Tag: Affect and Emotion

Reminder of our ‘leaving’ seminar 15th Dec UEL Docklands

It might not be Feel Good Friday, but thank your lucky stars it’s Thankful Thursday!

Emotions, Feelings, Affect, Work

Following a trajectory from the brawny body-machine couplings of the Taylorist factory to the supposed ‘post-Taylor’ cognitive workers and attention engines of the knowledge society; emotions, feelings, and affect have arguably remained a constant, yet under-scrutinized, factor of the management of labour. Indeed, recent interest in the colonization of emotions, feelings, and affect in the workplace perhaps misses the long history of feely managerial strategies…

Thurs 15th Dec at 4-7.30pm in SD103/SD104 (1st floor Sports Dock at UEL’s Docklands Campus) See https://www.eclab.uel.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Docklands-campus.pdf (number 3 on the map)


Thurs 15th Dec is a gap in the proposed RMT strike, so should be ok travel-wise.

OUR NEW ROOM INCREASES CAPACITY SO MORE TICKETS HAVE BEEN ADDED: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/emotion-feeling-affect-work-tickets-456912907807


Join us at 4pm for welcome drinks

Introduction (4.15) Chair: Andrew Branch

Andrew Calcutt: Affect and the Ineffectual (4.20)

Darren Ellis: By the Sweat of Your Brow You Will Eat Your Food Until You Return into the Ground! (4.40)

Lurraine Jones: Anti-Racism at Work: Rearranging the Deck Chairs on the Titanic (5.00)

Paula Reavey: Affective Surveillance and Distress: Mental Health First Aid England’s Take Over of the Workplace (5.20)

Tony Sampson: What the EmotionUX Lab Might Have Been (5.40)

Ian Tucker: ‘More or Less Digital’: The Changing (Topological) Relations of Home and Work (6.00)

Angie Voela: Affect, Psychoanalysis, Capitalism (6.20)

Q&A Chair: Andrew Branch (6.40)

We finish with special aesthetic derangements by Mikey Georgeson

Affect and Social Media 3.0 – Registration Open!

Affect and Social Media 3.0: Experience, Entanglement, Engagement (including The Sensorium Art Show)

Registration Now Open

When: Thurs May 25th 2017, 10am – 8.30pm

Where: The University of East London, Dockland’s campus (via Cyprus Station on the DLR)

Keynotes: Jessica Ringrose (UCL) and Emma Renold (Cardiff)

In its third year now, the A&SM one day conference at UEL Docklands continues to get to grips with social media culture.

In the first two events (captured in a forthcoming edited collection*) the call focused mainly on the manipulation of feelings, emotions and affect by social media marketing, but now, following recent events like Brexit and Trump, it is imperative to broaden the discussion to include felt experiences, affective entanglements and emotional engagements in these unnerving times.

The 2017 conference brings together an intriguing international programme discussing:

  • The affective politics of social media entanglements with e.g. Brexit, post-truth and strategic cyberbullying.
  • The spreading of refugee and “Punch a Nazi” memes, the affective politics of Iranian sanctions and Trump’s tweets.
  • Public affects and emotional consumption on Ebay, Twitter and Vine.
  • Experiencing digital affect as grasped through the ideas of Simondon, Whitehead and Lévinas.
  • The intersections between digital, art and affect
  • Affective pedagogies and resistances to social media events and affective overspills following the Orlando shooting and Trump’s election victory

Through our keynote speakers we also ask what can be learnt from these recent events and how we can effectively communicate to others whose lives are profoundly affected by (and made vulnerable to) the recent acceleration of socially mediated molecular fascism.

The 2017 Sensorium includes artworks tackling digital memory, social media addiction, emotional recognition, inspirational memes quotes and a collaborative “zine” response to Trump.

The full programme of speakers and art exhibit will be released soon.

Tickets are £3 for non-UEL students and £5 for people working outside of UEL. Price includes entry to the conference and art show with free drinks and nibbles.

*The first two A&SM events are now part of an edited book, Affect and Social Media (eds. Sampson, Ellis and Maddison), to be published as part of the Radical Cultural Studies Series with Rowman and Littlefield International in 2018. The book includes a foreword by Greg Seigworth and over 20 cutting edge contributions.

Affect and Social Media Symposium#2 (23rd Mar) Registration open!

Registration is now open for the Affect and Social Media Symposium#2 (2016)

Following on from the success of last year’s Affect and Social Media Symposium at UEL, the emotionUX lab in the School of Arts and Digital Industries (in collaboration with Cass School of Education and Communities) invite you to register for a second symposium continuing to explore the relation between social media, affect, feelings and emotions.

Due to a wonderful response to the call for presentations this year’s event will be much bigger. It takes place at UEL’s Docklands campus (registration starts at 9am in room EB: G. 06) on Wednesday 23rd March. The programme runs throughout the day and culminates at 6-8pm with an art Sensorium – washed down with drinks and nibbles.

This year the A&SM symposium brings together an international cast of speakers from across disciplinary boundaries. The programme (to be confirmed in full in early February) includes cross-disciplinary panel sessions grasping affect and social media through the lenses of digital emotion, individuation, experience, emoticons, new materialisms, selfies, relfies, biofeedback, feminist activism, media panic, anxiety, therapy, learning, and affective circuits, geographies, new connectivities and contagions.

The event will also feature a collaborative art ‘experience’ – Sensorium featuring the work of John Wild, Marie Brenneis, Mikey B Georgeson, Sally Labern and Dean Todd.

Please note that due to limited space all attendees will need to confirm their place at the symposium by initially registering online (see link below) before signing in on the day. We recommend early registration to guarantee a place at this popular event.

External (waged): £5

External (unwaged, student): £3

Presenters, UEL staff, students, alumni and nonhumans: Free

Register online here: http://www.uel.ac.uk/Events/2016/3/Affect-and-Social-Media-Symposium-2


Affect and Social Media Symposium #2 – cfp

Affect and Social Media Symposium #2 – cfp

Wednesday 23rd March 2016


University of East London, Docklands Campus, Room EB. G.06

Call for 15min Presentations/Position Papers

Following on from the success of last year’s Affect and Social Media research symposium, the emotionUX lab in the School of Arts and Digital Industries at UEL, and in collaboration this year with Cass School of Education and Communities at UEL, will be hosting a second event continuing to explore the relation between social media, affect, feelings and emotions.

Numerous studies from various fields have described interactions with social media in terms of emotional, affective and feely experiences. It is claimed that habitual access to Facebook can have a negative impact on mood and subjective well-being (Kross et al, 2013). Likewise, emotional states experienced on social media can be transferred to others through emotional contagion, ‘leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness’ (Kramer, 2014). Similarly, positive emotions, like joy, are regarded as more likely to spread than negative ones (Berger and Milkman, 2010).

This year’s call for 15min presentations/position papers asks contributors to explore emotional, affective and feely experiences with social media. More specifically, we ask contributors to investigate how social media ‘work[s] in concert with bodies in the production of emotional and affective activity’ (Ellis and Tucker, 2015: 177).

We welcome proposals on a wide variety of themes that cross disciplinary boundaries. For example…

Addiction and social media

Affective contagion

Affect theory relating to social media

Care, emotions and social media

Methodologies relating to emotion, affect and social media

Consumption, emotions and affect on social media

Education, emotions and social media

Emotional and affective contagions

Emotional social media design (theory and practice)

Ethical considerations

Felt experiences on social media

Social gaming and emotions

HCI and emotion

Learning, emotion and social media

Marketing, emotion and social media

Networked emotions

Online emotional ethnographies

Pervasive computing and emotion

Emotions and privacy

Emotions and security

Sharing emotions

Emotions and trust

The politics of emotional user experiences

Please send a title, brief outline (100words) and institutional affiliation to t.d.sampson@uel.ac.uk and E.Theodotou@uel.ac.uk

Activities Deadlines
Abstract Submission 15th December 2015
Acceptance notification 15th January 2016
Registration for presenters Details to follow
Registration for all participants Details to follow


Fees and registration

(Refreshments, after symposium drinks and nibbles and attendance certificate included in all registration types)

Type Fee
Presenters Free
UEL students/academics Free
External students £3
External academics/participants £5

Please keep an eye out for follow up emails regarding registration

Updates will also appear on the Virality blog and EmotionUX news page






Red Tape N°4b — Conflict territories – on Tuesday

Red Tape N°4b — Conflict territories
Courtyard Galleries, London
Tuesday 28th April, 7—9pm

Red Tape introduces a discussion focusing on conflicts within urban and non-urban territories through the lenses of art, architecture and design. Architect Godofredo Pereira, designer Tobias Revell, curator Michaela Crimmin and writer Anna Minton discuss conflicts arising with control and urbanisation, the strategic role of art in the public cityscape and that of natural resources at the edge of the city.

Affect and Social Media Seminar, 27th Feb at UEL

Despite the Eventbrite registration being full for this event, we have some more room. We have added some places to Eventbrite. If you can’t register there please contact Virality to be added to the guest list. http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/research-seminar-on-social-media-and-affect-tickets-14064410029

More detail


Affect and Social Media: International research seminar, including book launch for Ellis and Tucker’s Social Psychology of Emotion published by Sage in March.

Hosted by the EmotionUX lab in the School of Arts and Digital Industries, University of East London.

Friday 27th Feb, 2015 at UEL’s Docklands Campus.


Meet 12.30 at Docklands Campus reception 1pm start!

In Room NB 2.05

Introduction Tony D. Sampson

Session 1 – 1.15-2.25

Sara Marino (University of Westminster): Performances, belongings, and displacements. How Italians use new media to narrate their diasporic experience.

Evgenia Theodotou (AMC, Greece): Social network in higher education: a case study investigating creativity in the Greek context.

Darren Ellis (University of East London): Social Media, Affect and Process

Jacob Johanssen (University of East London): Alienation and Affect on Facebook

Break for late lunch 2.25-3pm

Session 2 – 3-4.10pm

Greg Singh (University of Stirling): Social Media as a False-Self System

Tamara Shepherd (London School of Economics) Mobility, Sociality, and Affect: The Commodification of Intimacy through Branded Mobile Apps

Ian Tucker (University of East London) and Lewis Goodings (Roehampton): Digitally mediated distress: Bodies, affect and digital care.

Break for refreshments 4.10-4.40pm

Session 3 4.40-6.00pm John Carter McKnight and Adam Fish (Lancaster University): “Sensible” Borrowers: Class Narratives and the Manipulation of Affect in the Marketing of Alternative Finance

Anne Vermeulen (University of Antwerp): Feeling happy: adolescents’ emotion sharing on social media

Closing discussion chaired by Tony D. Sampson

Book Launch and Social Event 6.30-8pm To celebrate the imminent (Sage, March 2015) publication of Social Psychology of Emotion by Darren Ellis and Ian Tucker – we will have some chat, drinks and nibbles… Book info: http://www.uk.sagepub.com/books/Book239116?subject=K00&sortBy=defaultPubDate%20desc&fs=1

Presenter Biogs

Sara Marino, University of Westminster Dr. Sara Marino is Research Fellow at CREAM-Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media, University of Westminster. Her main research interests include the digitalization of contemporary Italian Diaspora in UK, and more generally the impact of digital media (online communities, social networks, discussion forums and blogs) in the processes of integration/communication between migrant communities and receiving countries. She also writes on transnational cinema and diasporic audiences, with a specific focus on von Trier’s cinema and the representation of Otherness.

Anne Vermeulen, University of Antwerp Anne Vermeulen is master in Social-Economic Sciences (University of Antwerp, 2010) and master in Communication Studies: Strategic Communication (University of Antwerp, 2011). Since October 2011, she works as a PhD student and research and teaching assistant at the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Antwerp. She is a member of the research group MIOS. Anne’s main field of interest concerns the link between youngsters and ICT. For her PhD, she studies how youngsters share their (positive and negative) emotions with others; when and how do they use different communication modes (face-to-face and specific types of mediated communication) to share their emotions with strangers, friends and family?

Tamara Shepherd, London School of Economics and Political Science Tamara Shepherd is an LSE Fellow in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her work looks at the feminist political economy of digital culture, especially in relation to social media, mobile technologies, and digital games. For more, please see http://tshepski.com/

John Carter McKnight, Lancaster University John Carter McKnight is a postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Sociology Lancaster University. His work, funded under a grant from the Research Councils UK Digital Economy Theme, examines how peer to peer digital lending and payment services present themselves as alternatives to mainstream banking practices through infrastructure, user experience, and marketing design, with a particular focus on the role of affective design and marketing in speaking to regional and class issues in promoting alternatives to high street banking.

Adam Fish, Lancaster University I am a social anthropologist of digital culture, business, and politics. I investigate the interface of economic and political power, cultural discourses and practices, and networked communication technologies. These interests coalesce into critical and ethnographic investigations into media industries and media activism. Based on my ethnographic research into media companies in Hollywood and Silicon Valley, I am presently writing a book about the corporate myths of media “democratization” and internet and television convergence. In my present project I am investigating the politics of information infrastructures through ethnographic fieldwork with cloud computing companies, peer-to-peer banks, and “internet freedom” activists.

Jacob Johanssen, University of East London Jacob Johanssen is a third year PhD student in psychosocial studies at the UEL. His research interests include psychoanalysis and media audience research, Freudian affect theory, as well as critical theory. Publications include the anthology ‘Cyborg Subjects: Discourses on Digital Culture’ (edited with Rambatan, 2013) and ‘Alienation and Digital Labour’ (with Krüger, 2014). His PhD thesis explores a psychoanalytic conception of the subject that is both theoretical and epistemological. The research involves interviews with viewers of ‘Embarrassing Bodies’ and explores their viewing practices and affective responses to the programme.

Greg Singh, University of Stirling Dr Greg Singh is Lecturer in Media and Communications at the University of Stirling, and is Programme Director of the Digital Media undergraduate programme. He has published widely on a number of subjects ranging from popular cinema, film theory and film-philosophy, and depth psychology, to representations of technology in television drama. He has published two monographs for Routledge (Film After Jung, 2009; Feeling Film: Authenticity, Affect and Popular Cinema, 2014). He is currently working on a book-length study for Routledge discussing psychosocial aspects of digital literacy and Web 2.0.

Ian Tucker, UEL Dr. Ian Tucker is Reader in Social Psychology at the University of East London. He has a long standing interest in the social psychological aspects of emotion and affect, which has theoretically informed empirical work in the areas of mental distress, social media and surveillance. He has conducted research for the Mental Health Foundation and EPSRC Communities and Culture Network+, and is currently working on a project exploring the impact of social media on psychological support in mental health communities. Ian has published numerous articles in the areas of mental health, space and place, embodiment, surveillance and social media.

Lewis Goodings, Roehampton Lewis Goodings has several years experience researching social media, which began with his PhD work on MySpace and its effects on identity, embodiment and space. He has worked on a number of projects looking at the intersections between technology and experience, for example, a  (Roehampton-funded) piece of research entitled ‘Transformative Publics: Social media and the production of bodies online’ which looked at the experience of ‘unwanted’ body-technical assemblages in social media. His interests focus on identifying the role of digital media in the production of communities defined by the way users feel connected, and how such feelings are dependent on the specific aspects of the online environment. More recently, he has been working on a EPSRC funded project with Dr Ian Tucker that is looking at how people use the social media site ‘Elefriends’.

Evgenia Theodotou, AMC in collaboration with University of East London Evgenia Theodotou is Programme Leader in Education Department in Metropolitan College (AMC), which in collaboration with University of East London offers Bachelors and Masters Degrees. She is a PhD candidate in the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in School of Early Childhood Education in the research area of “Literacy skills in the early years settings”. Her research activity involves technology enhanced learning, creativity, arts and literacy skills. She has participated in several research projects and published her research in international conferences, journals, edited books and monographs. She is the author of “When I play I learn… and I better understand” from Delta publications and of “Creativity in the contemporary era of ICT” from Kritiki publications. She is also the author of a series of children’s books which will be shortly available to public. She has a permanent column at “Anna Drouza boro.gr” under the action of “The academic answers your queries”.

Darren Ellis, UEL Darren Ellis is Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader in Psychosocial Studies at the University of East London. Darren has been interested in the ways that emotion, affect and feeling are experienced, expressed and constructed. These interests have influenced his writings on psychotherapy, the emotional disclosure paradigm, theorising police stop and search activity, surveillance studies, conspiracy theory studies, and understandings of social media interactivity. His forthcoming book (March 2015) is entitled ‘Social Psychology of Emotion’  http://www.uk.sagepub.com/books/Book239116?subject=K00&sortBy=defaultPubDate%20desc&fs=1

Affect and Social Media Research Seminar 27th Feb at UEL

Following on from the controversy surrounding the apparent manipulation of emotions on Facebook widely reported in the media, the emotionUX lab in the School of Arts and Digital Industries at UEL will be hosting a special research seminar exploring the relation between social media, affect, feelings and emotions on Fri 27th Feb (1-8pm). The seminar includes speakers from UEL, Stirling, Westminster, Antwerp, LSE, Lancaster, Roehampton and more…

To register (free) http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/research-seminar-on-social-media-and-affect-tickets-14064410029

More news to follow

Call for papers: Social Media and Affect Research Seminar

Call for papers

Social Media and Affect Research Seminar

The EmotionUX lab

School of Arts and Digital Industries

Docklands Campus

University of East London

27th Feb 2015

Following on from the controversy surrounding the apparent manipulation of emotions on Facebook widely reported in the media, the emotionUX lab in the School of Arts and Digital Industries at UEL invite you to a one day research seminar exploring the relation between social media, affect, feelings and emotions. We welcome proposals for 15min position papers. Themes that might be addressed include…



Concepts and methodologies

Consumption – use


Emotional design (theory and practice)




Felt experiences







Online emotional ethnographies






User experience

Please send a title and brief outline (100words) to t.d.sampson@uel.ac.uk and copied to u1026574@uel.ac.uk before September 1st 2014.


Affective Contagion: Social Practices and the Problem of the Uncanny (2 of 5)

Above and Below the Threshold of Consciousness…

There are, I think, a number of problems with this notion of a thick line drawn between conscious meaning making and prediscursive forces in the social field. First, it is important to stress that nonrepresentational theory is an effort to explain how the social becomes vulnerable to forces of encounter above and below the threshold of consciousness. The aim, it seems to me, is to tackle the problem of binary thinking (line drawing) by in fact tearing down the artifice that separates these two poles. What Wetherell seems intent on doing though is maintaining this artifice. I am not at all convinced however that, as her book claims, it is discourse that carries affect. It is perhaps better to highlight how discursive formations, like those that form around marketing and network security, are intimately interwoven with prediscursive flows of contagious affects, feelings, and emotions. It is true that marketers and network security experts, for example, tap into these forces, but the identities they impose are something that always comes after the event

This is why a Tarde-Deleuzian approach has proved so valuable to rethinking contagion theory in the age of networks. Although overall categories, like crowds, clearly exist as collective representations, Tarde’s laws of imitation, like Deleuze’s assemblage theory,  concerns the relationalities that bring things together irrelevant of a given identity. As Deleuze puts it, it is “within overall categories, basic lineages, or modern institutions” that Tarde’s microrelations can be found. Indeed, “far from destroying these larger unities,” it is the microrelation that composes the unity (Gilles Deleuze, Foucault, 36).

Second, it is important to question the very idea that the uncanny presents an analytical problem. Is it really the case that the study of the uncanniness of affective contagion “blocks pragmatic approaches to affect,” as Wetherell claims (p. 21)? Like this, the metaphors of contagion explain nothing, we are told, other than a strange and unknowable force, which can be better uncovered in less mysterious ways (the trusted tools of representation). In contrast, I would forward Tarde’s work (only one mention of his name in this book which prefers to use the much easier to burn straw man of Gustave Le Bon) as a mostly pragmatic attempt to uncover an uncanny neurological tendency to imitate.

Mirror Neurons are Uncanny

Tarde’s contagion is not in fact a metaphor at all. He argued that long before language came to define human culture the prevalent social action was to imitate. Wetherell’s many references to neuroscience, and the mirror neuron hypothesis in particular, demonstrate how this uncanny inclination to imitate is already being pragmatically approached, perhaps revealing that language is simply a by-product of such an imitative inclination.

Affective Contagion: Social Practices and the Problem of the Uncanny (1 of 5)

Affect and Emotion
Wetherell's Affect and Emotion

The Rubbishing of Discourse…

Margaret Wetherell’s new book Affect and Emotion: a New Social Science Understanding (Sage) arrived on my desk last week. Although it covers similar territory to Virality, namely affective contagion, it moves in a very different direction. It does so by forwarding a series of contentious problems facing nonrepresentational theory which require some attention here. Indeed, nonrepresentational theorists should perhaps take heed of the efforts of some social scientists intent on forcing the entire social through the lenses of the representational paradigm. They are no longer simply content to dismiss the claims of nonrepresentational theory as an incomprehensible and misguided fascination with the uncanny, but look to further impose the tools of representation on subrepresentational forces. In effect, what Wetherell attempts to do is wrestle affective contagion back from the likes of Brennan and Thrift, trying to force it into a representational space. Her distain for nonrepresentational theorists is abundantly clear. Her argument is indeed decisively aimed at what she sees as their “rubbishing of discourse.” This feels like payback time.

Affect and Emotion argues that for many people working in cultural studies, including Clough, Massumi, Sedgwick and Thrift, affect is interesting only because it is “not discourse” (p. 19). Massumi, for example, “draws a thick line between bodily movements or forces and social sense making.” Contrary to such Deleuzian flights of fantasy, it seems, human affect is rather “inextricably linked,” Wetherell claims, to meaning-making, the semiotic and the discursive. For Wetherell these are the guiding forces of affect.