Tag: Affect and social media

Tackling Trump: lessons from Black feminism

Sharing this blog post from UCL because it (a), makes a very important point about “Trump Pedagogy”, (b), refers to the virality of Trumps “lessons” – discussed with my students this morning through this example used in the post, and (c), the co-author, Jessica Ringrose, is the keynote speaker at UEL’s Affect and Social Media 3.0 conference on 25th May 2017 (cfp here).

Tackling teaching about Trump: lessons from Black feminism

Jessica Ringrose and Victoria Showunmi

Many school and university teachers around the world have been asking how to discuss the 2016 USA elections with children, young people and students in the aftermath of what has been called the most divisive election in American history.

Wednesday night, in the wake of the election results, we were presented with the timely opportunity to re-tune our planned MA lecture in Sociology of Education on “Racism and Black Feminist Intersectionality” into a discussion about the global significance of Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States. Since the lecture was on Black Feminism, we would naturally be addressing the issues of racism and misogyny and also the deep class divisions that became powerful focal points throughout the battle between Trump and Hillary Clinton.

We value the university setting as a place for open and informed debate among students from a wide variety of backgrounds, both regionally in the UK and internationally – from Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Hong Kong, China, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Canada and the USA.

Here are some highlights of our session

We opened by discussing some of the charged language championed by what we call “Trump Pedagogy” – that is a form of seemingly educative speech that is supposed to be hard hitting, honest and reflective of the ‘common interest’, but which we interpret as hate-speech that rejects global equality initatives and human rights. Trump has called women ‘nasty’ and ‘bitches’, and boasted about ‘grabbing them by the pussy’. He called Mexicans “rapists”, told African-Americans they were living in war zones, and suggested that all Muslims posed potential threats to security.

In counterpoint, we argued that Trump’s language should be called out as racist, and that his comments about women are entrenched in rape culture. Our students sought to make sense of the popular embrace of Trump despite of or indeed because of these attributes.

The early coverage of Trump’s win suggested that the disenfranchised of the ‘rust belt’ had voted for Trump out of ignorance, a similar view to the argument that working class Britain had made a ‘protest vote’ with Brexit. However, middle class white Americans (men and women) voted to secure their privilege, joining what commentators are calling a ‘whitelash’. Indeed it was noteworthy that 53% of white women (the ‘shy vote’) were what pushed Trump to victory. White women, especially from the Christian Right, were undisputed Trump supporters because of his anti-abortion rhetoric. These trends automatically raise questions for our students to discuss about which women support feminism and which women are anti-feminists and why?

We were also able to examine social media data showing that Black women in America were the heaviest supporters of Hillary Clinton (a White woman), and these statistics highlighted the importance of addressing the intersections of racism, sexism and class to understand how some women will identify with a misogynistic white male before someone of their own sex. This complicates the very idea of women’s natural commonality, since identity and position are always organised through class, race and gender as well as relative degrees of privilege and oppression defined through access to structural power. Meanwhile, people on the Twittersphere were weighing up whether America is “more sexist than racist”. Why is it is so common for people to say one aspect of identity is more important than the other? Can you actually tease apart these dimensions in the lived experience of Black women?

The group explored what Sampson has called mediated viral contagion, a theory explaining the way mass media repetition of images and words works to legitimise hate through what we are calling ‘Trump Pedagogy’. Behavioural contagion was evident, for instance, when young men at the University of Sydney chanted ‘Grab them by the pussy. That’s how we do it’ on campus directly after Trump’s win.

Our students worried that rape culture would flourish in a context where the man who made the original comment was now the leader of the ‘free world’.

Finally, however, returning to the pedagogical question of how to discuss these issues with young adults, teenagers and children, perhaps the most hopeful aspect of the election was the age demographic, with under 25s voting overwhelminingly in favor of Hillary Clinton. Perhaps Millennials were more repelled by racist slogans and less tolerant of misogynistic comments than were their ‘elders’.


Overall, then, we would conclude that it’s important to encourage discussion of young people’s own views and standpoints, and to not shy away from the idea that powerful leaders may be morally or materially corrupt. We need to place the logic of who leads in our poltical systems under critique and explanation, rather than sheltering young people from an analysis of institutionalised power and inequality.

Indeed we would encourage all educators to enable debate over theses issues so that young people can feel more empowered to engage in the political process. This should be defined not only through a party system and elections but everyday relationships in their lives. We need to keep reminding young people that respect, consent and consideration are tools of communication that they need to champion, even if this seems hypocritical at a time when ‘punch em in the face’ mentailty is being rewarded. Just because something has won out in the popular vote doesn’t make it right.

We concluded our session by invoking the feminist slogan ‘the personal is political’ and the black feminist mantra ‘the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house’ (Audre Lorde), along with quotes from Michelle Obama about the significance of the messages of equality we must champion alongside young people.



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Affect and Social Media Programme due tomorrow!

Spent most of today finalizing the Affect and Social Media#2 Programme. Looks really exciting. Very nice cross-disciplinary and international cast of speakers. Panels on emotional experiences, new materialisms, anxiety and panic, affective circuits, geographies and contagion… Looking forward to 23rd March in East London.

Will publish it here and elsewhere tomorrow!

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


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






Affect and Social Media seminar – thank you and photos

Thanks to everyone who contributed and attended the Affect and Social Media seminar at UEL on the 27th Feb. Great turn out, talks and discussion. More events on related topics to follow. In the meantime, Virality will be hosting the archive for the event including images and presentations from the day. As a taster here’s some photos.






More to follow…

Hard Copies of The Birth of Digital Populism book will be available on Friday at UEL’s Affect and Social Media seminar

Really thrilled to say that The Birth of Digital Populism book has just arrived and will be available (by making a donation) for the first time in hard copy at the Affect and Social Media research seminar at UEL this Friday (27th Feb).

It is a beautiful book designed & co-edited by Francesco Taccini – currently at the RCA.

The Blurb

The Birth of Digital Populism. Crowd, Power and Postdemocracy in the 21st Century


The Five Star Movement led by Grillo & Casaleggio had an unexpected success in the Italian general elections of February 2013, deeply disrupting the panorama of Italian politics. This book seeks to explore some of the features characterising the emergence of a new political phenomenon: digital populism. We asked Italian and English thinkers from different political and disciplinary backgrounds to contribute to an analysis of some fundamental points behind the rise of populism and the digital relations between masses, power and democracy at the dawn of the twenty-first century. This is the result of nine interviews carried out between May 2013 and February 2014 with Luciana Parisi, Tiziana Terranova, Lapo Berti, Simon Choat, Godani Paul, Saul Newman, Jussi Parikka, Tony D. Sampson and Alberto Toscano.

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