In the meeting of 16 March, we continue from the affect of shame to the affect of disgust. We will read The Performativity of Disgust by Sara Ahmed from her book The Politics of Emotions (2003). In this chapter Ahmed writes about disgust in bodies, objects and events, and analyses the performative act of naming something as disgusting.
We are also reading a fragment from George Orwell’s book The Road to Wigan Pier (1937). We will read the beginning, which vividly describes his sociological experience of living in squalor amongst working class people. Orwell has been described as the ‘twentieth century’s real poet of disgust’ and himself has once said that “You can have an affection for a murderer or a sodomite, but you cannot have an affection for a man whose breath stinks – habitually stinks, I mean.”