ACYIG: 2017 Conference Panel
“Children and Youth as Emotional Suspects”
CALL FOR PAPERS
While there is always present in different historical periods forms of emotional regime (Reddy 2001), emotion is now being instrumentalized , managed, and incited in new ways within liberal democratic states. Contemporary developments in neuroscience, biology, and computer science have articulated with regimes of accumulation increasingly focused on capitalizing the social (Davies 2015), on connection, on emotion, and on the body (Rose 2007, Grosz 1995, Kraftl 2015). Such knowledge and practice has engendered a particular biopolitical focus on the management of emotion and “emotional capital” (Illouz 2007) at the same time that it constructs new ideal emotional subjects, new emotional “suspects”, and a new conviction on the part of states and their institutions that emotion-focused interventions can transform individual life trajectories as well as the dynamics of social mobility and inequality in stratified and multicultural progressive states. For example, new think tanks focus on “at risk” children and youth, and posit that early intervention to augment emotional intelligence will cut down on public expenditures and promote better outcomes for youth in marginalized communities in the United States. States also heavily manage increased numbers of displaced people as a result of global conflicts, extreme poverty, and resulting migration.
In this emerging biopolitics of emotion, children — as developmental, trainable, and manageable subjects—figure centrally (Pitts-Taylor 2010, Gagen 2015, Kraftl 2015), and the concept of emotional regulation, here approached as the fantasy of emotional calibration and control, is also important. This panel explores this emerging politics of emotion as it operates in and through the lives and contexts of children and youth. It also explores its connection to various political projects. As emotion becomes a salient marker of difference, what forms of emotional deviance are emerging? In what institutional and social contexts are emotional suspects produced? How are children’s and young people’s emotions and capacity for emotional regulation bound up in various political projects?
This panel seeks papers for a panel at the 2017 ACYIG Conference that engage the processes that engender emotional suspects and a politics of care focused on emotional suspects. Organizers will choose submissions to create a panel comprised of presentations on a variety of populations through the lens of emotional suspects (i.e., neuropsychological evaluations, refugee resettlement programs, schools, policing, middle class parenting culture, emerging initiatives to combat poverty or drug abuse in the United States, transnational adoption pipelines, invention and treatment of emotional disorder). It also seeks academic engagements for thinking about these issues in innovative ways (i.e., new theories from within the anthropology of children and youth, “queering” emotion performance, race theories, etc). Cross-cultural papers especially welcome.