Affective Labor, Resistance, and the Academic Librarian
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The affective turn in the humanities and social sciences seeks to theorize the social through examining spheres of experience, particularly bodily experience and the emotions, not typically explored in dominant theoretical paradigms of the twentieth century. Affective or immaterial labor is work that is intended to produce or alter emotional experiences in people. Although it has a long history, affective labor has been of increasing importance to modern economies since the nineteenth century. This paper will explore the gendered dimensions of affective labor and offer a feminist reading of the production of academic subjectivities through affective labor by specifically examining the pink-collar immaterial labor of academic reference and liaison librarians. It will end by exploring how the work of the academic librarian may also productively subvert the neoliberal goals of the corporate university.