(Dis)orienting Hysteria: Reading Perception, Pain, and Techno Music as Mad Materialist Affect

Renee Dumaresque


This article engages a Mad methodology to identify hysteria as a critical site of Mad engagement and to attend to the potentialities and incomprehensibilities at the intersection of chronic vulvar pain and techno music. Beginning with an encounter between pain and sound, I explore the potential of inter-sensory experiences as a form of micropolitical resistance to perception as disciplined. By deploying a diffractive approach to reading affect theorizing, I merge literature related to madness, pain, sound, and the coloniality of knowledge production to develop a nuanced articulation of Mad materialist affect. In doing so, I perform a conceptual intervention that confronts the subversive effects of disciplinary boundaries and makes visible the relational histories and present encounters that discursively and materially constitute chronic vulvar pain and techno music. I offer an analytic that attends to hysteria as a colonial apparatus while simultaneously exploring the re- signification of hysteria as a generative state of (dis)orientation.


Mad Studies; affect theory; hysteria; vulvodynia; techno music; knowledge production

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