How geopolitical becomes personal: Method acting, war films and affect


JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL THEORY, vol.15, no.2, pp.210-228, 2019 (ESCI) identifier identifier


This article is about weaponisation of emotions through visual culture. It interrogates how geopolitics trickles down to everyday life and becomes personal through the embodiment of screen actors. While International Relations is attempting to move beyond the limits of existing disciplinary methods and methodologies to better grasp the emotional depths of world politics, this article delves into the 'method' in performance arts to understand how visual culture diffuses emotional narratives of the state to the population and affectively enables people to experience the international from the perspective of the United States. In this sense, focusing on 'method acting' which revolutionised performance arts in the United States from the 1950s, the article examines the mundane encounters in visual culture through which screen/state actors emotionally situate the audience to make them viscerally experience geopolitics, personally feel like a state/warrior and embody a commitment to the war effort at an emotional level.