Reimagining Communication | Experience

From popular texts and public discourses to scholarship and research, the use of the word “communication” has been on the rise in academic, professional, and everyday contexts. But what exactly is “communication”? Is it possible to not communicate? How does communication work? What are the disciplinary boundaries of communication studies and what is its object of investigation?

Reimagining Communication: Experience addresses these questions by presenting a survey of the foundational theoretical and methodological approaches in communication studies. As the field has been continuously growing and reaching new horizons, this volume specifically synthesizes major trends within the trajectory of fundamental ideas that have served as its base and continue shaping its sub-branches, covering topics related to the experiential dimensions of communication. By presenting perspectives illustrated by concrete examples on the topics of Perception, Embodiment, Audio Experience, Nonverbal Communication, Interaction, Affect, Temporality, Memory, Virtuality, Mediatization, Audiences, Privacy, Fan Cultures, Selfies and Otherness, this volume synthesizes the complex relationship of communication to forms of experience in a uniquely accessible and engaging way.

Judith Papadopoulos’s ‘Communication, Perception and Innovation: Seeing the world through metaphorically coloured glasses’ explores the interactions between metaphors and perception. Metaphors allow for cognitive mapping across differing conceptual domains, and are shaped by culture, emotion and experience. They are crucial for successful communication and the author discusses their application in innovation contexts.

Emma Rodero and Lluis Mas’ ‘Audio Experience’ describes role of audio in guiding attention, arousal and memory. The authors present a framework for the strategic use of audio in communications, integrating active processing, the construction of atmospheres, and the stimulation of mental imagery in creating rich audio-led experiences.

Jason Edward Archer and Nathanael Bassett’s ‘Re-Imagining Embodiment in Communication’ pursue the concept of embodiment in its use in various disciplines and its application to communication studies. The distinguish two strands of this discourse, which they call embodied communication and embodiment in communication, and suggest ways to integrate the two strands to better explicate new media technologies.

Martin S. Remland and L. Meghan Mahoney’s ‘Reassessing The Importance of Nonverbal Communication In The Age of Social Media’ consider the main functions of nonverbal cues– signaling identity, expressing emotions and attitudes, establishing relationships and delivering verbal messages– against the backdrop of the rise of social media and the challenges posed by the decline of face-to-face interactions.

Skye Doherty and Stephen Viller’s ‘Prototyping interaction: designing technology for communication’ argue that prototyping interactions can imagine new forms of communication. Prototyping provides insights and opportunities that take us well beyond the constraints of technology often imposed when scientists and engineers develop our tools without consideration of their human dimensions.

Monica A. Riordan, Alexander A. Johnson and Roger J. Kreuz’s ‘Communicating Affect: Face-to-Face and Online’ discuss the ways that affect, feeling and emotion are conveyed differently in person versus online contexts. They analyze the primary cues involved in expressing affect in speaking, writing, and computer-mediated formats.

Henrik Bødker’s ‘Synchronicity, or Not: on the Temporal Relations between Journalism and Politics’ explores the temporal connections between politics and journalism. Digital technologies have changed the traditional timings in the cycles between media and political communication, in part tied to the ability of political actors to directly connect with citizens.

Christian Schwarzenegger and Christine Lohmeier’s ‘Reimagining Memory: Digital Media and a new polyphony of memory’ charts how media technologies are used to shape the documentation, curating, distribution and negotiation of memory. Digital technologies increase the polyphony of memory, as more voices can be presented publicly. This in turn raises new issues for the authority and legitimacy of memory, as hierarchies, inclusion and exclusion do not entirely disappear.

Hania Nashef’s ‘Virtual space: Palestinians negotiate a lost homeland in film’ explores the ways that films have been able to create virtual homelands for Palestinians. Films can present alternate realities which contrast the various erasures of homeland produced by imposing architectures, walls, enforced enclosures and checkpoints which aim to negate the Palestinian presence and autonomy in the territories of occupation.

Frédérick Bastien’s ‘Mediatization’ discusses the rise and importance of this concept since the late 1990s. Interdisciplinarity is presented as being potentially effective in further developing the concepts related to mediatization, which is a long-term process and needs to be examined along cross-disciplinary, longitudinal and comparative lines. The chapter focuses on mediatization in science, religion and politics to ground its inquiry.

Pille Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt and Hanna Meyer zu Hörste’s ‘Reimagining audiences in the age of datafication’ reflects on the history of audiences in light of their growing datafication. What has been considered interesting to study about audiences has changed over time, and digital tracking of various aspects of audience actions opens up new kinds of questions that can be asked about audiences today.

Wonsun Shin’s ‘Youth Media Consumption and Privacy Risks in the Digital Era’ discusses the privacy issues involved in the use of digital media by youth populations. Shin develops a theoretical framework grounded in social contract theory, communication privacy management and consumer socialization theory to ground an agenda for future research that encompasses the interrelationship between social and psychological factors involved in issues of digital privacy and youth.

Elena Maris’s ‘Fan Cultures as Analytic Nexus of Media Audiences and Industries’ reviews key moments in the scholarship of fans and fandom. The study of social media and online communities reveals the many forms of competition for influence between audiences and industries. The chapter is grounded in case studies on Xena: Warrior Princess and The 100.

Jessica Maddox, Steven Holiday, and Yuanwei Lyu’s ‘From the Ashes of Ubiquity: Selfie Culture as a New Communication Frontier’ investigates the rise and ubiquity of the selfie as a medium. They consider selfie culture as a middle ground between top-down and bottom-up social practices, between individuals and the larger consumer culture. The selfie is a new kind of self-portraiture and the authors develop a new visual rhetoric to ground further studies and explicate its importance for communications research.

Ozum Ucok-Sayrak’s ‘Receiving the Stranger through the Exposed Heart’ applies Jean Luc Nancy’s concepts of ‘exposition’ and ‘exposed being’ to explore the experience of Otherness and Difference in communication. A comparison is drawn with Levinas’s ‘epiphany of the face’ to draw out the communicative implications of our encounters with others.

Michael Filimowicz, PhD (Simon Fraser University) & Veronika Tzankova (Columbia College Vancouver)

Other Volumes in the Series

Reimagining Communication: Meaning

Reimagining Communication: Action

Reimagining Communication: Mediation


The chapter summaries here have in places drawn from the authors’ chapter abstracts, the full versions of which can be found in Routledge’s online reference for the volume.

New Media Art & Research

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