Affectivity, Technology, and Mental Health in the Post-Pandemic World

May 23, 2024
Department of Politics, Philosophy, and International Relations, Swansea University

Room 152, Keir Hardie Building
Swansea University, Singleton Park
Swansea SA2 8PP
United Kingdom

This event is available both online and in-person


  • Renewing Phenomenological Psychopathology Project
  • Swansea University Philosophy Research Group


Swansea University

Talks at this conference

Add a talk



Owen Barden (Liverpool Hope University)

Anna Bortolan (Swansea University)

Fred Cooper (University of Bristol)

Kimberly Dienes (Swansea University)

Leighton Evans (Swansea University)

Lucy Osler (Cardiff University)

Yan Wu (Swansea University)


Our wellbeing can be profoundly affected by the ways of communicating and interacting afforded by the internet, and the pandemic of Covid-19 has drawn significant attention to this. During this time, key aspects of many people's personal, social, and professional lives were indeed moved online, as measures such as lockdowns and social distancing were implemented to tackle the spread of the virus.

The reduction of face-to-face encounters and the increased reliance on the use of digital technology impacted on our emotional and bodily experiences in various ways, and a body of work exploring these dynamics has been emerging within philosophy and other disciplines. In this context, work drawing on the framework of philosophical phenomenology has played an important role in attempts to make sense of our experience during an unprecedented public health crisis.  

Academic research and public discourse on this topic have often drawn attention to the negative impact that the diminishment of in-person interaction and the increased use of internet-enabled technology can have on our mental health, and these insights have contributed to shed light on how disruptions to the bodily dimension of our personal and interpersonal life can influence emotions and mental wellbeing.  

However, discussion of the impact of responses to Covid-19 appears to have been at times one-sided in its focus on the deterioration of mental wellbeing associated with the reduction of in-person contact and the increase in online activity. Indeed, a range of more positive changes during this time have been reported, amongst others, by some people with a lived experience of mental illness, and various studies have shown that the use of certain technologies can be beneficial to those who experience mental ill-health in various ways. In addition, some phenomenological research is also drawing attention to the features of social connection that can be sustained through online interaction.  


In this context, the event aims to contribute to expand the understanding of the relationship between affectivity, technology and mental health, by bringing together different disciplinary perspectives to explore the phenomenological dimensions of this relationship, and its significance for the way in which we conceive of and shape our lives in the aftermath of the pandemic.  As individuals and societies proceed to negotiate and manage life at a time in which face-to-face interactions are largely no longer restricted, comprehending the diversity of lived experiences associated with online activity and communication seems fundamental in order to develop policies and practices capable of fostering equality and inclusion.   

To this end, the workshop brings together a group of researchers with expertise in philosophy, phenomenology, disability studies, media studies, history, and psychology to explore a range of questions including, but not limited to, the following:  

1.      Can the different forms of affective and embodied experience afforded by online technology have a positive effect on mental health?  

2.      How can the use of internet-enabled technology (for example in the context of remote working) be leveraged to create blended spaces that are more inclusive and diverse?   



The workshop will take place on Thursday 23rd May, from 9.30am to 5.40pm. The workshop will take place on  Swansea University Singleton Campus (Singleton Park, Swansea, SA2 8PP), in room 152 in the Keir Hardie Building, and online.



This event will be held in hybrid format (in person and on Zoom). Attendance is free, but registration is required.

To register for in-person attendance, please fill in the following form [] by Tuesday 14th May.

To register for online attendance, please fill in the following form  [] by Monday 20th May. The Zoom details will be sent to registered attendees two days before the event.


For questions about the workshop, please contact the organiser, Anna Bortolan [[email protected]].

Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)




May 14, 2024, 11:45pm BST

External Site

Who is attending?

No one has said they will attend yet.

Will you attend this event?

Let us know so we can notify you of any change of plan.

RSVPing on PhilEvents is not sufficient to register for this event.