“Just when it seemed there could be nothing more to say about nineteenth-century sentimentalism, Xine Yao comes along with this powerhouse of a book. She exposes sentimentalism’s sly trick: a white supremacy exerted through an appearance of empathy that is actually the policing of feeling itself. Stunningly argued and refreshingly contrarian, Disaffected showcases what is most exciting about nineteenth-century American literary studies today while making important connections to emerging conversations in studies of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality.”
-- Britt Rusert, author of Fugitive Science: Empiricism and Freedom in Early African American Culture
“Against the affective economy in which white pain demands racialized consolation and white sympathy extorts racialized gratitude and emotional labor, Xine Yao’s original study examines ‘disaffection’ as a powerful practice that refuses the affective obligations of the nineteenth-century liberal social order. To be ‘disaffected’ is more than the absence of feeling—it is rather to feel otherwise, to refuse affective coercion, to stay with the negativity of unfeeling and to interrupt its rehabilitation, and more importantly, to invent counterpractices of sociality and care from below.”
-- Lisa Lowe, author of The Intimacies of Four Continents
"Disaffected is a remarkable achievement that asks readers for 'reciprocity' in the 'mutual, uneven process of knowledge-making, meaning-making, community-building' that emerges from the withholdings and disclosures of unfeeling."
-- Benjamin Hulett Synapsis
"The history of emotions has not seen the likes of this book before and its importance cannot be overstated. At the very least, the introductory chapter should make it on to every syllabus."
-- Rob Boddice Emotions