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(ORIGINAL)Feel Tanks as Method : Why we
(Image is speaker's own created in homage to Tammy Rae Carland's Lesbian Beds (2002) series

Digital Classrooms Series

Feel Tank: Impasse & Feel Tank: Disenchantment

SO71087A: Introduction to Feminism and Cultural Theory (2020-21) 

MA Gender, Media and Culture, Goldsmiths College UoL 

29 October 2020


‘Feel Tanks’ (a spin of ‘think tank’) derive their name from one cell of a larger group known as the Public Feelings Project which operated from the conviction that ‘understanding affective investment can be the a starting point for theoretical insight into the workings of capitalism, racism and sexism within power structures.’ (Cvetkovich, 2012)

Through over a fifteen workshops, seminars and lectures in the UK and internationally, Chloe Turner has been using ‘Feel Tanks’ as both intellectual enquiry and call-to-arms, to consider how to sustain living under capitalism in the current moment. 

In the continuing struggles against global anti-Black, queer/transphobic conservative governance, pandemic "new normal“ living and the stripping of arts and humanities funding, nurturing spaces of care and connection have never felt more pressing. How do we bring into being the feminist space we want to be a part of? A space where we gift our labour to each other as opposed to institutions, co-create the
spaces to weather the coming disasters and mobilise a resistance that centres pleasure and joy.


Digital Classrooms Series

Feel Tank: Impasse  

An impasse is a holding station that doesn’t hold securely but opens out into anxiety, that dogpaddling around a space whose contours remain obscure. An impasse is decompositional—in the unbound temporality of the stretch of time, it marks a delay that demands activity.'

Lauren Berlant (2011) Cruel Optimism, p.199

Feel Tank: Disenchantment

'Haunted and, I admit, sometimes desperate, sociology certainly—but also the human sciences at large—seemed to provide few tools for understanding how social institutions and people are haunted, for capturing enchantment in a disenchanted world.'

Avery Gordon (2008) Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination, p.8

This two part seminar-series focuses on two negative affects often associated with digital classrooms as a space of online learning and teaching. These seminars were included in the core module SO71087A: Introduction to Feminism and Cultural Theory (2020-21) as part of the MA Gender, Media and Culture program convened by Dr Nirmal Puwar at Goldsmiths College, UoL.

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