Podcast: Lisa Glebatis Perks, “Media Marathoning and Affective Involvement”

Although the popular press primarily uses the negatively connoted phrase “binge-watching,” Lisa Glebatis Perks employs the label “media marathoning” to describe viewers’ rapid engagement with a story world. Rather than positioning these media experiences as mindless indulgences, the phrase media marathoning intimates engrossment, effort, and purpose. These media engagement efforts can be rewarded with pleasurable experiences, but they can also lead to feelings of disappointment. Perks draws from discourse gathered from over 100 marathoners to describe some of marathoners’ most common emotional experiences, including anger, empathy, parasocial mourning, nostalgia, and regret. The theme of the talk is that characters become the marathoners’ pseudo-avatars, gaining shape, texture, and life through viewers’ affective investments.

Lisa Glebatis Perks (Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin) is Associate Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences at Merrimack College. She recently published Media Marathoning: Immersions in Morality, which explores the ways readers and viewers become absorbed in a fictive text and dedicate many hours to exploring its narrative contours.

 
 

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