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Abstract

In her article "Gender and Emotion in Comparative Perspective" Raili Marling argues that although the study of affect is anything but new, literary studies can benefit from the creative tension between affect and (feminist) politics. Building on the work of Sara Ahmed and Lauren Berlant, Marling engages with the debates within affect theory and then fleshes out the idea of literature as a gendered intimate public sphere and investigates the political effects of emotions as cultural practices. The resulting — largely Anglophone — theoretical apparatus is then tested in a cross-cultural context by discussing Elo Viiding's negotiation of "happiness duty" and the attendant (political) tensions including those related to gender.