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Towards mapping and defining critical hype studies 
VASILEIOS GALANOS (University of Edinburgh)
Andreu Belsunces (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)
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Traditional Open Panel

Short Abstract:

We invite a panel, and co-authored position paper, to establish a unified approach for critical hype studies, exploring hype transformations, methods and theories. We welcome, among others, scholarship on hype narratives, performativity, expectations, expertise, imaginaries, fiction and transitions.

Long Abstract:

The burgeoning field of hype studies is ever-growing, but what remains a challenge is its absence of a unified approach. The purpose of this call is to leverage collective experiences, to co-creatively build foundational structures and establish a robust field of critical hype studies. This panel will seek to explore dynamic transformations, implications, and theoretical underpinnings of hype.

We invite researchers and scholars interested in unravelling the complexities of hype as a multi-dimensional phenomenon that operates at sociotechnical, epistemic, psychological, transmedial, and environmental levels. Do you have insights into the intentional production of hype as a media and persuasion strategy or the unintentional emergence of hype driven by, or influencing, material, political and economic factors, as well as psychological, affective, and embodied ones? Are you examining the performative capacities of hype but are intrigued by its causal origins, stabilisation, or abandonment? If so, we welcome your contributions.

We are equally interested in case studies that chart hype narratives: abandoned hypes, troughs of disillusionment, and cases of incremental, unhyped progress of technology. We wish to explore and problematise deterministic narratives about hype cycles, the social and psychological processes engendering hype, and the consequent effects on both innovation and public perception.

Scholars with a background in STS and innovation studies, particularly those engaged in studies of expectations, expertise and experience, fictions, deep transitions, and imaginaries, are especially invited. Contributions from media studies, design studies, philosophy, cybernetics, phenomenology, and psychoanalysis are also highly welcome, as we weave together multiple threads to formulate a comprehensive understanding of hype phenomena.

Our ultimate ambition is to create a forum where, together, we can assemble insights into a structured field. We envisage our final output to be a co-authored position paper, offering a unified approach for hype studies, with definitions, related literature, methodological recommendations, and research agenda.

Accepted papers:

Session 1
Session 2