‘It’s this 1 thing that got me trippin’: Feeling-with and Thinking-with the Affect of Songs as Visitations

Julie Ovington, Jo Albin-Clark

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


In our session we will be working with powerful and personal songs to think-with and make-with affect, to unpack and apply post qualitative theories as early career researchers. As an entry point, we take a pop song by Amerie (Rogers, Harrison and Walden, 2004) to make visible how theory can be diffracted through lyrics to locate affective intensities to (re)consider what data-otherwise might be. For example, the lyrics ‘you have got me trippin’ resonates as affect for us which is both personal and prepersonal, and drawing on Taylor’s (2021, p.235) theorizations of visitations and removing doors we position songs as visitations that are sometimes ‘uninvited.the one who, or that which, brings what is difficult, unforeseen, unknown and unanticipateable – a something to reckon with’. In this sense we aim to speculatively explore the affect of musicality to consider previously unconnected features that can also be affected, seeking out the ‘and…and…and’ (Deleuze and Guattari, 1987, p.25) in research. Polyvocal mediums have offered us an unbridled way to think with theory and our invitation to remove the doors is a provocation, within collegial and resonant post-qualitative theory-practice-spaces, to be accountable for the cuts we are making in research as an ethical imperative of neomaterialism.

Historically privilege has been bestowed upon linguistics yet here we re-imagine voice as multi-dimensional as ‘an enactment of forces and not all necessarily human’ (Mazzei, 2016, p.153). We know more-than-human bodies are saturated with emotions that feed a proliferation of affective intensities (Leander and Bolt, 2012), enabling us to think differently about how bodies might speak. Through relational ontologies we argue music is not separate from the human, but something that our bodies are already in relationship with (Marti Perez, 2019). As such, more-than-human voice is repositioned as constituent to any agentic assemblage (Mazzei and Jackson, 2017). Music as soundscapes, can be a carrier that enables an attunement to profound experiences (Wozalek, 2018), and thinking with the sonic can be useful for theoretical analysis (Gershon and Applebaum, 2018). As Gallagher et. al., (2018) remind us, sound is always more than symbolic communication.

As co-convenors we aim to question ‘how human and more-than-human sounds, via any medium, can seek out affective intensities to as method to make seemingly invisible data visible’. As emerging scholars, we have been presented with a myriad of pathways to explore feminist, new materialist, posthuman and post qualitative theories, with multiple entry and exit points. The complexity of this can be overwhelming and we want to provide support to other early career researchers, to inspire confidence to think-otherwise about what constitutes data. Using the provocation of music, an entry point to think~with and make~with theory, we invite delegates to share songs to explore affect, building a collective visitation through an intra-active Spotify playlist. Thinking soundscape-affect-otherwise the take-away playlist, as a collective, resonant shifting and multiplying sonic sensorium, opens potentialities to disrupt linear thinking by acting as an entry point for our collaborators to make sense of their post-qualitative inquiries and what counts as data.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2021
Event European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry - Brussels (online) , Belgium
Duration: 27 Nov 202129 Nov 2021
Conference number: 5


Conference European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry
Abbreviated titleECQI
CityBrussels (online)
Internet address


  • affect
  • soundscape
  • more-than-human
  • post-qualitative
  • song visitations


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