Special SIEF 2023 panel "Heroes and villains in the global digital space"

Liisi Laineste's picture
Call for Papers
June 7, 2023 to June 10, 2023
Czech Republic
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Cultural History / Studies, Digital Humanities, Linguistics, Popular Culture Studies

The 16th international SIEF congress will take place in Brno, the Czech Republic, on June 7-10, 2023. The SIEF Digital ethnology and folklore proudly presents the panel "Heroes and villains in the global digital space" (https://nomadit.co.uk/conference/sief2023/p/12772#), convened by  Liisi Laineste & Coppélie Cocq. Send in your abstracts by the deadline of January 10, 2023.

Any societal crisis or conflict, as can be illustrated by the currently ongoing war in Ukraine, or the global environmental crisis, is likely to give rise to a duel between heroes and villains. The established generalised images of heroes and villains help to create familiar frames of references at the times of uncertainty and embody the complex issues in a simplified form.

Present-day globally and digitally known heroes and villains, quite like those in the past, are based on the convictions and knowledge of the people who create them. However, the digital dimension adds its own twist to the juxtaposition of good and evil - often with serious implications for our democracies, and with the risk of polarization.

In this panel, we discuss what is specific to imagining good and evil in digital, often visual, environments and how it adapts to the needs and interests of people living today. We invite papers that discuss the mechanisms and outcomes of heroisation and villainisation in the digital public space, for instance in relation to textual, oral and/or (audio)visual storytelling, folklore types, media ecology, ways of expressing emotions, or vernacular authority.


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