Digital Media, Psychoanalysis and the Subject

A Special Edition Journal by Jacob Johanssen, published by CM: Communication and Media.

Editors: Jacob Johanssen (University of Westminster) and Steffen Krüger (University of Oslo)

We are very pleased to announce the publication of the special issue Digital Media, Psychoanalysis and the Subject, published by the open access journal CM: Communication and Media.

This is the first-ever special issue of a media and communication journal that addresses questions of subjectivity, digital media and the Internet with a focus on psychoanalytic theory.

The contributing authors seek to reassess and reinvigorate psychoanalytic thinking in media and communication studies. They undertake this reassessment with a particular focus on the question of what psychoanalytic concepts, theories and modes of inquiry can contribute to the study of contemporary digital media.

The collection features a broad range of psychoanalytic approaches – from Freudian, via Kleinian and relational, to Lacanian and Jungian – and covers a wide range of issues – from the uses (and abuses) of the mobile phone and other digital devices, the circulation of traumatising images and anxiety-inducing tracking apps, via hysteric feminist discourses, digital fetishes and the exploitation of YouTube celebrities, to the meaning of the gangbang in a priapistic media culture and this culture’s emptying-out of meaning towards its climax in a cosmic spasm…

We hope that colleagues will find this collection informative and engaging and a helpful resource for their own work.

Table of Contents and Download Links:

Thinking (with) the Unconscious in Media and Communication Studies: Introduction to the Special Issue
Steffen Krüger (University of Oslo) and Jacob Johanssen (University of Westminster)

Framing the Mobile Phone: The Psychopathologies of an Everyday Object
Iain MacRury and Candida Yates (Bournemouth University)

“If you show your real face, you’ll lose 10 000 followers” – The Gaze of the Other and Transformations of Shame in Digitalized Relationships
Vera King (Sigmund-Freud-Institute & Goethe-University)

Media Traumatization, Symbolic Wounds and Digital Culture
Allen Meek (Massey University)

The Other Self in Free Fall: Anxiety and Automated Tracking Applications
Christopher Gutierrez (McGill University)

Digital Feminisms and the Split Subject: Short-circuits through Lacan’s Four Discourses
Alison Horbury (University of Melbourne)

A Digital Death Drive? Hubris and Learning in Psychoanalysis and Cybernetics
Colin John Campbell (York University / OCAD University)

YouTubers, Online Selves and the Performance Principle: Notes from a Post-Jungian Perspective
Greg Singh (University of Stirling)

The Female Target: Digitality, Psychoanalysis and the Gangbang
Diego Semerene (Brown University)

Chaosmic Spasm: Guattari, Stiegler, Berardi, and the Digital Apocalypse
Mark Featherstone (Keele University)

With many thanks to the editors of CM: Journal of Communication and Media, particularly Jelena Kleut, for their generous help in realising this issue.

Jacob Johanssen

About Jacob Johanssen

Jacob Johanssen's work revolves mainly around two themes: exploring Freudian psychoanalysis as a theory and method for media audience research with a particular focus on psychoanalytic conceptualisations of affect, as well as using psychoanalysis to think critically about contemporary digital culture more broadly.

His research interests include audience research, social media, digital labour, psychoanalysis and the media, affect theory, psychosocial studies, critical theory, as well as digital culture. His work has appeared in the International Journal of Cultural Studies, International Communication Gazette, and Interactions: Studies in Communication and Culture.


Jacob Johanssen
3rd March 2017
Published By
CM: Communication and Media.
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