Carolyn Pedwell Affective Relations: The Transnational Politics of Empathy

Palgrave Macmillan, 2014

by John McMahon on August 27, 2015

Carolyn Pedwell

View on Amazon

What are the multiple meanings, ambivalences, possible risks, and potentials for transformation that arise from interrogating empathy on a transnational scale? Carolyn Pedwell (University of Kent) thinks through these complex questions in her new book, Affective Relations: The Transnational Politics of Empathy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). The book ambitiously traverses multiple disciplinary and intellectual boundaries, drawing together feminist and anti-racist social theory, media and cultural studies, international development texts and practices, scientific studies of empathy, the political rhetoric of Barack Obama, business books on empathy, and more. In doing so, Pedwell queries empathy as a social and political relation that cannot be separated from power, conflict, oppression, and inequality. This book explores the ways that empathy is a contested term employed transnationally in various ways and on behalf of various political and social interests, traces the ways that empathy might be translated and felt differently.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

William DaviesThe Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being

August 18, 2015

Are you happy? In his new book The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being (Verso, 2015), William Davies, a senior lecturer at Goldsmiths' College, University of London, critically investigates this question. The book offers skepticism towards the demand that economy and society be happy, scepticism founded in an interrogation of the practices of […]

Read the full article →

Chad EngellandOstension: Word Learning and the Embodied Mind

August 14, 2015

How do we learn our first words? What is it that makes the linguistic intentions of others manifest to us, when our eyes follow a pointing finger to an object and associate that object with a word? Chad Engelland addresses these and related questions in Ostension: Word Learning and the Embodied Mind (MIT Press, 2015). […]

Read the full article →

Helen de Cruz and Johan de SmedtA Natural History of Natural Theology: The Cognitive Science of Theology and Philosophy of Religion

June 15, 2015

Natural theology involves attempts to rationally justify religious belief based on reasoning about experience. The world appears to exhibit order or design, and so, the design argument goes, we are justified in concluding that there must be a divine designer. But what are the cognitive bases of this and other arguments in natural theology? And […]

Read the full article →

John Bronsteen, Christopher Buccafusco, and Jonathan S. MasurHappiness and the Law

May 12, 2015

In their new book Happiness and the Law (University of Chicago Press 2014), John Bronsteen, Christopher Buccafusco, and Jonathan S. Masur argue through the use of hedonic psychological data that we should consider happiness when determining the best ways to effectuate law. In this podcast Buccafusco, Associate Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Center for Empirical Studies of […]

Read the full article →

Matthew M. HeatonBlack Skin, White Coats: Nigerian Psychiatrists, Decolonization, and the Globalization of Psychiatry

April 27, 2015

In Black Skin, White Coats: Nigerian Psychiatrists, Decolonization, and the Globalization of Psychiatry (Ohio University Press, 2013), Matthew M. Heaton explores changes in psychiatric theory and practice during the decolonization of European empires in Africa in the mid-twentieth century. His story follows the transcultural Nigerian psychiatrists who tried to transform the discourse around and treatment of mental illness […]

Read the full article →

Wayne WuAttention

April 15, 2015

The mental phenomenon of attention is often thought of metaphorically as a kind of spotlight: we focus our attention on a particular item or task, our attention is divided or diffused when we try to text and drive at the same time, and our attention is captured when we suddenly hear our name pop out […]

Read the full article →

Rick StrassmanDMT and the Soul of Prophecy: A New Science of Spiritual Revelation in the Hebrew Bible

March 15, 2015

DMT and the Soul of Prophecy: A New Science of Spiritual Revelation in the Hebrew Bible (Park Street Press, 2014) asks a number of provocative questions about drugs, consciousness, prophecy, and the Hebrew Bible—with attention to how a particular chemical can help us understand mystical experience. DMT (dimethyltryptamine) is a molecule endogenous to several mammals including […]

Read the full article →

Donna J. DruckerThe Classification of Sex: Alfred Kinsey and the Organization of Knowledge

March 10, 2015

Donna J. Drucker is a guest professor at Darmstadt Technical University in Germany. Her book The Classification of Sex: Alfred Kinsey and the Organization of Knowledge (University of Pittsburg Press, 2014) is an in-depth and detailed study of Kinsey’s scientific approach. The book examines his career and method of gathering vast amounts of data, identifying […]

Read the full article →

Evan ThompsonWaking, Dreaming, Being: Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy

February 16, 2015

[Cross-posted from New Books in Philosophy] The quest for an explanation of consciousness is currently dominated by scientific efforts to find the neural correlates of conscious states, on the assumption that these states are dependent on the brain. A very different way of exploring consciousness is undertaken within various Indian religious traditions, in which subtle states of […]

Read the full article →