2016 Early Audiovisual Theory Conference

“A hundred years of Film theory. Mu?nsterberg and beyond: Concepts, Applications, Perspectives”

29 June 2016 – 2 July 2016

Leipzig, Germany

Deadline: 15 November 2015

AREA: Media Psychology and Reception

From the early days of moving pictures, critics and film producers were interested in how the new medium influenced audiences. In order to gain a more thorough understanding, they often turned to the fledgling field of psychology. They were interested in individual cognitive and emotional responses as well as group reactions to the new medium – either to investigate the role of film in society or culture or, when it was sponsored by the industry to promote the success of films.

This area investigates the psychological foundations of film reception studies. It addresses various forms of reception research from preview audiences, panels, focus groups, numerous forms of test marketing to more recent uses of social media and gaming. We are particularly interested in studies applying basic psychological concepts to practical reception phenomena. Proposals may include analyses of individual case studies, the development of certain methods (like physiological measures, eye-tracking, real-time-response measurement etc.), the dissemination of results, the implications of reception studies on film marketing and production, as well as ways of putting psychological theory into practice.

Please submit your 200-word proposal by 15 November 2015


Or send it via email to the address below.

Area Chairs: Denise Sommer, Markus Schubert
Institute for Communications and Media Studies
University of Leipzig
Ritterstr. 26
04109 Leipzig

Panel proposals for up to three presenters are also welcome. Please note, however, that each presenter must submit his or her own paper proposal.

This area, comprising multiple panels, is a part of the 2016 conference on early audiovisual theory held at the University of Leipzig, Germany, and sponsored by the International Association for Media and History. Taking the publication of Hugo Münsterberg’s seminal study The Photoplay (1916) as a point of departure, the international conference will look at film and television theory. A century after the publication of Münsterberg’s book, the conference seeks to look at audiovisual media from a broad variety of perspectives and disciplines. One of the keynote speakers will be Ian Jarvie.

The conference will host a ceremony to celebrate Münsterberg’s achievements, who began his career as a professor at the University of Leipzig before going to Harvard. For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the conference website:



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