Call for Papers: Leaking affects and mediated spaces

Call for Papers: Leaking affects and mediated spaces for the Fourth International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Emotional Geographies
1-3 July 2013 at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands

Session: Leaking affects and mediated spaces.

Session organisers: Darren Ellis, John Cromby, Lewis Goodings, Tony Sampson and Ian Tucker

We seem to possess the ability to move and to be greatly moved by our daily interactions with increasingly complex forms of electronic media. We are soaked in the seepage of affective information about others (other humans, other beings, other spaces) and continually leak similar stuff about ourselves, both intentionally and unintentionally, and often somewhere in-between the two. For example, signified affective states are issued through the often mundane emoticons ():), kisses (x), and curses (f**k); and our pleasures and pursuits can be captured by sophisticated algorithms that track internet activity. Perhaps digitised space has opened the way to new realms of affective contagions, transactions, communications and doings. To what extent then do we get a sense of the affect-trails that we leave behind and those that we pick up? What kinds of senses are involved and how might we experience them on a day to day basis? Indeed what are the possibilities and limitations of sharing, imparting and capturing affects across this electronic ether? Is there a flattening of affect or is something qualitatively different occurring? Central to these questions are notions of distribution and spatial expression, and the need to understand the affective nature (or not) of the relations and connections between bodies and technologies that form our everyday territories. The sessions that make up this proposal seek to explore these issues in a number of theoretical and empirical ways, with interest in (although not limited to) areas such as surveillance, social media and embodiment.

Key Questions: How do we understand the multiple and fluid ways that affect becomes distributed across and through bodies, technologies and spaces? How is affect marked out and made visible in mediated online spaces? Is affect still a useful way for configuring the expression of intensive processes spatially?

Paper proposals are invited focusing on (although are not limited to):

Surveillance

Social Media

Embodiment

Digital and non-digital topology

Body-technology relations

Novel empirical approaches to studies of affect

Please send abstracts of up to 250 words to Darren Ellis (D.Ellis@uel.ac.uk) before the 20th of January 2013

About Virality

Tony D. Sampson is Reader in Digital Culture and Communications at the University of East London. He has a PhD in social-cultural-digital contagion theory from the Sociology Department at the University of Essex. He is a former art student who re-entered higher education in the UK as a mature student in the mid-1990s after a long stint as a gigging musician. His career in education has moved through various disciplines and departments, including a maths and computing faculty, sociology department and school of digital media and design His publications include The Spam Book, coedited with Jussi Parikka (Hampton Press, 2009), Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks (University of Minnesota Press, 2012), The Assemblage Brain: Sense Making in Neuroculture (University of Minnesota Press, 2016) and Affect and Social Media (Rowman and Littlefield, July 2018). He is organizer and host of the Affect and Social Media conferences in the UK. As a co-founder and co-director of the public engagement initiatives, Club Critical Theory (CCT) and the Cultural Engine Research Group (CERG), Sampson has developed a number of funded research projects and public events that aim to bring impactful critical theories into the community and local political sphere to approach a series of local challenges. These activities have included large conferences co-organized with local authorities looking at a range of policies relating to the revitalization of the Essex costal region, developments in the cultural industries as well as a series of community focused events on food cultures and policy, collaborations with arts groups and informal lectures/workshops in pubs and community centres. Director of the EmotionUX Lab at UEL. He occasionally blogs at: https://viralcontagion.wordpress.com/ Full academic profile: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Staff/s/tony-sampson
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