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13 - Affect and the Unsaid: Silences, Impasses, and Testimonies to Trauma

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 June 2019

Amy Jo Murray
University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Kevin Durrheim
University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
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This chapter examines the affective dimension of the unsaid. It proposes an affective approach to understanding, researching, and writing the unsaid by outlining and utilizing two distinct yet resonate methodologies, grounded in the research practices of each author. In doing so, the chapter shows how different methodological approaches to the challenge of writing the unsaid offer an unfolding of potentials for how silence might speak without words. The chapter begins with a brief account of affect studies in the humanities before detailing a methodology of affective witnessing to the silence of political violence, followed by an examination of the relations between silence and the body in the unsaid of sexual abuse and the problem of writing in the face of blockages to speaking. In closing, it considers in more general terms what affective methodologies might bring to qualitative research into the unsaid.

Qualitative Studies of Silence
The Unsaid as Social Action
, pp. 236 - 253
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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