International Communication Association/Panel: “Emotional Visuals”

Date: June 19 – 23, 2006
Venue: Dresden, Germany

We intend to submit a panel proposal on the above topic in the context of the ICA Visual Studies Division for the 2006 Dresden conference. Papers can address both questions relating to the visualization of emotions and/or
questions concerning emotional reactions to visuals.

Compared to text, images are believed to be particularly effective in eliciting emotions. Is there scientific support for this popular notion? What are really the effects of images? Which visual contents are particularly usceptible to create strong affective reactions? Which short term effects are there; what is the role of the long-term cultural/ historical context? Is it the images that elicit emotions or are sound and music more important in audiovisual media? What is the
interaction between emotional images, texts, and music? How are images strategically used to create emotions? Can different strategies of
emotional “charging” be distinguished in audiovisual media, print media, in PR, advertising, or political communications? Is online communication affectively “cooler”, i.e., are images less effective on the Internet
compared to TV? Is it at all possible to successfully direct emotions visually or is the emotional process too complex for such goal-directed manipulation?

These and similar questions shall be addressed and discussed from different disciplinary view points – from media and communication studies to psychological and (art)historical approaches. All scientific contributions
focusing on visual communication are welcome.

In brief:
submission – abstract (max. 5.400 characters) incl. references
– please include personal information (address, position, phone, e-mail)
– electronic submission only (Word, RTF, PDF, please no Word Perfect!)
– send to both panel organizers:,