Tomáš Jirsa of the UP Faculty of Arts starts collaboration with the University of Amsterdam

Reproduction: Žurnál UP
tuesday 30. april 2019, 7:38 – Text: Milada Hronová

A great success was achieved by Tomáš Jirsa from the Palacký University Faculty of Arts. As an editor, he participated together with Ernst van Alphen from Leiden University in the publication of a collective monograph, How to Do Things with Affects: Affective Triggers in Aesthetic Forms and Cultural Practices. The book was recently published by Brill, a prestigious international publishing house. 

Work on the book took more than two years, and authors included such personalities as the literary critic and founder of the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, Mieke Bal (University of Amsterdam), film theoretician Eugenie Brinkema (MIT), philosopher Jan Slaby (Frei Universität), and other globally renowned experts.

“In addition to working with internationally respected personalities whose work has significantly formed my way of thinking and teaching – which was a dream come true – it was also a splendid experience to see how things work at a professional academic publishing house where you do not have to pay for the publication of your book; on the contrary, the company takes care of the most effective promotion and distribution. And last but not least, I am thrilled how gratefully and constructively such big academic stars as Mieke Bal responded to my editing of their texts,” said Jirsa.

How to Do Things with Affects presents affect as a highly productive concept for both interdisciplinary cultural analysis and the detailed reading of aesthetic forms. In a novelty way, it shifts the focus from the human interiority of personal emotions and subjective feelings toward affective operations that form cultural objects and impact various social arrangements, political events and media strategies. The book examines how affects operate in modernist literary works, contemporary visual arts, horror and documentary films, political newscasts, museum displays, and animated pornography. 

“Thanks to thorough case studies and overlaps in media philosophy, literary and film theory, visual studies and anthropology, this monograph represents not only an inspirational interdisciplinary dialogue, but also offers a number of specific methodological impulses necessary for the study of cultural, media, and social processes,” explained the book’s co-editor, Ernst van Alphen.

The publication has also commenced new collaboration between Palacký and the University of Amsterdam, whose institute, the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), invited Tomáš Jirsa to a research stay in the spring. Thus he will be enabled to work on a UP junior grant “Between Affects and Technology: The Portrait in the Visual Arts, Literature and Music Video“, also participated in by Daniel Nemrava from the UP Department of Romance Studies, and Martin Mazanec, the programme director of the PAF festival in Olomouc and teacher at the Faculty Of Fine Arts at the Brno University of Technology. One of the goals of this mission is the importance of the educational strategies of cultural analysis and their consequent cultivation in a designed interdisciplinary study programme at the UP Faculty of Arts. The research stay is also supported by the Jan Hus Foundation Stipend.

More information concerning the book can be found HERE.