A Silvan Tomkins Handbook: Foundations for Affect Theory (Hardcover)

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An accessible guide to the work of American psychologist and affect theorist Silvan Tomkins


The brilliant and complex theories of psychologist Silvan Tomkins (1911–1991) have inspired the turn to affect in the humanities, social sciences, and elsewhere. Nevertheless, these theories are not well understood. A Silvan Tomkins Handbook makes his theories portable across a range of interdisciplinary contexts and accessible to a wide variety of contemporary scholars and students of affect. 

A Silvan Tomkins Handbook provides readers with a clear outline of Tomkins’s affect theory as he developed it in his four-volume masterwork Affect Imagery Consciousness. It shows how his key terms and conceptual innovations can be used to build robust frameworks for theorizing affect and emotion. In addition to clarifying his affect theory, the Handbook emphasizes Tomkins’s other significant contributions, from his broad theories of imagery and consciousness to more focused concepts of scenes and scripts. With their extensive experience engaging and teaching Tomkins’s work, Adam J. Frank and Elizabeth A. Wilson provide a user-friendly guide for readers who want to know more about the foundations of affect studies.

About the Author

Adam J. Frank is professor of English at the University of British Columbia. He is author of Transferential Poetics, from Poe to Warhol and coeditor (with Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick) of Shame and Its Sisters: A Silvan Tomkins Reader

Elizabeth A. Wilson is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Emory University and author of Gut Feminism and Affect and Artificial Intelligence.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780816679997
ISBN-10: 0816679991
Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press
Publication Date: August 4th, 2020
Pages: 200
Language: English