CFP AFFECTIVE CAPITALISM SYMPOSIUM update

CFP with full info this time…

AFFECTIVE CAPITALISM SYMPOSIUM
5–6 June 2014
University of Turku, Finland
Keynote speakers: Melissa Gregg (Intel Labs/ISTC for Social Computing), Tony D. Sampson (University of East London)

This symposium aims at describing and understanding a regime we call affective capitalism. In cultural theory, affect is considered to be a fruitful concept in analysing how something evokes our body and mind. Affect makes us act. Affect exceeds or precedes rationality.  In our daily lives we are constantly affected by a plethora of things; our work, our friends, our surroundings, our technologies (Gregg & Seigworth 2010).

Unsurprisingly perhaps, we are seeing attempts to capture affect in different fields of contemporary culture from labour to social networks and politics. In these contexts, affect and affection are in an extensive manner organised, produced, and maintained for the needs of capitalism. Affective capitalism is lucrative, tempting and even sneaky. It merges with established therapeutic discourses and blurs the limits of intimacy at work (Ross 2003; Illouz 2007; Gregg 2011). It is both cognitive and non-cognitive (Sampson 2012); we are being evoked to act in order for companies to make profits in a market economy. Affective capitalism transforms us into assets, goods and services by appealing to our desires, needs and social relationships, or by making us act on a mere gut-feeling.

The idea of this two-day symposium is to bring together researchers and thinkers to discuss different areas of affective capitalism. We want to challenge affective capitalism on its own ground. To do this we will analyse specific examples of affective capitalism at work and map its defining factors. We are seeking new ways to understand affective capitalism through its ambivalences and complexities. At the same time, we ask how we could resist it and develop alternatives for it.

Thus, we invite papers that discuss the theme of ‘affective capitalism’ from various perspectives. The potential topics for discussion include (but are not limited to):

Labour 

Art & Media

Finance & Economy

Gender & Sexuality

Class

Politics

Technology 

We invite proposals for individual papers including abstracts (250 words) and a short bio (100 words).  Proposals should be sent to affcap[a]utu.fi by 17 March 2014.

Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by 1 April 2014. We are planning to publish a peer-reviewed journal issue based on the presented papers. The symposium is free of charge.

The symposium is organised by two interconnected research groups (Capitalism and Affective labour) at the School of History, Culture and Arts Studies at the University of Turku.

Organising committee:

Tero Karppi

Anu Laukkanen

Mona Mannevuo

Mari Pajala

Tanja Sihvonen

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About Virality

Tony D. Sampson is Reader in Digital Culture and Communications at the University of East London. He has a PhD in social-cultural-digital contagion theory from the Sociology Department at the University of Essex. He is a former art student who re-entered higher education in the UK as a mature student in the mid-1990s after a long stint as a gigging musician. His career in education has moved through various disciplines and departments, including a maths and computing faculty, sociology department and school of digital media and design His publications include The Spam Book, coedited with Jussi Parikka (Hampton Press, 2009), Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks (University of Minnesota Press, 2012), The Assemblage Brain: Sense Making in Neuroculture (University of Minnesota Press, 2016) and Affect and Social Media (Rowman and Littlefield, July 2018). He is organizer and host of the Affect and Social Media conferences in the UK. As a co-founder and co-director of the public engagement initiatives, Club Critical Theory (CCT) and the Cultural Engine Research Group (CERG), Sampson has developed a number of funded research projects and public events that aim to bring impactful critical theories into the community and local political sphere to approach a series of local challenges. These activities have included large conferences co-organized with local authorities looking at a range of policies relating to the revitalization of the Essex costal region, developments in the cultural industries as well as a series of community focused events on food cultures and policy, collaborations with arts groups and informal lectures/workshops in pubs and community centres. Director of the EmotionUX Lab at UEL. He occasionally blogs at: https://viralcontagion.wordpress.com/ Full academic profile: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Staff/s/tony-sampson
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