Postdoctoral Fellow in Affect Studies: Dr. Jobb Arnold

Dr. Jobb Arnold completed his PhD in the department of Cultural Studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario where he explored the role of local–level cultural dynamics in shaping the practice of politics in post–conflict societies. His work employs aspects of cultural theory, conflict studies and psychology, grounded in socially engaged methodologies that seek to identify and destabilize contemporary regimes of power and oppression. Dr. Arnold received numerous awards during his graduate studies, including a SSHRC Vanier Canadian Doctoral Fellowship, a Reconciliation Studies Scholarship at Trinity College Dublin, and a Mauro Centre Peace Award; he was also a Trudeau Foundation Fellowship National Finalist. Dr. Arnold’s publications have appeared in Confronting Genocide, the Journal of Human Security, Geopolitics and the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding.

Postdoctoral Research Project:

“Affective Edges: Affinity, Aversion and the 2015 Canadian Federal Elections” is a Winnipeg–based project that is focused on community feelings about the 2015 Canadian federal election, and the ways that particular feelings are publicly expressed. The concept of “affective edges” refers both to the threshold that private emotions must cross in order to become public, as well as to the social and spatial edges that divide groups of people and generate feelings of affinity and aversion. As such, affective edges provides a conceptual framework for examining the complex and vastly different social and political dynamics that are always underway – even during elections. Dominant narratives around elections tend to define “the election issues” in relation to the agendas of the nation’s most powerful subjects. As a result, elections also function to exclude groups who do not fit into the imagined ideal of a nationhood fabricated by the mass media and political institutions themselves. Taking a community–led approach, this project is an attempt at decentring nationalist discourses and focusing on expressions from individuals and groups whose relationship to Canadian sovereignty is different than what is depicted in the mainstream media. The project includes partner organizations from indigenous communities as well as immigrant and refugee groups in Winnipeg. Using diverse forms of media to create platforms where people can express their feelings and concerns about the elections while creating spaces of productive political dialogue is a primary goal of this project.

Follow Jobb Arnold’s research project on his blog: