A/Effective Landscapes: Transnationalism, Affect and Feminism in Transnational Literature and Film
This dissertation deals with affect and its power to structure the current political landscape of migration, displacement and transnationalism into what I call a/effective landscapes. Borrowing the concept of affect from Gilles Deleuze and his followers such as Rosi Braidotti and Brian Massumi, who define affect as an impersonal pre-personal force, an immanent vitality and instrinsic to matter that is linked to the body's ability to experience affect and to affect, my premise is that affect affects emotionally (the protagonists of the work as well as the recipients of thereaders and viewers of artwork) and from which ensue political effects ensue.
Utilizing a comparative methodology, this dissertation explores the work of four German-speaking female transnational filmmakers and writers, all of whom contribute to and intervene in contemporary discourses on transnationalism, transnational subjectivity, concepts of space and time, the discourse on Heimat and monolingualism through their use of affect in writing and filming.
Seen through a transnational, feminist lens, I try to identify affect in the works of Angelina Maccarone's Unveiled, Andrea taka's Das Fräulein, Herta Müller's Reisende auf einem Bein and Yoko Tawada's short story "Wolkenkarte," examining the political efficacy of their aesthetic of writing and filming affect. Unveiled in particular explores affect as a positive force, with the potential to overcome the various borders that have been created for the purpose of keeping out those regarded as aliens. Das Fräulein explores the affective state of three migrant women from the former Yugoslavia and their transversal becomings, which leads to a new definition for transnationalism beyond identification. "Wolkenkarte" and Reisende auf einem Bein are discussed as vibrant texts, which--inspired by the neutral aesthetics of Roland Barthes and the nomadic aesthetics of Rosi Braidotti--a/effectively engender modes of belonging that are not rooted in stable notions of monocultural and monolingual nation-state and Heimat/home.