Derek P. McCormack (2010) argues, "Affect, is like an atmosphere: it might not be visible, but at any given point it might be sensed ... Emotion, in turn, can be understood as the sociocultural expression of this felt intensity" (643). This paper puts McCormack (2010) and Ben Anderson (2009) into conversation to think through the ways in which atmosphere in relation to affective and emotive life has been conceptualized. I center the affective atmospheres that happen with queer bodies that make New York's west side piers queerly affective. I use "queer bodies" to signal the dis-identification with heteronormativity or binaristic sexualities. Queer sexualities carry political weight with regard to the comments that the politically loaded term "queer" brings to public consciousness. So queer sexualities and queer bodies substantively challenge cisgender and heteronormative social institutions that are disgustingly oppressive to the queer bodies that, perhaps, use the piers as a space to mark their affective and emotive capabilities. Ultimately, my aim is to situate atmosphere as an analytic to explore the socio-spatial meanings that are attached to spaces and places. As a result, I wish to further spatial knowledge that considers atmospheres as a legitimate dimension of space and placemaking.
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Millhouse, Ricardo J.
"Affect and Manhattan’s West Side Piers,"
disClosure: A Journal of Social Theory: Vol. 28, Article 7.
Available at: https://uknowledge.uky.edu/disclosure/vol28/iss1/7