titero, Whakarongo….. korero.

look, listen….speak.

Asserting your rights, your subjecthood, your desires and your concerns is not easy in a language you do not speak or understand well. It requires effort and it requires dependency. It will place you in positions of exclusion and vulnerability. It will mean you are thrown back onto modes of non-linguistic communication. It will mean you may feel threatened.

In the debates in the global north relating to multilingual subjectivity (Kramsch 2014) and translanguaging (Creese and Blackledge 2017) the way migration has produced new repertories of speech and action are well evidenced. Monolingualism has been shown to be a powerful construction (Gramling 2016), the multilingual turn has been taken (May 2014), the translation turn is well underway and languages, for all that borders are closing under fear of mass migration (Kelly 2017), are reportedly experiencing a resurgence in popularity in the UK. In Scotland, in the last ten years legislation has been passed making the country one which is now officially multilingual. Within this work, however, there is a focus on the languages which have dominated the colonial past and the neo-colonial present. The binary divide between world or global languages and other or minority or community languages persists in the discourse, theory and methodologies of language pedagogy and choice.

Drawing on the work of a recently published short book and manifesto for decolonising multilingualism this lecture will consider what might be at stake in contexts where people are seeking refuge, if integration is to mean mutual transformation at the level of language, and if integration is understood to be an artistic practice.

The lecture will develop work from AHRC Researching Multilingually at Borders project and the new South South Migration Hub, examining multilingual encounters through the work of Ngugi wa Thiong’o (1986). Breaking with traditional forms, as part of the decolonising process, this lecture offers a series of narrative vignettes, experiences, poetic content and extracts from a manifesto for decolonising multilingualism.


Program and Event Details

A full program – together with information about conference registration, conference accommodation options, the conference dinner, and postgraduate scholarships – will be published here in the coming months. Please check back regularly for details.


Conference Conveners

Associate Professor Deb King and Dr Michelle Peterie
The Australian Sociological Association’s Sociology of Emotions and Affect Thematic Group (TASA SEA)

Dr Katie Barclay and Dr Nathan Manning
The ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (CHE)