6th International Conference

Dear participants,

the forms for early-bird conference registration are now available online. Please use the chance to register before March 1, 2018!


Time: April 1719, 2018

Place: St. Petersburg, Russia

Working language: English

Theme for 2018: Emotions vs. Rationality in Mediated Discussions

Emotions have always been part of the public discourse as a key baking agent polarizing social groups, helping to aggregate interests, and shaping decision-making. From protest solidarity to compassion fatigue, it is the emotions that distance the public sphere from its reason-based ideal and at the same time make the discussions more appealing to media audiences. And while rationality has produced a major line in media studies, emotions per se have been a smaller research focus. Today, we still lack knowledge on how emotional and rational arguments go together in mediated discussions, especially in comparative perspective.

And this lack has become even more acute in the 2010s, with the extreme emotionalization of election campaigns and referenda, border-building thinking, the new rise of international militant rhetoric,, use of televised shock by terrorists, and affective debates on social networks virtually everywhere including the USA, Europe, Russia, and the Middle East. In the climate of information spinning and alt-news, the Habermassian all-encompassing public sphere seems impossible as never before. But at the same time, computer-mediated communication has opened doors for cross-cultural solidarity campaigning on inequalities and human rights, as well as to opportunities of visual ad audiovisual expression of feelings on a mass scale.

Thus, the conference is seeking contributions that deal with rationality, irrationality, emotions and affects in mediated communication. We especially welcome comparative research but do not limit ourselves to it, as case studies may be crucial for understanding trends. The aim of the conference is to go beyond statements on fake news and propaganda reborn and to look deeper into causes and consequences of the communicative shifts of the recent times. We hope to link communication researchers to their colleagues in wider social sciences, including sociology, public memory studies, social psychology, and international relations, as well as to linguists, mathematicians, and computer scientists interested in media research.

In 2018, the conference will have three tracks:

The Theory track, traditional for the conference, will deal with emotionality and rationality in communication from a variety of theoretical perspectives.

The Political&Social track will explore the linkages between emotionality in politics and that in political communication, emotions in political talk in media and social communicative milieus, rationality and affect in public argumentation, and other aspects of emotionalized media discussions on the issues of todays agendas.

The Tech&Methods track will focus on detecting emotions and linking it to other methodologies of social research including (but not limited to) automated methods such as social network analysis, detection of discussion topics, or user homophily studies. Here, the goal is to link the methods and the national/comparative contexts for better understanding of the changes in communication around the world.

Among other topics, the conference will focus on:

Emotions and media: revitalizing the research approaches

Rational public spheres and their limitations in the real world

Affective publics and emotional communities online and offline

Emotions, journalistic standards, and media practices

Emotions and media effects: gaining and losing audiences by emotions

Emotional factors in media consumption

Emotions and rationality in todays political communication

Emotions and connective action: from individual feelings to collective expression

Emotions in fake news and media satire

Emotions as border builders: communicating fear and alienation

Reputational communication and character assassination

Emotions as trivializers: cute cats and depoliticization of online discussions

Methodologies of social research on emotions

Sentiment analysis for traditional and social media

Semantics in detecting emotions

User polarization detection: do emotions play a role?

Emotions and anonymity online

On the Conference

Since 2013, the conference has gathered experts in comparative media research, including Paolo Mancini, Larry Gross, Silvio Waisbord, Katrin Voltmer, Nico Carpentier, Susanne Fengler, Elena Vartanova, Thomas Hanitzsch, Daya Thussu and many others.

The conference is an integral part of Media in Modern World Annual Forum which will be held by St. Petersburg State University for the 57th time in 2018. Thus, interested audience is ensured, and you may wish to take part in the Plenary Session (with simultaneous translation into English) and all sorts of discussions at the Annual Forum on April 19-20.

Confirmed invited speakers

Zizi Papacharissi, University of Illinois in Chicago, USA

Karin Wahl-Jorgensen, University of Cardiff, UK

Margreth Luenenborg, Freie Universitaet Berlin

Preliminary program

April 16, 2018

3 5 pm Registration

April 17, 2018

9 9.30 am Registration / Welcome speeches

9.30 11.00 am Plenary podium discussion on the role of emotions in media content

11.30 am 1 pm Keynote speeches

1 2 pm lunch

2 3.30 pm Parallel panels

3.30 5 pm Parallel panels

5 6.30 pm Round tables and book presentations

7 pm Get-together

April 18, 2018

10 10.45 am Keynote speech

11 12 am Parallel panels

12 am 1 pm Parallel panels

1 2 pm lunch

2 3 pm Parallel panels

4 6 pm Guided tour to the State Hermitage

April 19, 2018

5 6.30 pm Russian-German workshop round table and film screening (in collaboration with the German Week in St. Petersburg)

Abstract submission

!!! NEW

PLEASE SEND YOUR ABSTRACTS TO applicationspb2017@spbu.ru WITH A COPY TO spasibo-tebe@yandex.ru

Confirmation-of-receipt emails will be sent out.

Please send us an abstract of max 300 words specifying the scope, method, and main results of your research paper by January 15, 2018 to applicationspb2017@spbu.ru as MS Word or Adobe Acrobat files attached to the letter. Please indicate whether the abstract is prepared by young scholars (PhD and/or Master students).

Panel submissions are also welcome. Please submit a one-page description of your panel and up to four 150-word abstracts showing the relevance of the papers to the panel topic to the same conference address by January 15, 2018.

All applications will be double-blind peer-reviewed, so please attach the names, titles, contact details, and affiliations of the authors on a separate sheet.

Please indicate in the application letter whether you need a Russian visa.

Conference proceedings

The conference does not have its own proceedings. BUT thanks to the partnership with the 3rd Annual Conference Digital Transformations and Global Society (DTGS2018), selected abstracts that meet the topicality and the quality requirements will be recommended for full-paper submission to the special DTGS CMSTW co-track. For the DTGS submission instructions, please visit dtgs.ifmo.ru or dtgs-conference.ru. Positive decision for CMSTW passes for one positive review of the two that are needed to be accepted for publishing.

The full papers will undergo blind peer-review; accepted papers will be published in the DTGS Proceedings in the CICS Series by Axel Springer Verlag (indexed by SCOPUS). The deadline for full paper submissions is February 1, 2018 (subject to slight prolongation if needed). The authors of the accepted full papers will be required to come to St.Petersburg again on May 30 June 1 to present their research within the DTGS CMSTW co-seminar with Stephen Coleman (University of Leeds, UK).

Participation in DTGS - CMSTW co-seminar is participation in a separate conference; DTGS fees apply to those who submit full papers. Failing to register and present at both events will lead to cancellation of the publishing opportunity. In exceptional cases (like long-haul flights or poor health conditions), presenting at one of the events can be done online, subject to the permission by the seminar organizing committee.


January 15, 2018 - abstract submission, CMSTW

January 26, 2018 notifications of acceptance and informing on visa support

February 1, 2018 - deadline for full paper submission, DTGS - CMSTW

February 10, 2018 deadline to confirm participation

February 15, 2018 deadline for sending in the documents for visa support

March 1, 2018 deadline for early-bird registration

April 1, 2018 deadline for regular registration

Please note that there will be no on-site registration payment procedures; please ensure your participation by paying the participation fee before April 1, 2018.

The forms for payment will be available since February 15, 2018.

PhD paper contest

!!! NEW

Our generous Steering committee member Katrin Voltmer has established a prize for the best PhD paper of the conference. The content of the prize is 150 euro; it has been established for three consecutive years. The eligible papers must be written exclusively by young scholars (PhD and/or Master students); both individual and group submissions are welcome. The volume of the paper must be between 4,000 and 6,000 words in English (excluding bibliography but including tables, pictures, and other appendices).

Also, up to ten best papers will be offered a publication in the School journal.

Both options work only for the papers actually presented at the conference.

To participate in the contest, please follow these simple steps:

1) Submit a 300-word abstract to applicationspb2017@spbu.ru by January 15, 2018;

2) Wait for the decision of the selection committee;

3) In case of a positive decision on your abstract, please submit the full version to the same email by March 1, 2018.

Formatting guidelines will be provided to the authors of the abstracts selected for presentations after January 27, 2018.

MS Word files only will be accepted for reviewing.

Visa support

St.Petersburg State University provides visa support for the conference participants. Visa invitation letters will be sent out on request.

Participation fees

Presenter, UN Tier 1 country:
100 euro (early-bird: 80 euro), or 7000 roubles (early-bird: 5600 roubles)

Presenter, UN Tier 2 country:
80 euro (early-bird: 60 euro), or 5600 roubles (early-bird: 4200 roubles)

Presenter, UN Tier 3 country:
70 euro (early-bird: 50 euro), or 5000 roubles (early-bird: 3500 roubles)

Panel participation:
200 euro (early-bird: 170 euro), or 14000 roubles (early-bird: 12000 roubles)

Student presenter 20 euro, or 1500 roubles

Non-presenting participant 20 euro, or 1500 roubles

The lists of countries by tier may be found here: https://www.icahdq.org/page/tiers

Please note that the price for the entrance tickets to the State Hermitage is to be paid extra at the museum and is currently 10 euro, or 700 roubles.

Program steering committee

Nico Carpentier (Belgium Sweden)

Boguslawa Dobek-Ostrowska (Poland)

Kaarle Nordenstreng (Finland)

Florian Toepfl (Germany)

Katrin Voltmer (UK)

Local organizing committee

Svetlana Bodrunova

Anna Smoliarova

Alexander Marchenko

Ilya Bykov

In case of any queries, please send us your questions to applicationspb2017@spbu.ru.

Were looking forward to welcoming you in St. Petersburg!

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