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How Affect and Language Arouse the Public

International Conference on Affect, Language, and Public Spheres from April 27 to 29, 2017

№ 090/2017 from Apr 24, 2017

How are affect and language related? And how do they change communication in different spheres of the public? Attendees at an international conference will address these issues April 27 – 29, 2017, at the Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry and in the Harnack Haus of the Max Planck Society. Scholars from different disciplines deal with the emergence of numerous public spheres through digitization and globalization and examine how emotions and affect influence this change. The conference is public, and admission is free. Advance registration is requested by email: office@sfb1171.de.

"Public spheres are spaces that determine social coexistence and the feelings of belonging and foreignness," says Prof. Dr. Anne Fleig, a literary scholar at Freie Universität and co-organizer of the conference along with Prof. Dr. Christian von Scheve, a sociologist at Freie Universität. Social cohesion and exclusion are apparent in these spaces.

To this day the public is understood as a sphere of language-based rationality, as a forum for the exchange of perspectives and arguments. At the conference organized by the Collaborative Research Center "Affective Societies" based at Freie Universität, scholars will question these normative conceptions and instead describe contemporary public spheres as spaces emerging from the power of language to affect and to ascribe and instill collective emotion and producing new forms of communication.

"In recent years there have been substantial transformations and multiplications of the public sphere that require a new analytic view," says Prof. Dr. Anne Fleig. At the very latest, since the fall of the Berlin Wall, public communication has been in flux. With globalization, ideas and human beings crossed borders. The speed of communication also increased as a result of digitization. Both of these aspects are closely linked to affect and emotions that urgently need to be understood. The participants at the conference "Public Spheres of Resonance: Constellations of Affect and Language" will address these issues.

Further Information

Time, Location, and Program


  • Prof. Dr. Anne Fleig, Institute of German and Dutch Languages and Literatures, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 838-55405, Email: anne.fleig@fu-berlin.de
  • Prof. Dr. Christian von Scheve, Institute of Sociology, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 838-57695, Email: christian.von.scheve@fu-berlin.de