3rd International Conference hosted by Collaborative Research Center “Affective Societies. Dynamics of Social Coexistence in Mobile Worlds” at Freie Universität Berlin
Organised by Prof. Dr. Hubert Knoblauch (Sociology, TU Berlin) and Prof. Dr. Doris Kolesch (Theatre and Performance Studies, FU Berlin)
Political speeches, theatre performances, television shows, Facebook entries, music concerts, sports events, Instagram posts, religious ceremonies, court trials – these heterogeneous and in many aspects incomparable social and cultural phenomena have one thing in common: they address, require and constitute audiences. The conference “Public Emotions. Affective Collectivity in Audiences” discusses contemporary forms and activities of audiences and explores their changing roles in today’s mobile, mediatised and networked societies. Instead of reducing audiences to psychological categories, sociodemographic units, or individuals, we investigate the specific agency and collectivity of audiences. We focus on the role of affects and emotions in audiences – especially forms of affective collectivity.
The conference focuses on how audience members act and interact with one another, with the event, the setting, and its specific socio-material spaciality (e.g. theatres, churches or stadiums). As audiences are a collective phenomenon, the conference highlights collective forms of actions and emotions and their entanglement. Special attention is drawn to the diverse forms of how audience members adjust to each other and gain collective agency with regards to the unfolding role of affects and emotions in these processes. A further aim is to address the relational affectivity underlying audience emotions, stressing their similarities and differences in a variety of cultural fields.