Affective Politics of Digital Media: Propaganda By Other Means (2012)
Edited by Megan Boler and Elizabeth Davis. Published by Routledge Press.

This interdisciplinary, international collection examines how sophisticated digital practices and technologies exploit and capitalize on emotions, with particular focus on how social media are used to exacerbate social conflicts surrounding racism, misogyny, and nationalism. 

Radically expanding the study of media and political communications, this book bridges humanities and social sciences to explore affective information economies, and how emotions are being weaponized within mediatized political landscapes. The chapters cover a wide range of topics: how clickbait, “fake news,” and right-wing actors deploy and weaponize emotion; new theoretical directions for understanding affect, algorithms, and public spheres; and how the wedding of big data and behavioral science enables new frontiers of propaganda, as seen in the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook scandal. The collection includes original interviews with luminary media scholars and journalists. 

The book features contributions from established and emerging scholars of communications, media studies, affect theory, journalism, policy studies, gender studies, and critical race studies to address questions of concern to scholars, journalists, and students in these fields and beyond.

Edited by M. Ratto and M. Boler. Published by MIT Press.

Today, DIY—do-it-yourself—describes more than self-taught carpentry. Social media enables DIY citizens to organize and protest in new ways (as in Egypt’s “Twitter revolution” of 2011) and to repurpose corporate content (or create new user-generated content) in order to offer political counter-narratives. This book examines the usefulness and limits of DIY citizenship, exploring the diverse forms of political participation and “critical making” that have emerged in recent years. The authors and artists in this collection describe DIY citizens whose activities range from activist fan blogging and video production to knitting and the creation of community gardens.

“Irony and Politics”
Edited by Megan Boler and Ted Gournelos.
Published by the Communication Institute for Online Scholarship.

At the May 2008 International Communication Association Meeting in Montreal, hundreds of media scholars packed into a conference room to hear about “The Future of Media Effects Theory: Setting a Course for the 21 st Century.” The panel of cognitive psychologists and mass communication scholars confessed to a revelation that shocked the unusually large audience: the media effects model, one senior panelist announced, has proved an embarrassment to the profession; it is time that reception and production models recognize the vastly more complex dynamic relationships that constitute media. The final speaker “prepared to flee the room” as he announced: “media effects must be accepted as dead and done.”

Edited by Megan Boler. Published by MIT Press.

In an age of proliferating media and news sources, who has the power to define reality? Today, the “social web” – epitomized by blogs, viral videos, and YouTube – creates new pathways for truth to emerge and makes possible new tactics for media activism. Leading scholars in media and communication studies, media activists, journalists, and artists explore the contradiction at the heart of the relationship between truth and power: the radical democratization of knowledge and the multiplication of sources and voices, made possible by digital media, coexist with the blatant falsification of information by political and corporate powers.

The book maps a new digital media landscape that features citizen journalism, The Daily Show, blogging, and alternative media. The contributors discuss broad questions of media and politics, offer nuanced analyses of change in journalism, and undertake detailed examinations of the use of web-based media in shaping political and social movements. The chapters include not only essays by noted media scholars but also interviews with such journalists and media activists as Amy Goodman of DemocracyNow!, Media Matters host Robert McChesney, and Hassan Ibrahim of Al Jazeera.

Edited by V. Bozalek, B. Leibowitz, R. Carollissen, and M. Boler. Published by Routledge Press.

How can discerning critical hope enable us to develop innovative forms of teaching, learning and social practices that begin to address issues of marginalization, privilege and access across different contexts? At this millennial point in history, questions of cynicism, despair and hope arise at every turn, especially within areas of research into social justice and the struggle for transformation in education. While a sense of fatalism and despair is easily recognizable, establishing compelling bases for hope is more difficult. This book addresses the absence of sustained analyses of hope that simultaneously recognize the hard edges of why we despair.

Edited by Megan Boler. Published by the Peter Lang Group.

Drawing from disciplines of philosophy, political theory, critical race theory, sociology, and feminist and post-structural studies, the essays in Democratic Dialogue in Education examine issues arising from the conceptualizing of hate speech, freedom of expression, speech codes and political correctness, and voice and agency. What are the limits of speech in classrooms, and how are classrooms distinct from other kinds of public space? How do we understand silence as well as speech within the field of cultural differences at play in educational spaces? Questions of social justice, equity, racial identities and sexual differences are central to the pedagogical philosophies and practices addressed by these diverse scholars.

Written by Megan Boler. Published by Routledge Press.

In Feeling Power Emotions and Education, Megan Boler combines cultural history with ethical and multicultural analyses to explore how emotions have been disciplined, suppressed or ignored at all levels of education and educational theory. Feeling Power begins by charting the philosophies and practices developed over the last century to control social conflicts arising from gender, class and race. The book traces the development of progressive pedagogies from civil rights and women’s liberation movements, to the author’s recent studies of “emotional intelligence” and emotional literacy.” She concludes by outlining a “pedagogy of discomfort” that examines the empathy, fear and anger to negotiate ethics and difference. Drawing on the formulation of emotion as knowledge within feminist and poststructuralist theories, Boler develops a unique theory of emotion missing from contemporary philosophical and theoretical discourses.

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