The Novel as Affective Site: Uncertain Work as Impasse in Wait Until Spring, Bandini

Birke Dorothea Otto, Anke Strauß

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In this paper we propose that reading and writing with novels contributes to the emerging field of researching affect in organization studies. Situating our argument in current research on work-related uncertainty, we take John Fante’s novel Wait Until Spring, Bandini as a ‘sensuous site’ of research to engage with the experience of feeling stuck – addressed as impasse, limbo or permanent temporariness – as a condition of contemporary work lives. While affect theoretical approaches often emphasize precognitive intensities and their transformative potential, the novel foregrounds how affective intensities stay and stick as they are entangled with powerful socio-political conventions, such as investments in the American Dream or the idea of stable employment. Such affective attachments take shape in antithetic dynamics of the not-so-static state of feeling stuck.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOrganization Studies
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1805-1822
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Published online: October 14, 2019


  • Affect
  • Berlant
  • Crisis ordinary
  • Impasse
  • Novel
  • Sensuous site
  • Uncertain work

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