Affective Audiences: This is Going To be Good

[housekeeping note: i hope to slowly ease back into more regular posting in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, here's the CFP for something I am very excited about]

Call for Papers

Affective Audiences: Analysing Media Users, Consumers and Fans
Preconference sponsored by the Popular Communication Division
Date: 20th ˆ 21st May 2009
Venue: Marriott Downtown Chicago, Magnificent Mile Hotel

The study of audiences constitutes a central concern of contemporary (popular) communication research. As Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama fills football stadia addressing enthusiastic supporters and political commentators frequently refer to „Obama fans‰ and „Palin fans‰, evidence of the centrality of notions of affect and participation in contemporary mediated communication – within and beyond the realm of traditional popular culture – is abundant. This preconference aims to explore the social, cultural, textual and psychological conditions through which readers engage with, and attach meaning and emotional significance to the texts they privilege in their everyday life media consumption.

Corresponding with the theme of the 58th International Communication Association‚s conference – Keywords in Communication (21st-25th May 2009 in Chicago, Illinois, USA) – the field of audience studies constitutes a key conceptual battleground that has witnessed a number of paradigm changes over the past half century which have both reflected and contributed to the wider discourses of Social and Cultural Theory.

“Affective Audiences” explores these recent paradigm changes by offering a dedicated space within the ICA conference programme that combines empirical audience research with a thorough examination of the field‚s canon and a discussion of its conceptual challenges vis-à-vis convergence and globalization. The preconference will therefore include, but not be limited to, the following themes at the heart of contemporary audience studies:

The impact of cultural globalization and the formation of transnational audiences on (fan) communities
Affective media consumption and identity (including race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality)
Affective engagements of readers beyond the realm of popular culture
Convergence and audience participation
Fan Democracy and the role of affective media consumption in the public sphere
Aesthetics and politics of transformative audience responses
Teen and childhood media fans

We would like to invite contributions in form of 10-15 minute paper presentations and discussion papers. The organisers in particular encourage submissions focusing on new empirical fields of audience studies as well as those that critically examine its conceptual and methodological canon.

The following submission formats are permissible: full papers and extended abstracts (approx. 1000 words).

Please send papers or paper proposals to Cornel Sandvoss, ( by 20th October 2008 including the following information:

1.      Title
2.      If submitting a full paper, a 200-word abstract
3.      Author(s)‚ name and contact information

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