Prof. Donatella Izzo, Università di Napoli “L’Orientale”;
Prof. Dr. Heike Paul, Erlangen-Nürnberg;
Dr. Margaretha Schweiger-Wilhelm, Bayerische Amerika-Akademie, München.
We seek to examine civil religious patterns and sentimental repertoires in current Euro-American cultural and political imaginaries, thus revising the Enlightenment idea of a rational public sphere. Discussions will revolve around the (often tacit) workings of affect and their ambivalent implications for socio-cultural boundary maintenance ("us"/"them") or constructions of (trans)national solidarity ("we") in current political scenarios in both Europe and the USA. Our interdisciplinary research aims to bring into conversation classical work on civil religion with recent scholarship in political emotions and affect studies. We want to develop ways in which we can conceive of "affective states" without falling back into "retrotopian" modes of nostalgic longing (Bauman), instead envisioning a transnational (or European) imaginary of care, solidarity, and belonging, and investigating the function of affect and feeling.