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headshot, Johnathan Flatley

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How Revolutionary Counter-Moods Are Made (Online Event)

March 24 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

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In this talk, Jonathan Flatley will examine the function of the “exposure” — descriptions of concrete and particular but also paradigmatic abuses of power – in the creation of revolutionary counter-moods, those moments when discouraged, cynical, alienated or otherwise disconnected people come together in solidarity to form energetic, hopeful, and demanding collectives, which then engage in transformative political action.  As examples, he will consider the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement’s use of the shopfloor newspaper to organize the Dodge Main assembly plant in Hamtramck in May 1968 and the summer 2020 protests against racist police violence, led in Detroit by Detroit Will Breathe, protests sparked by the widely publicized video of George Floyd’s murder.

Jonathan Flatley is currently the Clark/Oakley Humanities Fellow at the Clark Art Institute and Williams College. Most broadly, his research concerns collective emotion as it is takes shape in aesthetic and political forms.  He is a professor of English at Wayne State University, author of Affective Mapping: Melancholia and the Politics of Modernism (Harvard University Press, 2008), Like Andy Warhol (University of Chicago Press, 2017), and coeditor (with Jennifer Doyle and José Esteban Muñoz) of Pop Out: Queer Warhol (Duke UP, 1996).  He is currently finishing a book called Black Leninism: How Revolutionary Counter-Moods Are Made (from which this talk is excerpted) and beginning a new project about liking and being like trees.