Hype: The Anatomy of a Contemporary Affect

Yuri Di Liberto, Robert Pfaller, Alfie Brown and Julie Reshe on the concept of hype

To what extent are our lives dominated by the endless and dopaminergic expectation of a future or imminent satisfaction? Is hype just a cultural phenomenon or does it imply structural repercussions in the way our brains and bodies work? Is it possible to imagine a post-hype society? By bringing together findings and insights from different points of view, this conference aims at giving an answer to these and other questions related to the issue of hype.


Yuri Di Liberto is the organizer and one of the speakers at the conference. He is a Fellow at the Ruhr University of Bochum and at the International Psychoanalytic University in Berlin. He is the author of books and articles on the relationships between philosophy, psychoanalysis and critical thought. In 2022, he was awarded the Essay Prize of the Review of Capital as Power for his article ‘Hype: The Capitalist Degree of Induced Participation’. In his latest book, Asymmetry: Class Struggle at the End of a World (published in Italy in 2022), he investigates the social and historical consequences of climate change and the recent pandemic.

Robert Pfaller is Professor of Philosophy and Cultural Theory at the University of Art and Industrial Design of Linz. He works and writes about philosophy, psychoanalysis, political and critical theory. He is the author of several works, both in German and in English, in which he tackles the themes of contemporary ethics, neoliberal ideology, pleasure in contemporary culture, and so on. His book On the Pleasure Principle in Culture: Illusions Without Owners, published in English in 2014 with Verso, constitutes an irreplaceable contribution to the theory of culturally shared illusions. He further develops this topic in his 2017 book Interpassivity: The Aesthetics of Delegated Enjoyment, published by Edinburgh University Press.

Alfie Bown is Lecturer in Digital Media Culture and Technology at Royal Holloway University London and Editor of Sublation Magazine. His most recent book is Dream Lovers: The Gamification of Relationships (Pluto) and his journalism has appeared in The Paris Review, The Guardian, Compact Magazine and other places. His attention towards contemporary enjoyment theories crystallized also in his 2015 vibrant book Enjoying It: Candy Crush and Capitalism, where he reads the uses of games like Candy Crush as a prism to understand present-day forms of compulsory enjoyment.

Julie Reshe is a Ukrainian-born philosopher and a practicing negative psychoanalyst. She is currently a visiting professor at University College Cork and University College Dublin. She is also a Director of the Institute of Psychoanalysis at the Global Centre for Advanced Studies. Her latest book is Negative Psychoanalysis for the Living Dead: Philosophical Pessimism and the Death Drive (Palgrave, 2023). In her work, she reflects in a unique way on our present condition through the prism of psychoanalysis.

Details and Registration

6 July 2023 | 2 pm
Lecture Hall 2, Stromstraße 2, 10555 Berlin


14.00-14.20 Yuri Di Liberto - Opening
14.20-14.50 Julie Reshe “The Happy Dead: the hype of positivity”
14.50-15.00  Small Break
15.00-15.30 Alfie Bown “Psychoanalysis and Milk (and Trolling)”
15.30-16.00 Robert Pfaller
16.00-17.00 Discussion
17.00 Closing remarks