For communication among alternative media producers, academics, artists, and activists.


Options: Use Forum View

Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Condense Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
Fri, 9 Mar 2012 18:12:37 +0000
"For communication among alternative media producers, academics, artists, and activists." <[log in to unmask]>
"Hilde C. Stephansen" <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (114 lines)
Dear colleagues,

Please find below the call for papers for a workshop for new
scholars, hosted by the Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy
at Goldsmiths, University of London.

The workshop will be held on Thursday 3rd May 2012 and the deadline for
abstracts is 15 March.

Best regards,


Articulating alternatives: agents, spaces and communication in/of a time
of crisis

A workshop for new scholars hosted by the Centre for the Study of Global
Media and Democracy, Goldsmiths, University of London. Thursday 03 May

This is a workshop which addresses a series of issues around the mediation
of political life in a time of crisis. The last couple of decades have
witnessed the intensification of the neoliberal logic, culminating in a
profound crisis of capitalism. This has been accompanied by the widespread
de-legitimisation of political institutions as citizens lose trust in the
political process and confidence in the capacity of political elites to
protect their interests. Concomitantly, recent years have seen the
emergence of a myriad of actors (from indigenous people’s movements to
alter-globalisation movements to current mobilisations like the Arab
Spring and the Occupy movement), which challenge the neoliberal hegemony
and seek to construct alternatives. Such actors are engaged in various
forms of knowledge production oriented towards the development of
critiques of the current system as well as the elaboration of alternative
forms of economic, social, and political organisation.

In the workshop, we wish to explore some of the complexities of the
relationship between mediated communication and politics in a time of
crisis. The intensive mobilisation of citizens around the world raises a
number of questions in relation to how agents of transformation are
constructing political vernaculars and actions at different scales and
across different sites, both physical and virtual. The notion of a
politics of crisis is set as a framework for the exploration of the
agencies, spaces and communication practices of counter-capitalist voices.

Pertinent here is the addressing of the structures of both the
nation-state and global economic actors where the use of digital
communication channels ranges from information-spreading to organisation
and mobilisation. Many recent protests have been distinctly invested in
particular localities (squares, streets), but appear to also express a
sense of globality (evident for example in the argued global reach of the
Occupy movement). New communication technologies appear to be offering
unprecedented opportunities for the dissemination and elaboration of
ideas, potentially playing a significant role in social processes of
knowledge production and the articulation of alternatives. At the same
time, conventional media are arguably in a state of crisis, arising from
tendencies of commercialisation and concentration of ownership. As the
media lose the confidence of their publics and thus their privileged
epistemic status, questions are raised about their capacity to foster
democratic public spheres.

We are interested in addressing questions in relation to the discursive
construction of alternatives, the agents involved in these processes, the
spaces that are being opened up for articulation and action, as well as
the modes of politics which characterise the current time of crisis. The
themes we wish to explore include:

- Agents. Are there new actors emerging in the context of political,
economic and social crises? What form do such actors take, and what kinds
of politics do they engage in? What role do conventional media as well as
new information and communication technologies play in the emergence and
organisation of such actors? How might media contribute to the elaboration
of alternatives and the construction of transnational solidarity across
geopolitical boundaries?

- Spaces. How do the geography and spatiality of politics impact on the
perspectives and claims arising in resistance to capitalism? What
spatialities and scales are enacted through current modes of political
praxis and forms of communication? What is the ‘place of place’ in
contemporary political practices and discourses, and how does this relate
to the ‘national’, ‘transnational’ or ‘global’? What role do media play in
the politics of place and scale? Where does the matter of politics exhibit
itself both online and offline?

- Communication. How can we conceptualise the relationship between media
and citizenship in the current climate of crisis? What role do the media
play in the communication of a politics of crisis? How might media be
implicated in the continued subalternisation, exclusion or incorporation
of alternative/emergent knowledges and practices? Can the mainstream media
be reformed to resume their (idealised?) democratic function as the
guarantors of an open democratic public sphere? Or should we instead
entrust our hopes to the burgeoning field of social and citizens’ media?

In order to facilitate in-depth discussion and collective knowledge
production, the workshop will be restricted to a limited number of
participants. We welcome submissions of original work from early-career
researchers from diverse disciplinary backgrounds including (but not
limited to): media and communications, sociology, politics, anthropology,
cultural studies, geography, and information studies. Interested
participants should submit a 250 word abstract and brief biography by 15
March 2012 to Eleftheria Lekakis ([log in to unmask]) and Hilde
Stephansen ([log in to unmask]). The authors of successful abstracts
will be notified by 22 March 2012 and are invited to submit working papers
of between 1500-3000 words in advance of the workshop.

Dr Hilde C. Stephansen
Research Fellow
Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy
Goldsmiths, University of London
New Cross, London SE14 6NW