Interview with Megan Boler: From ‘Feminist Politics of Emotions’ to the ‘Affective Turn’



In this interview Megan Boler discusses with Michalinos Zembylas her work during the 1980s and 1990s on “feminist politics of emotion”. A feminist politics of emotion is historically grounded in the popular slogan of second wave feminism, the “personal is political”. This shift to understanding emotions as collectively and socially produced and constructed rather than as private and individualized experiences represented a radical shift in theory and praxis concerning emotions and education. A feminist politics of emotion encourages scholars to analyze and understand the role of emotions in epistemology, ethics, cultural values and beliefs, and in the construction of social relations and hierarchies. The interview highlights the often overlooked histories of feminist pedagogies as a development from the second wave of feminism, and their pioneering attention to the role of emotions in education, learning, and knowledge production. This approach is contrasted with more recent theorizing of ‘affect’, that draws on Spinoza and continues to develop in the work on what is presently termed “new materialism”.


Affect theory Feminism Pedagogy Politics Emotions Gender Second-wave feminism Social construction of emotions Consciousness-raising Feminist pedagogies 


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ontario Institute for Studies in EducationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Program of Educational StudiesOpen University of CyprusLatsiaCyprus

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