Skills of Feeling with the World - Fourth Workshop : Technologies of Affective Encounter

published: 2019-01-15

Jan. 26 (Sat) & Jan.27 (Sun) 2019

VENUE: Ritsumekan University, Suzaku Campus, Room 213
Organizer: Andrea De Antoni (Ritsumeikan University)
In collaboration with the Research Center for Ars Vivendi, Ritsumeikan University


The so-called “affective turn” (Clough and Halley 2007) in the Humanities and Social Sciences, shed light on the (inter-)subjective intensity and dynamics immanent to bodily perceptions and matter in general (e.g. Massumi 2002). Similarly, research on the senses stressed their centrality in shaping social practice and culture (e.g. Geurts 2002, Howes 2004), calling for a focus on perception in processes of doing ethnography (e.g. Pink 2009). Furthermore, Ingold’s work (2000, 2013) pointed at the need to highlight creative processes in social practice and anthropology in the making, as engagements and correspondences with materials and the environment, in which skills of perception and action emerge alongside with ontologies. Moreover, anthropological works have also emphasized the important role matter plays in developing sensorial skills and in bearing or affording specific affects (e.g. Durham 2011, Navaro-Yashin 2012, Wetherell 2012). A common thread among these studies is that they point at the need to go beyond symbols and representations, meaning making processes, cognition, or belief. In other words, they suggest new research directions to go beyond simplified conceptions of “culture”. Yet, these approaches have been criticized for overlooking the intersubjective dimensions of feelings, for not grounding theory in empirical data, for lacking awareness of cultural differences and for overlooking power relationships (e.g. Wetherell 2012). Finally, although ideas of “affective coordination” (Dumouchel 2008) or “affective correspondences” (De Antoni 2017) have been proposed in order to shed light on the fact that affects and perceptions are identified “in-between” agents, as a result of interactions, the ways in which this becomes possible have been barely taken into consideration.

This Workshop seeks to address these gaps, looking at technologies, techniques, or skills that mediate affective encounters, through an analysis of different “affective practices” (Wetherell 2012) or “practices of feeling with the world” (De Antoni and Dumouchel 2017), especially related to care and healing. It focuses on the technologies through which affects and perceptions are directed or manipulated towards specific aims perceived as part of care or healing processes. In doing so, it tries to elaborate new methodological standpoints – based on empirical ethnographic data and from a comparative perspective – to relate technologies with feelings and bodily perceptions as the ground for experienced realities emerging through correspondences and attunements between bodies and environments, including non-humans.


DAY 1: January the 26th (Sat)

10:00-11:30 James Anderson (Kyoto University)
Channels of Communication and Affective Well-Being: Humans and Other Primates
Coffee Break
11:45-13:15 Daniel White (Freie Universität Berlin) and Hirofumi Katsuno (Doshisha University)
Technologies of Divine Mercy: Honoring the Death of Artificial Life at a Robot Dog Memorial Service in Japan
14:30-16:00 Abe Marié (Boston University)
Resonances of Chindon-ya: Sounding Imaginative Empathy on the Streets of Osaka, Japan
Coffee Break
16:15-17:45 Laura Haapio-Kirk (University College London)
Smartphones and Ageing in Japan
19:00 Reception

DAY 2: January the 27th (Sun)

10:00-11:30 Eyal Ben-Ari (Kinneret College)
Vigilance, Violence and Skill-Formation: The Creation of Israeli Security Agents
Coffee Break
11:45-13:15 Nana Gagne (Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Desiring a Child: Affect and the Technology of Reproduction in Contemporary Japan
14:30-16:00 Emma Cook (Hokkaido University)
Microbial Management and Technologies of Care
Coffee Break
16:15-17:45 Roundtable: Wrapping-up and Discussion


In order to have free discussions, we can accept up to twenty participants. If you are interested in joining the Workshop, please, register by filling in the form that you find here: by January the 20th 2019.

A draft version of all the papers will be delivered in advance to all the people who registered and we kindly ask everyone to read them before joining the Workshop, so that we can have productive discussions.