1. One of the best attempts to answer this question is in Ruth Leys, “The Turn to
Aﬀect: A Critique,” Critical Inquiry 37 (Spring 2011): 434–72. A year later, in the Sum-
mer 2012 issue of Critical Inquiry, her provocations were still being debated in a series of
responses by the likes of Adam Frank, Elizabeth Wilson, Charles Altieri, and Leys her-
self. See also Michael Hardt, “Foreword: What Aﬀects Are Good For,” in The Aﬀective
Turn: Theorizing the Social, ed. Patricia Ticineto Clough with Jean Halley (Durham,
NC: Duke University Press, 2007), ix–xiii; Gregory J. Seigworth and Melissa Gregg, “An
Inventory of Shimmers,” in The Aﬀect Theory Reader, ed. Melissa Gregg and Gregory
J. Seigworth (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010), 1–26.
2. Work on aﬀect has exploded in the past decade. A mere two- year period (2004–
2005) saw the publication of a canon- deﬁning list that includes Teresa Brennan, The
Transmission of Aﬀect (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2004); Sara Ahmed, The
Cultural Politics of Emotion (New York: Routledge, 2004); Charles Altieri, The Particu-
lars of Rapture: An Aesthetics of the Aﬀects (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2004);
Denise Riley, Impersonal Passion: Language as Aﬀect (Durham, NC: Duke University
Press, 2005); and Sianne Ngai, Ugly Feelings (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University
Press, 2005). For a compendium speciﬁc to media studies, see Catherine Grant, “On
‘Aﬀect’ and ‘Emotion’ in Film Studies,” Film Studies for Free (blog), http://ﬁlmstudies
forfree.blogspot.com (accessed November 4, 2011).
3. The term was coined by the Dutch critics Timotheus Vermeulen and Robin van
den Akker in “Notes on Metamodernism,” Journal of Aesthetics and Culture 2 (2010),
published November 15, 2010, http://aestheticsandculture.net/index.php/jac/article
4. Lone Bertelsen and Andrew Murphie, “An Ethics of Everyday Inﬁnities and Pow-
ers: Félix Guattari on Aﬀect and the Refrain,” in The Aﬀect Theory Reader, ed. Melissa
Gregg and Gregory J. Seigworth (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010), 145.
5. Hermann Lotze, Metaphysik (Leipzig: Weidmann, 1841), “Einleitung” Section 9.
6. This ﬁne formulation, from the ﬁlm theorist Raymond Bellour, serves as an
epigraph to this book. Raymond Bellour, “Cinema and . . . ,” Semiotica 112, nos. 1–2