NECSUS Spring 2019 _ #Emotions, call for papers

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guest edited by Jens Eder (Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf), Julian Hanich (University of Groningen), and Jane Stadler (Swinburne University)

For more than two decades emotions have been a major topic of discussion and contention in film and media studies. From cognitive theories and phenomenology to affect studies, many different approaches have been suggested, many books written, and many insights won. However, some crucial questions have barely been discussed. This special section #Emotions takes stock and seeks to advance the field in new directions. We suggest a conceptual, a contextual, an ethical, a political, and a media-comparative expansion, thus showing the urgency of thinking further about the interconnection between contemporary media and the emotions of their audiences.

We are primarily interested in contributions that focus on emotions that are actually felt by viewers, readers, gamers, users, or prosumers, and not emotions represented in media, for instance by way of characters. We are also looking for thick descriptions of emotional experiences and well-chosen examples of how it feels to undergo a specific emotion in concrete media engagements and environments. Moreover, we are interested in the specific dynamics of situated, collective emotional experiences of different kinds and groups of viewers and users.

Contributions may focus on but are not restricted to the following topics:

# Conceptual clarifications: What distinguishes emotions from affects, moods, feelings, desires, and other cognitive and embodied responses to media texts, technologies, and experiences?

# Unnamed emotions: Which emotions do we experience when we engage with films, television series, or computer games, and which of them do not have a name (yet)? Do some societies and cultures have names for emotional experiences which others lack (e.g. rasa, Schadenfreude, ijirashi)?

# Collective emotions: When, why, and in what media contexts do we experience collective emotions? What does it mean to share an emotion when engaged with a film, a television series, a computer game etc.? Can this have moral or political effects?

# Emotions and media specificity: How do media differ in their potentials and strategies of eliciting emotions? For instance, how do social media or virtual reality experiences steer user emotions? What are the emotional characteristics of different algorithms, applications, and platforms on the internet and what affective labour is involved? What can video games do that films cannot, and vice versa?

# Emotions of different audiences: How and why do the emotions of media users, of social groups, political factions, or cultural spheres differ? How can it be explained, for instance, that one and the same tweet or video triggers glee in one part of the audience and outrage in another part?

# Emotions and attention economies: How do changing economies of attention (for instance, in the context of new media or ‘hybrid media systems’ as described by Andrew Chadwick) impact on viewer/user emotions?

# Affective algorithms, emotional AI, and emotion capture: How do digital and sensory media capture and process user emotional responses? What forms of emotion capture are emerging, for instance, in virtual assistants, fitness trackers, software for emotion recognition, or sentiment analysis? What are their political, legal, cultural, and moral implications?

# Emotions, media, and ethics: How are emotions of media audiences and users connected to moral questions and ethical issues? When and how, for instance, do media manipulate emotions? Can insights from affective computing and critical perspectives on algorithmic culture help us to understand the ethics of new media and the emotions they elicit?

# Emotions, rhetoric, and persuasion: How are emotions used for persuasive purposes in the media? Which are the most important forms of emotional persuasion?

# Emotions, media, and politics/the political: How do different kinds of media elicit political emotions like outrage, fear, hate, pride, or hope? How do they construct power relations by triggering those and other emotions? How do they block empathy or compassion?

We invite authors to submit an abstract of 300 words plus 3-5 bibliographic references and a short biography of 100 words by 15 September 2018. Please make sure your attachment file name is formatted with your last name and your abstract title. Abstracts should be sent directly to the NECSUS editorial board at the following address: On the basis of selected abstracts, authors will be invited to submit full manuscripts of 5-7,000 words by 15 February 2019, which will subsequently go through a double-blind peer review process.


Bellour, R. Le corps du cinéma: hypnoses, émotions, animalités. Paris: POL/Trafic, 2009.

Eder, J. ‘Collateral Emotions: Political Web Videos and Divergent Audience Responses’ in Cognitive theory and documentary film, edited by C. Brylla and M. Kramer. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.

Hanich, J. The audience effect: On the collective cinema experience. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018.

Laine, T. Feeling cinema: Emotional dynamics in film studies. New York: Continuum, 2013.

McStay, A. Emotional AI: The rise of empathic media. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2018.

Ngai, S. Ugly feelings. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007.

Plantinga, C. Screen stories. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Sampson, T., Maddison, S., and Ellis, D (eds). Affect and social media: Emotion, mediation, anxiety and contagion. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2018.

Sinnerbrink, R. Cinematic ethics: Exploring ethical experience through film. London: Routledge, 2016.

Smith, M. Film, art, and the third culture: A naturalized aesthetics of film. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.

Stadler, J. Pulling focus: Intersubjective experience, narrative film, and ethics. New York: Continuum, 2008.