Virality is a research blog intended to support discussion and debate on contagion theory and related topics.
To find out more please take a look at the posts on the left of your screen.
Virality also marks the release of a new book on the subject of contagion theory titled Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks, published by the University of Minnesota Press in August, 2012.
“Impressive and ambitious, Virality offers a new theory of the viral as a sociological event.” Brian Rotman, Ohio State University
“Tarde and Deleuze come beautifully together in this outstanding book, the first to really put forward a serious alternative to neo-Darwinian theories of virality, contagion, and memetics. A thrilling read that bears enduring consequences for our understanding of network cultures. Unmissable.” Tiziana Terranova, author of Network Culture
“Sampson is a great writer, and the language itself is affective: ‘bullish’, ‘cynical’ are words that become not just descriptive but gather a force of expression in Sampson’s way of mapping techniques of the noncognitive in marketing and politics.” Jussi Parikka’s review in Theory, Culture and Society
“[Virality] is an important interdisciplinary contribution to the understanding of network cultures not only because it puts into historical context how crowd behavior has been studied for the last hundred years, but also because it helps anyone interested in attaining a more in-depth understanding of Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy; thus, Virality is a real contribution to assemblage theory and its relation to media archeology in terms of network analysis. For this reason, it is a book that anyone interested in understanding how social media functions at the beginning of the 21st century should seriously consider reading.” Huffington Post book review by Eduardo Navas
“Virality participates in a growing scholarly trend within the humanities in which researchers criticize and propose alternatives to the reification of a methodological division between biology and culture. While dense, Virality treats a wide range of relevant scholarship as it presents a refreshing approach to contagion theory in what has been a stagnant area of scholarship… the book is both innovative and timely, which means that the work necessary to understand Sampson’s connections will be well rewarded.” Claire Barber in Reviews in Cultural Theory.
For a summary of the book’s main themes see the below video produced by students on the MA New Media and Digital Culture programme at the University of Amsterdam. Published on YouTube Oct 30, 2012 by Bozhan Chipev.
Also see this interview with the author on the TCS blog ‘Tarde as Media Theorist’: an interview with Tony D. Sampson, by Jussi Parikka