Book Launch: Power Politics and the Emotions: Impossible Governance? By Prof. Shona Hunter

082_UJ_VIAD_ShonaEinvite_FA2Hosted by the UJ Libraries in partnership with the Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre (VIAD)
6 April 2016
APK Library Auditorium (6th Floor), University of Johannesburg, Kingsway Campus, Cnr Kingsway and University Road, Auckland Park, Johannesburg

Book Launch: Power Politics and the Emotions: Impossible Governance? By Prof. Shona Hunter

Offering a provocative and innovative theorisation of governance as relational politics, the central argument of Power, Politics and the Emotions is that there are sets of affective dynamics which complicate the already materially and symbolically contested terrain of policy-making. This relational politics is Shona Hunter’s starting point for a more hopeful, but realistic understanding of the limits and possibilities enacted through contemporary governing processes. Through this idea, Hunter prioritises the everyday lived enactments of policy as a means to understand the state as a more differentiated and changeable entity than is often allowed for in current critiques of neoliberalism. But Hunter reminds us that focusing on lived realities demands a melancholic confrontation with pain, and the risks of social and physical death and violence lived through the contemporary neoliberal state. This is a state characterised by the ascendency of neoliberal whiteness; a state where no one is innocent and we are all responsible for the multiple intersecting exclusionary practices creating its unequal social orderings.

Analysing the everyday processes of this relational politics through original empirical studies in health, social care and education, the book develops an innovative interdisciplinary theoretical synthesis that engages with and extends work in political science, cultural theory, critical race and feminist analysis, critical psychoanalysis and post-material sociology.

Shona Hunter is Associate Professor in Sociology and Social Policy Governance at the University of Leeds, England and a Visiting Associate Professor in the Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre, Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa.


Panel discussion chaired by:

Prof. Christi van der Westhuizen, Associate Professor, Dept. of Sociology, University of Pretoria.


Dr. Heidi Grunebaum, Senior Researcher,  Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape.

Prof. Grace Khunou, Associate Professor, Dept. of Sociology, University of Johannesburg, and Vice Dean, Research, UJ Faculty of Humanities.

Prof. Desiree Lewis, Department of Women and Gender Studies, University of the Western Cape.

Click here to view video documentation of the event


For further information on the exhibitions and related public programming, please contact:
James Macdonald, Curatorial Project Manager, Visual Identities in Art & Design Research Centre
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