FM, Research Design and Empirical Methods - Seminar C: Digital Communication and Media Culture: Investigating Affective Communication and Mediated Emotions

Course content

In this seminar, we will focus on affect and emotions in media and communication research. We will investigate how emotions resonate in hate speech, populism, news, nostalgia, health communication, mediated romantic relationships, etc. and why affective communication has become virulent in today´s digital culture, challenging established routines, norms, and epistemologies. While being salient in all areas of mediated public and private communication, emotions are simultaneously fluid, mostly implicit, and always up for interpretation. This makes them an ideal showcase to highlight the challenges of grasping certain social phenomena by the means of empirical research and demonstrates the creativity necessary to gain insights into complex communicative interactions in vibrant digital media contexts.

In the first part of the seminar, some sessions will be complementary to the lecture “Research Design and Empirical Methods”. This will allow us to revisit the lecture´s content and discuss follow-up questions. In the other sessions, the seminar will additionally deepen your knowledge on empirical research by us further investigating exemplary study designs and specific methods applied in the research of affective communication and mediated emotions. In particular, we will discuss how to decide which method fits a research question best, how methods differ when it comes to qualitative, quantitative, and computational approaches, and we will do exercises that will help you to put your knowledge into practice. Finally, you will prepare and conduct your own research project on affect and emotions with a topic of your choice, which you will develop throughout the seminar.


Master in Film and Media Studies, 2019-curriculum

Learning outcome

At the examination, the student is able to demonstrate:


Knowledge and understanding of:

  • the application of qualitative and quantitative empirical research methods to answer a given research question.
  • the theoretical bases underpinning different qualitative and quantitative methods, their respective explanatory efficacy, and how they are embedded in different research traditions.
  • mixed-method strategies, including the use of digital IT tools, their complex interaction, and how they may be applied to different film and media research questions.


Skills to:

  • formulate a research question and develop a complex, theoretical research design that necessitates the application of several empirical methods.
  • use different tools to collect and analyse different types and amounts of data and reflect critically on the tools used and the results achieved.
  • present a research design and argue for the selected methods in both written and spoken forms.


Competencies to:

  • select and combine the right methodological and theoretical tools to address a research question.
  • assess the chosen strategy and the applicability and validity of the research in relation to specific functions and contexts.

plan, conduct and present the results of empirical research based on film and media theory and methodology.


Lectures, seminars, in-class participation, presentations, group work, home assignments. In the first half of the semester, the course covers the fundamental stages in research designs. Here, lecturers and seminars supplement each other. In the second half of the semester, the teaching is primarily done as seminars, where students work on their own research projects in groups.

The joint seminars rely on a textbook on research designs and empirical methods. The seminar tracks use academic texts within the particular field that the seminar focuses on. Teaching and readings are predominantly in English.

The course presupposes basic knowledge of qualitative and quantitative methods in film- and media research. If a student is not familiar with the methods beforehand, it is expected that the student acquires
knowledge of these methods on their own during the semester.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
Type of assessment
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

Master in Film and Media Studies, 2019-curriculum:



Exams are conducted in English.


  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 367,5
  • English
  • 409,5


Course number
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 semester

Study Board of Media, Cognition and Communication
Contracting department
  • Department of Media, Cognition and Communication
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator
  • Manuel Menke   (12-7569767d6d7436756d76736d48707d7536737d366c73)

Manuel Menke

Saved on the 03-05-2021

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