Varieties of Immersive Experience

December 9, 2021 - December 10, 2021
University of Stavanger

Viale Trenta Aprile, 33

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This workshop is organized as a supplementary event to a separate call for chapters to an edited volume. 

The quality of being immersive is increasingly held to be a desirable characteristic of many types of media-interaction and social settings. Immersive experience has been studied in considerable depth in the context of digital media. In this workshop, we will explore the analytic potential of the notion of immersion as a general phenomenon. The contributions will be printed in an edited volume.

We call for contributions that discuss the character and function of immersive experiences with regard to how the notion ought to be theoretically elucidated or that explore how they are concretely manifested in a wider set of experiental settings.

The workshop and volume will address the following questions:

1) What are immersive experiences? Do they share a common psychological structure, or does the word designate disparate phenomena that merely exhibit family resemblances? We are interested in philosophical contributions that explore the connections to notions such as subject position, imagination, perceptual horizon, embodiment, phenomenal character, enchantment, action, flow, embodiment, selective attention, social frames, affective attitudes, and constitution of the self.

2) How do context specific determinants shape immersive experiences? In particular, how are they shaped by the affordances and constraints provided by the medium within which they occur? We call for contributions from the humanistic and social sciences that analyze such elements as improvisation techniques, music, action, avatar-presence, ritual practices, cinematic techniques, therapeutic methodology, narrative devices and so on.

3) What is the significance or value of immersive experience? How are immersive experiences beneficial or detrimental to their respective contexts? We are interested in moral, political and value-oriented discussions that touch on normative roles such as fun, escapism, trust, personal transformation, participation, persuasion, manipulation, criticism, modes of epistemic access, ideological framing, and knowledge-acquisition.

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August 15, 2021, 9:00am CET

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