Noir Affect

Noir Affect

Christopher Breu and Elizabeth A. Hatmaker

Print publication date: 2021

ISBN: 9780823287802

Publisher: Fordham University Press


The essays in Noir Affect articulate the importance of understanding negative affect and argue that noir is a privileged medium for doing so. Ranging, in its discussion, among a range of media and national contexts, the volume sees noir as a contemporary phenomenon as much as a historical one. Reconceptualized as defined by negative affect, noir becomes a crucial site for thinking about death, decay, anxiety, rage, sadness, guilt, shame, resentment, loss, and the erotic attachment to death. It also becomes a locus of protest and refusal against the boosterish rhetorics of capitalism. The essays in the book argue for the social and political work done by noir affect. Taken together, they make the argument for noir as a vibrant contemporary medium. They also make the argument for negative affect as a crucial political dynamic, one that is underappreciated in many theories of affect. Readers will emerge from the collection with a new understanding of both noir and affect.