Affect and Digital Media

Since 2016, Dr. Boler has charted new directions in the study of affect and digital media politics. She has worked closely with graduate research team members to explore how emotions related to narratives of racial and national belonging are communicated in the context of election-related social media.

These mixed-methods research projects address a glaring gap regarding the roles played by emotions in the polarized politics of our fractured news media landscape. Grounded in social movement theory, digital media studies, and affect theory, this cross-disciplinary study asks: (1) How are affects and emotions discursively produced and consumed, and how and when do they stick, circulate and travel through social media communications? and (2) How do political communications in social media engage emotions, particularly with respect to issues of racial and national identity?

The results of this research have included a three-day international symposium of invited scholars held at University of Toronto in June 2019, and publications including:

This research has been funded by five different awards:

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