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Sociocultural Anthropology Colloquium Series
WhenFriday, Jan. 19, 2018, 12 – 1:30 p.m.
Campus locationDenny Hall (DEN)
Campus room313
Event typesAcademics
Event sponsorsDepartment of Anthropology

Ann Anagnost

206 371-8264
Target AudienceFaculty and Students

Jessica Johnson (Visiting Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, UW).

"Biblical Porn: Affect, Labor, and Desirous Assemblages"

This talk uses auto-ethnography to analyze long-developing affective entanglements that bodily took hold as I watched a 30-minute video of Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle that aired in July 2014. Although controversies surrounding Driscoll’s sermonizing on gender and sexuality and congregant testimonies to systemic bullying and spiritual abuse had been publicly surfacing for years, it was this short video of Pastor Mark that inspired former church members to rally behind the cry, “We Are Not Anonymous.” My paper examines Mars Hill’s use of digital technology and Driscoll’s preaching on gender and sexuality to theorize “conviction” as surplus affective value—a porously open-ended yet embodied process of social subjectivity with biopolitical effects that reinforce and exceed regulatory logics. Using empirical and discursive evidence, I analyze convergences of affective labor and space through which practices of communication and mediation, and dynamics of freedom and control, were conflated, became contagious, and went viral. On the whole, this talk explores how ethnographic engagement with affect is acutely generative for the study of power and religion as it elicits attunement to encounters of vulnerability that trouble felt distinctions between the sacred and profane, sinner and saved, and human and nonhuman, such that ethical potential is animated beyond the purview of ideological affinity.…
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