Paul Stenner is giving a keynote talk this week on transforming emotions at the affective media studies conference in Potsdam, Germany. Here’s more about it…
The affective and emotional lives of people is increasingly targeted for manipulation and control by a whole range of new media and technologies. Our moods are tracked, our sentiments analysed and our emotions are stimulated and modulated, and often all of this is done using the personal digital devices we carry in our pockets. At the same time political debate, discussion on social media, and journalism regularly aim to conjure, mobilise and unleash our affects and ‘felt-truths’ in forms like cyber-mobbing, public shaming and hate speech, but also in positive forms.
These issues will be discussed in depth from November 1st to 3rd at a conference in Potsdam, Germany, called Affective transformations. One of the keynote presentations will be given by Paul Stenner, who is Professor of Social Psychology at the Open University.
Professor Stenner will talk about a notable rise in social scientific research on the topic of affect and the emotions over the last few years and will argue that this reflects the new political and societal importance that is given to affect in the context just described. He will also show how some of the new media and technologies for generating, managing and navigating affect have much older roots that can be traced to the arts and to ritual.
The conference has been organized by a German interdisciplinary research network called ‘Affect- and Psychotechnology Studies’. This is a collaboration of researchers from philosophy, media studies, psychology, sociology, and law. It was founded in 2015 to engage with the social and ethical implications of emerging affect-related technologies.