Mobilizing Grief and Remembrance with and for Networked Publics: towards a Typology of Hyper-Mourning

Giaxoglou, Korina (2020). Mobilizing Grief and Remembrance with and for Networked Publics: towards a Typology of Hyper-Mourning. European Journal of Life Writing, 9 pp. 264–284.



The past decade has seen an intense mobilization of grief and remembrance on social media linked to the injunction to inscribe, share, and curate life and death in the here-and-now. This article navigates the heterogeneity of these practices, using the term hyper-mourning to point both to the conditioning of mourning by the affordances of hyper-connectivity and to debates around these emerging forms of mourning as being emotionally hyperbolic and ‘inauthentic’ reactions to death events. Based on the discussion of select examples, I sketch out a typology of hyper-mourning, depending on the different story positions of teller, co-teller, or witness from which such performances are produced. As I argue, these different performances become typically associated with particular modes of affective positioning made available to the recipients of these shared stories - namely positions of proximity or distance to the death event and the dead, the networked recipient(s), and the emotional self. This typology proposes a small stories approach to hyper-mourning practices, which are organized around the mobilization of grief and remembrance for connecting networked audiences around identities, affect, and moral values dis/alignments. The article contributes to the interdisciplinary study of digital cultures of memory, affect, and identities.

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