CFP Special Issue Migration, Digital Media and Emotion * International Journal of Cultural Studies *

Call for Papers
Migration, Digital Media and Emotion
Guest edited by Sandra Ponzanesi and Donya Alinejad Utrecht University (The Netherlands)
In contexts of migration and transnational mobility, spheres of lived sociality have long spanned borders and nation-state territories. More recently, however, the use of mobile digital devices has become ubiquitous within many forms of migratory mobility, especially when they come paired with the latest iteration of Web 2.0, or “the social web.” Yet these developments in media technologies not only allow for information exchange but also foster a globally mediatized emotional exchange, which leads to new interactions between media, migration, and emotion. As the use of these devices and platforms penetrates the most intimate relationships and exchanges shaped by transnational distances and mobility, we are reminded anew of how migration has always been shaped by more than rational, economic considerations.
Nonetheless there is a paucity of studies on the connection between media and emotion in migration contexts. This raises urgent questions about how social media usages mediate the emotionality of contemporary migration experiences, not only for new media and communication studies, but also in neighboring disciplines such as anthropology, postcolonial studies, gender studies, psychology, and sociology. Theoretical understandings of emotion and affect as being defined not by discrete inner states but as residing in the relations people have to their surroundings, things, and other people have opened up an array of possibilities for investigating emotionality as quintessentially social and always mediated. *
We are therefore interested in contributions that relate to the following themes and questions:
– How does digital media reshape the experience of migration by bridging distance through digital intimacy?
– How are emotions, affect, feelings and sentiments articulated online?
– How are feelings of togetherness and co-presence experienced across
distances in particular ways through social media practices?
– How are migrants’ emotional relationships with communities, diaspora, and/or
homelands shaped by social media?
– Which forms of transnational emotional communication emerge as specific to
social media use? And what are the (potential) implications?
– How do social media apps fit into older regimes of emotional mediation for migrants and highly mobile people?
– What is the role of visuality in the digital mediation of emotions in migrant contexts of the social media age? E.g. emojis, photo-sharing, audio-visual social media posts.
– In which ways can we go beyond the normativity of transnational families in the study of feelings of home and belonging through social media?
Contributions can include, but need not be limited to themes of:
– Mobile, digitally mediated spatio-emotional engagement in the cities of
– Experiences of transnational co-presence through social media,
– New kinds of digitally mediated relationships within diaspora as well as with
other “host country” residents/citizens,
– Formations of and (political) engagement with networked affective publics,
– Intergenerational and life-cycle shifts or discontinuities in the diaspora
community and/or family communications,
– And the use of social media in (implicit or overt) subversions of the
homogenous nation as a reference point.
This special issue aims to bring together scholars working on a variety of theoretical and methodological issues arising from theoretical as well as empirical investigation of emotion and affect as it relates to migrant sociality mediated through a range of social media, apps, platforms, and digital media as they emerge in a variety of socio- cultural and geographic locales across the globe.
Guest editors:
Donya Alinejad, Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Media and Culture Studies, Utrecht University, The Netherlands.
Sandra Ponzanesi, Professor of Gender and Postcolonial Studies, Department of Media and Culture Studies, Utrecht University, The Netherlands.
-Abstract submission deadline: 15.02.2019
-Notification of acceptance/selection: 31.03.2019
-Deadline for full papers: 31.08.2019
Proposals of 500-750 words should include an abstract and a short description explaining whether/how previous or current research relates to the special issue
theme. Please also include a short bio of 250 words including name, affiliation, and contact details.
Please submit your proposal no later than 15 February, 2019.

Invited paper submissions will be due 31 August 2019 and will undergo peer review following the usual procedures.

Please send submissions to and We look forward to receiving your submissions.

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