Call For Papers Shame, Shaming and Online Image Sharing

Special Issue on Shame, Shaming, and Online Image Sharing to be published by First Monday.

Editors: Gaby David, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris 3 and Amparo Lasen, Universidad Complutense of Madrid.

We are preparing a special issue for the open-access journal First Monday on the topic of shame and shaming around the practices of sharing images online.

Vernacular mobile images are the visual intersection of everyday life and popular culture, taken, viewed on and/or shared from mobile devices. They are the building blocks of our visual co-construction of reality. But, what can the experiences of shame and shaming related to practices of sharing more or less intimate vernacular mobile images indicate about our digitally connected societies and about contemporary subjectivities?

Shame is an ordinary affect, a key emotion regarding sociability and social orderings, as it is elicited by the fear of disconnection from our actual social bonds or the ones we aspire to be part of. It is a mode of affecting and being affected that shapes and mobilises ordinary experiences and relationships, and it is narrowly linked to social orderings and social structuration and exclusion processes. Shame points to how norms are fixed, maintained and challenged, to what is appropriate and what is not, who is appropriate and who isn’t. Shaming others, a common online practice is also a way of reinforcing these same social orderings and senses.

In this issue, we would like to explore how shame, shaming, and embarrassment are involved in the production of disquiets, vulnerabilities and exclusions in mediated intimacies and gender choreographies sustained and deployed through the convergence of camera phones, social networks, and mobile apps. Contemporary online visual practices are haunted by shame. As our mobile visual performances and exposure make us run the risk of becoming inappropriate and make our becoming risky when we are already deemed as inappropriate.

We aim at analysing concepts such as visibility, public and private, the digital modulation of presence and of intimacy, shame and share, and its relations to normativity, surveillance, and sousveillance. In times of data mining and Artificial Intelligence, reflections on the epistemology of coupled values such as ‘sharing and shaming’ must be on the research agenda. An awareness and analysis of the sharing-shaming duo surely contribute to the understanding of digital practices and habits. In theoretical, methodological and ethical approaches, this special issue does not seek to describe the benefits, motivations and/or risks on why banal everyday life mobile vernacular images should remain private and/or public but interrogate both the situations behind these vernacular mobile imagery sharing when shame is elicited, as well as when individual or collective shaming initiatives arise in response to such images.

Personal and/or collective decisions to share private content or be ashamed of doing so, have multiple and complex and interrelated correlations. We encourage contributions from diverse fields that may include (but are not limited to) visual sociology, digital ethnography, fine art, gender studies, internet studies, mobile studies, cultural studies, pop culture, and game/play studies.

También estamos pensando en editar un número especial en español sobre esta misma temática, para una revista académica española o latinoamericana, si estáis interesadas/os, por favor poneos en contacto con nosotras. Este CFP está relacionado con nuestro proyecto de investigación Los circuitos de la vergüenza. Sociabilidad y vulnerabilidad en las relaciones de intimidad (VERSOC), así que si estáis trabajando sobre estos temas (aunque no necesariamente en relación con las prácticas digitales de compartir imágenes y otros contenidos online) también nos interesaría mucho saber de vosotras/os.

Keywords: digital images, share, shame, shaming, ethics.

Topics of interest may include, but are not limited to, the following:

● Share and shame: Theories, concepts, and methods

● Histories of particular Internet shame-share stories

● Analysis of the implications of shame share histories for international and global discussions of Internet histories, forms, and futures.

● Case studies of shame, sharing and online visual practices

● Co-evolution of sharing, shaming and Internet technology

● Gender performances and choreographies related to shame and online shaming

● Race, shame and online shaming

● Mediated sexualities

● Historiographies of cyber shame, cyberslutting, online bullying, racism, sexism.

● Mobile Internet, mobile apps, share and shame

● Digital cultures, memes, humour, and irony

● Shame, values and online social imaginaries

● Internet celebrity, shame, and share

● Shamelessness

● Porn, share, and shame


Ahmed, S. (2004). The Cultural Politics of Emotion. Edinburgh University Press. (Ch. 5).

Belk, R. (2010). Sharing. Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 36, No. 5, pp. 715-734 Published by: Oxford University Press Stable.

John, N. (2102). Sharing and Web 2.0: The emergence of a keyword, New Media & Society 15(2), 167-182,

Lasén, A. (2004). Affective technologies: emotions and mobile phones. Receiver, Vol. 11.

Martin, C., & von Pape, T. (2012) (Eds.). Images in mobile communication: New content, new uses, new perspectives. Wiesbaden: VS-Verl.

Probyn, E. (2005) Blush. Faces of Shame. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press.

Scheff, T. (2014) The ubiquity of hidden shame in Modernity. CulturalSociology, vol. 8(2), 129-141.

Stewart, K. (2007) Ordinary Affects. Duke University Press.

If you are interested in contributing to this special issue, please send an abstract (300 words) by 4 March 2020. Abstracts should be sent to one of the two editors, Amparo Lasen ( Gaby David ( Please, do contact us if you have any inquiries or need further information.

Invitations to a possible contribution will be sent by 15 March 2020

Full final papers deadline 1 September 2020

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