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The Transmission of Affect


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The late Teresa Brennan was Schmidt Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Florida Atlantic University. Her books include Exhausting Modernity: Ground for a New Modernity and The Interpretation of the Flesh: Freud and Femininity.


"Brennan challenges what she views as a uniquely Western myth, that individuals are discrete and self-contained, with affect driven primarily from endogenous sources. Instead, she argues, humans absorb emotions that originate from others and that influence their very physiology and experience. This argument challenges the boundaries that are often assumed to exist between the self and the environment, between subject and object."-Choice "It is truly exciting to read something so far beyond the usual scholarly projects: the scope of this highly original book is quite revolutionary and the erudition and historical research by which Teresa Brennan advances her argument are impressive."-Linda Martin Alcoff, Syracuse University "The Transmission of Affect is subtle, innovative, and trenchant. It provokes fresh questions about the relations of mind and body and it proposes original answers. Teresa Brennan's charged and lucid prose makes us understand our experiences in new ways."-Gillian Beer, author of Darwin's Plots: Evolutionary Narrative in Darwin, George Eliot, and Nineteenth-Century Fiction "In this rich and provocative book, Teresa Brennan has developed an alternative theory of affect that challenges any notion of self-contained individuals. Her theory of the transmission of affect insists on a constant communication between individuals and their environments, with social pressure acting at the intersection of the social and the material to bring together mind and matter through energetics. A well-thought-out and clearly argued treatise that gives credence to some popular ideas about energy, The Transmission of Affect will shake up many of the ideas that are in vogue in the academic establishment-part of the reason that it is such an exciting book."-Kelly Oliver, Stony Brook University, author of Witnessing: Beyond Recognition

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