Year: 2022

Review of Robert J. Shiller, Narrative Economics

ALH Online Review, Series XXVIII 819

Robert J. Shiller, Narrative Economics: How Stories Go Viral and Drive Major Economic
Events (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2019), 400 pp.
Reviewed by Tony D. Sampson, University of East London

© The Author 2022. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
For permissions, please email:

Blurring Digital Media Culture special issue for MAST cfp

If you’re into the blurs between media theory and media arts practice, then you may be interested in submitting to our Blurring Digital Media Culture special issue for MAST. We’re keen to attract people already working in the blurs, cracks, in-betweens, not-in-betweens, entangled, indistinctness, and messiness of digital media cultures. Contact me to discuss.

The Affect Theory Reader II: Worldings, Tensions, Futures: A Preview Symposium

Somewhat excited about this…

Join us in east London for this special free symposium on Fri July 15th 2022 to preview The Affect Theory Reader II (Duke University Press, 2023).

About this event

Affect and Social Media/University of East London present

The Affect Theory Reader II: Worldings, Tensions, Futures

A Preview Symposium

Coming sometime in the latter half of 2023: The Affect Theory Reader II: Worldings, Tensions, Futures from Duke University Press! This event will preview work from a few of the book’s almost two dozen contributors.

The reader’s second edition promises to unsettle and reorient the futures of affect theory, to leave particular tensions and ambiguities even more gloriously unresolved, and to assemble a shimmer of inventories that refuses closure around any kind of “monoaffective imaginary” (in the words of Lauren Berlant). Let’s get uncomfortable and unlearn a lot of what has already been thought and felt by affect theory in order to imagine worldings that might open up otherwise and elsewhere. Or at least flail again, flail better.

In addition to the editors, Gregory Seigworth and Carolyn Pedwell, a full programme and schedule of speakers will be announced soon (on the Virality blog).

The event is hosted by Affect and Social Media at University Square Stratford Campus: University of East London (UEL), 1 Salway Place, London, England, E15 1NF

Registration is open:

Village Gone Viral

Received a copy of Village Gone Viral by Marit Tolo Østebø (Stanford UP, 2021). It takes on/challenges some of the Virality thesis I set out in 2012 (and a lot more), and moves it on to a fascinating context in African Studies. Highly recommended. Description below – See


In 2001, Ethiopian Television aired a documentary about a small, rural village called Awra Amba, where women ploughed, men worked in the kitchen, and so-called harmful traditional practices did not exist. The documentary radically challenged prevailing images of Ethiopia as a gender-conservative and aid-dependent place, and Awra Amba became a symbol of gender equality and sustainable development in Ethiopia and beyond.

Village Gone Viral uses the example of Awra Amba to consider the widespread circulation and use of modeling practices in an increasingly transnational and digital policy world. With a particular focus on traveling models—policy models that become “viral” through various vectors, ranging from NGOs and multilateral organizations to the Internet—Marit Tolo Østebø critically examines the hidden dimensions of models and model making. While a policy model may be presented as a “best practice,” one that can be scaled up and successfully applied to other places, the local impacts of the model paradigm are far more ambivalent—potentially increasing social inequalities, reinforcing social stratification, and concealing injustice. With this book, Østebø ultimately calls for a reflexive critical anthropology of the production, circulation, and use of models as instruments for social change.

About the author

Marit Tolo Østebø is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Florida.

How to Study the Metaverse: Cognition, Embodiment and Experience in Immersive Worlds | University of East London

You can join us online at this free research seminar on Wednesday.

Research Seminar on Metaverse and Embodiment

I’m not sure how well the Team’s link will work, but people are invited to this UEL session on metaverse and embodiment at UEL on 23rd March at 4pm GMT.

Media Research Seminar on 23rd March 4pm. On campus (EB1.45) and Teams link below

How to Study the Metaverse: Cognition, Embodiment and Experience in Immersive Worlds 

Following Facebook’s move to Meta and recent ACI/UEL interest in emerging immersive technologies and practices, this research seminar aims to critically locate the metaverse in media theory and human computer interaction debates

Tony Sampson

This introductory talk will locate the metaverse in debates from human computer interaction (HCI) focused on three paradigms of research. Using this frame, the talk will briefly map the trajectory of HCI from body-machine couplings, mind-computer metaphors and situated, embodied interaction, to visions of the metaverse.  

Diana Lengua

Beginning with the notion of embodied interaction, we will attempt to reconstruct the prerequisites for what META’s founder now defines as the new era of the embodied internet. The notion of situated knowledge within the HCI will be addressed, and we will tackle the discursive-hype related to the great promises of a “not-so-new” immersive environment. 

Alex Thomas

This talk will introduce the transhumanist ideas of silicon immortality, radical abundance and morphological freedom tracking transhumanist fantasies from real life to VR and back again. The eschatological underpinnings of escaping embodiment in transhumanist discourse will be considered.  

Team link:

Invitation to A Sleepwalker’s Guide to Deptford

I’m contributing to this wonderful Sleepwalking Tour with an introduction to media somnambulism live via video link as the walk begins…

You are invited to take part in a fun trance-forming ritual, animating the temporal substance of Deptford High Street.

About this event

A Sleepwalker’s Guide to Deptford

from 5.30pm – 7.30pm on Friday 4th March with Hypnogogic Light Machine to 8pmish

a FREE artist-led walk around Deptford produced by InspiralLondon

Meet by Little Nans tented Bar by exit of Deptford Station to finish at Badger Badger just nearby for Light Therapy and refreshments.

We are delighted to invite you to take part in the trance-forming ritual, animating the temporal substance of Deptford High Street and out beyond. You will enter the automatic realm of the sleepwalker awakened via sonic frequencies broadcast on smart phone devise (please bring a mobile telephone and head-phone-buds/overears). Once in the trance reality of an emerging story we will delve down south towards the Brookmill flows taking in the Hours of the poet Johny Brown. Listen out for the trance-formative lyrical tones of Mikey himself whose first single opened with the words “Sometimes London don’t seem so appealing but maybe your lover is living in Deptford”. Our sleepwalk begins with an introduction from Tony D Sampson author of A Sleepwalker’s Guide to Social Media and concludes with exclusive trial encounters with Mount Analogue’s Lucia No. 03 hypnogogic light machine further enhancing the vibes of empathetic entanglement our trance-forming ritual has summoned onto the plane of Deptford’s immanence.

With one eye on the virtual urban experience this walk channels the trance-ritual mind of the walking group. The collective non-conscious is regarded as a precognitive or a more than human experience. It is an impersonal user experience that exceeds the filtering of individual phenomenal experience. Using smart phones (please bring headphones) this extra-embodied walk takes the social-media realm as something potentially materially vital and incorporates trance ritual song and somnambulistic poetry. In association with CCNI (the centre for critical neuroaesthetic interferences) and Mount Analogue we are delighted to be able to offer a trial of the cutting edge *Lucia No. 03, advancing the transformational potentialities of Brion Gysin’s dream machine. Transformative trial sessions on thehypnagogic light machine will conclude the walk. The sleeper must awaken.

*Please note the Lucia N°03 hypnagogic light machine is not a medical device. It is contraindicated for sufferers of strobe intolerance due to a psychological condition such as a psychosis, anxiety disorder, sufferers of photosensitive epilepsy or individuals who have medical conditions with tendencies to have epileptic incidents. Pregnant women and children under the age of 16 are not permitted to use the machine. Mount Analogue reserves the right to decline individuals access to the machine at any time.

Walk approx. 1.5 miles long With Light Therapy offered at end.

Join us outside Little Nan’s Bar by Deptford Railway Station from 5.30pm, the walk departs at 6pm and returns to Little Nan’s by the Station, the walk will last approximately 1.5 hour including stops along the way. You are welcome to join us for as little or as long as you wish.

Please bring warm waterproof clothing suitable for the February weather.