This book offers an interdisciplinary analysis of current formations of publics that is informed by in-depth knowledge of affect and emotion theory.

Using empirical case studies from contexts as diverse as India, Pakistan, Tanzania, and the Americas as well as Europe, the book challenges dichotomous distinctions between private and public. Instead, publics are understood as a relational structure that encompasses both people and their physical and mediatized environment. While each kind of public is affectively constituted, the intensity of its affective attunement varies considerably.

The volume is aimed at academic readers interested in understanding the dynamic and fluid forms of contemporary formation of publics—be it digital or face-to-face encounters as well as in the intersection of both forms. This includes researchers from media and communication studies, social anthropology, theatre or literary studies. It is aimed at advanced students of these disciplines who are interested in the unfolding of contemporary publics.

chapter 1|9 pages

Affective Publics and Their Meaning in Times of Global Crises

Zizi Papacharissi in Conversation with Margreth Lünenborg and Birgitt Röttger-Rössler

chapter 2|21 pages


The Affective Character of Publics

part I|56 pages


chapter 3|17 pages

Unhappy Objects

Colonial Violence, Maasai Materialities, and the Affective Publics of Ethnographic Museums

chapter 4|17 pages

Theater Publics in Motion

Affective Dynamics of the Theater and the Street, Berlin 1989

chapter 5|20 pages

Digital Administrative Publics

Affective and Corporate Entanglements in Germany's New Federal Portal

part II|123 pages


chapter 6|17 pages

(Im)Mobility in the Americas and COVID-19

The Emergence of a Hemispheric Affective Counterpublic

chapter 7|23 pages

Women Activists Imaged through Social Media Publics

The “Feisty Dadis of Shaheen Bagh” as Political Subjects 1

chapter 9|24 pages

Hijacking Solidarity

Affective Networking of Far-Right Publics on Twitter

part III|81 pages


chapter 12|18 pages

Contested Image Practices of Public Shaming

A Case Study of an Internet Meme in the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict

chapter 13|21 pages

“GOOKS, Go Home!”

Vietnamese in the United States

chapter 15|21 pages

Opening Up Ethnographic Data

When the Private Becomes Public