About Us

The Affect and Emotions Workshop is an interdisciplinary community of scholars at all stages of their career at the University of Chicago. The workshop was founded in 2019 to foster conversation among researchers in the humanities and social sciences whose work focuses on the phenomenon of emotional life.

We feature work by doctoral students, faculty, and postdoctoral fellows from across the University, as well as a few guest speakers per year. Our aim is to offer an informal but committed environment for exploring the diverse questions that drive research on the emotions in multiple fields of knowledge production: What are affects and emotions? Have we always felt the same? How do cultural discourses shape our understanding of the emotions, and how do feelings make a nation? Are emotions rational? What does it mean to be happy?

Our Meetings

The Affect and Emotions Workshop meets on alternate Mondays between 4:30 and 6pm, unless otherwise noted. You can find our schedule here. Materials for each session are available on the website with a password and distributed to our mailing list one week before the session. Light refreshments are served.

The workshop is open to the public, and we are committed to making our sessions accessible to all persons. If you have any questions or concerns, please email us.

Presenting Your Work at the Workshop

The workshop is currently soliciting submissions for the academic year 2021-2022.

If you have work in progress that you would like to share with the workshop community for discussion and feedback, please submit a brief proposal including a provisional paper title and a 200-word abstract to both Jane Gordon (jgordon616@uchicago.edu) and Bellamy Mitchell (bellamy@uchicago.edu). Our plan is to meet on alternate Monday afternoons, and we’re committed to finding productive ways to hold the workshop during this upcoming academic year. At this point, we plan to hold both in-person and remote workshop sessions—therefore, our call for submissions is open to people who may not be in Chicago during the upcoming year. In addition to your proposed topic, please indicate your current institutional affiliation, project type, the quarters in which you would be available to present, and preferences for an in-person versus remote session. Submissions are due by the end of day on September 15th.

In selecting papers, we aim to create a multidisciplinary program that includes research on the workshop topics by scholars at different stages of their careers, while giving priority to advanced graduate students at the dissertation-writing stage of their program. If you submit a proposal, you can expect to hear back from us by September 20th.

Nevertheless, if you have work in progress that you would like to present for discussion and feedback at a different time of the year, please let us know. Workshop schedules are sometimes flexible, and we might be able to accommodate you.

Keeping in Touch

You can sign up for updates on our news and events here. Any questions, concerns or inquiries may be directed to the coordinators by email.


Jane Gordon, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations  // Coordinator
Bellamy Mitchell, English and Social Thought // Coordinator

Emily Austin, Assistant Professor of Classics and the College // Faculty Sponsor
Lawrence Zbikowski, Professor of Music and the Humanities in the College // Faculty Sponsor

Past Coordinators: Michal Zechariah (2019-2020), Alex Jania (2020-2021)