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2013 - American Studies Association Annual Meeting Words: 508 words || 
1. Conti, Gino. "Oh, I feel, I feel, I feel: Moravians, Wasted Labor, and the Afterlives of Enthusiasm" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Hilton Washington, Washington, DC, Nov 21, 2013 <Not Available>. 2018-04-26 <>
Publication Type: Internal Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: “Oh, I feel, I feel, I feel”* : Moravians, Wasted Labor,
and the Afterlives of Enthusiasm

In The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Max Weber raises the specter of Nikolaus Ludwig Zinzendorf, 18th century leader of the Moravians, a transatlantic Protestant sect that settled early American communities in Bethlehem, Pa. and Winston-Salem, NC. Zinzendorf’s focus on “letting people experience bliss…in the present,” Weber argued, “and to experience it emotionally, instead of instructing them to be sure of enjoying it in the hereafter through rational work” troubled the Calvinist asceticism he linked to the personality of the capitalist entrepreneur —what we have since come to call the Protestant work ethic (93-4).
This paper explores the way that Zinzendorf’s focus on affect, combined with a Lutheran understanding of grace as “free” and universally available, influenced both the gender and labor of 18th century Moravians, particularly those living communally in Bethlehem, Pa. during the 1740s. Through a close reading of both 18th-Century Moravian hymnody and anti-Moravian pamphlets, I examine the way that the sect’s devotion to a wounded, maternal Christ threatened materialist modes of productivity and capitalist temporality. The Moravians’ felt union with Christ—a passionate labor focused on the experience of grace and god in the now rather than on the accumulation of material goods as evidence of sanctification in the afterlife—was understood as diverting attention from the duties and affairs of the Moravians’ communal Bethlehem economy. Furthermore, this spiritual jouissance between Moravians and their savior—metonymized as the crucifixion wound below Christ’s breast, or Sidehole—also cross-gendered those Moravian brethren who fancied themselves passive brides of Christ, even as it figured Christ as feminine and as a mother who birthed believers’ souls through his Sidehole. Thus, the Moravians’ spiritual labor raised anxieties about gender and sexuality intertwined with those concerning money and time: their devotion to a maternal wound was perceived as excessive—as, essentially, wasted labor.
I close with a glance at how the anxieties represented in 18th century enthusiastic discourse were taken up in two successive historical moments: in 19th century Moravian historiography, which characterized the 1740s as a period of excess; and again in the early 20th century, as 18th century enthusiasms like Moravianism were taken up by psychosexual sciences such as psychoanalysis. These examples suggest the lingering disruptive potential of the 18th century Moravian’s untimely spiritual labor.

*Paul Peucker, “Songs of the Sifting: Understanding the Role of Bridal Mysticism in Moravian Piety during the late 1740’s.” Journal of Moravian History. 3 (2007): 51-87. p. 74.

Works Cited

Atwood, Craig D. Community of the Cross: Moravian Piety in Colonial Bethlehem. University Park, PA: Pennsylania State University, 2004.
Puecker, Paul. “ ‘Inspired by Flames of Love’: Homosexuality, Mysticism, and Moravian Brothers around 1750.” Journal of the History of Sexuality. 15.1 (Jan. 2006): 30-64.
——. “Songs of the Sifting: Understanding the Role of Bridal Mysticism in Moravian Piety during the late 1740’s.” Journal of Moravian History. 3 (2007): 51-87.
Weber, Max. The Protestant Ethic and the “Spirit” of Capitalism and Other Writings. Ed. Peter Baehr and Gordon C. Wells. New York: Penguin Books, 2002.

2016 - Southwestern Social Science Association 97th Annual Meeting Words: 228 words || 
2. Miller, Brennan. "Negative Self-Feelings in the Racialized Social Structure: The Varying Effects of Family and School Perceptions on Negative Self-Feelings for Whites, Blacks, and Latinos" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southwestern Social Science Association 97th Annual Meeting, Paris and Bally’s Hotels, Las Vegas, Nevada, Mar 23, 2016 <Not Available>. 2018-04-26 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Negative self-feelings are theorized as a motivating factor for deviant outcomes (Kaplan et al. 1983), which have self-enhancing consequences (Kaplan 2001). In other words, a delinquent disposition emerges from low self-esteem, because delinquent acts are used to cope with low self-esteem. Delinquent dispositions form in relation to an individual’s position within the social structure (Kaplan 2001; House and Mortimer 1990). Similarly, Bonilla-Silva (1997) argues that individuals develop racial dispositions based on their location in the racialized social structure. Therefore, this paper examines the relationship of race, as a social structure, on negative self-feelings. In addition, I examine how perceptions of proximal social structures (family and school) and social class impact negative self-feelings. I use Kaplan Longitudinal and Multi-generational (KLAMS) dataset to examine how Whites, Blacks, and Latinos’ dispositions in adolescence (ages 11-13) impacts dispositions in young adulthood (ages 20-24). I find that the theoretical model operates differently for each racial group. Adolescent negative self-feelings influence feelings of control and negative self-feelings in young adulthood for all racial groups. However, feelings of control and negative school perceptions only increase negative self-feelings in young adulthood for Whites. Blacks’ family perceptions are a protective factor for negative-self feelings in young adulthood. Interestingly, for Latinos, the proximal conditions lack significance. I conclude that future research should further examine the variety of proximal conditions that impact negative self-feelings uniquely for different racial groups.

2015 - American Sociological Association Annual Meeting Pages: unavailable || Words: 7595 words || 
3. Hutcherson, Benjamin. "Feeling Heavy, Feeling Doomed: Narratives, Embodiment, and Authentic Cultural Engagement" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Hilton Chicago and Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, Illinois, Aug 20, 2015 Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2018-04-26 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Although cultural sociologists have examined the politics of authenticity within various music scenes, such work has largely focused on this concept as an outcome of interaction between individuals in a particular field and the establishment of genre boundaries by musicians, fans, and various organizations (e.g. record labels, music venues). In this paper, I propose the concept of cultural engagement, an analytic framework that emphasizes 1) the discursive strategies people utilize when describing their relationships to art and 2) a conceptualization of embodied genre performances that includes the visceral, somatic experiences of producing and experiencing art. This model of cultural engagement provides insight into how individuals acquire the requisite vocabularies and behaviors to authentically participate in various cultural fields, how they evaluate others’ participation. Here, I focus on the notion of “heavy” within the doom metal music scene of Denver, Colorado and how it operates as a way of connecting intense, personal experiences that take place in the ritualized, collective practice of live music performances. I propose that this model of cultural engagement provides a way of expanding the model of the cultural toolkit and, in turn, rethinking how and why individuals feel strongly connected to music styles that exist outside of mainstream culture.

2016 - ASEEES Convention Words: 64 words || 
4. Isakava, Volha. "To Feel or Not to Feel: The Cinema of Affect and Ivan Vyrypaev's Euphoria (2006)" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASEEES Convention, Washington Marriott Wardman Park, Washington, DC, <Not Available>. 2018-04-26 <>
Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: Volha Isakava examines Vyrypaev's feature film Euphoria (2006) through Laura Marks's theory of "haptic visuality." In contrast to the "optical visuality" of conventional cinema, haptic visuality creates embodied and sensory connections between the spectator and the film, relinquishing the supremacy of the voyeuristic gaze. Isakava argues that Euphoria creates an experience of affective embodiment that produces a visceral sense of euphoria for the spectator.

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