Friday, March 7, 2014
Department of Media, Culture, and Communication
New York University Steinhardt
239 Greene Street, Floor 8
New York, NY 10003
This one-day workshop in NYU’s Department of Media, Culture, and Communication will consider emergent approaches to media, materiality, and infrastructure. It is inspired by the recent expansion in research on the materiality of media and communication, undertaken in diverse scholarly lineages ranging from material culture, to urban studies, to German media-theory inspired media archaeology. The workshop will explore questions such as: how are new forms of material assemblage affecting mediation? What new forms of agency, sociality, and connectivity are at play? What kinds of materialist approaches are necessary to come to grips with the shifts in media infrastructure? It is our hope that the session will serve as a forum to foreground critical questions on media and materiality, and to connect and advance projects on these topics.
We request that participants register for full-day participation in order to assure a continuous conversation as well as stakeholders for future directions based on this workshop.
Theme: The Human in the World, the World in the Human
Australian National University
6-8 November 2013
The theme of this conference embraces anthropology’s enduring commitments to grappling with the human condition in the widest terms. Yet it also directs attention to the ways in which the interrelated concepts, ‘human’ and ‘world’, receive critical disciplinary attention in the present. While anthropologists have always been interested in how particular environmental, social or political worlds shape and are shaped by human existence, the theme attends to the urgency that such questions take at a time when the limits and potentialities of what ‘human’ and ‘world’ mean are subject to searching re-examination. Climate change, developments in bio-technology, securitization and supply-chain capitalism, and processes of forced and voluntary migration are among an array of issues that challenge and stimulate the conceptual and ethnographic work of anthropologists in the present.
The theme also draws attention to how particularly located humans engage in projects of “worlding”, attempting to stake claims for the relevance of their own understandings, practices and commitments in contexts shaped by both human and non-human agents. How do humans get drawn into, adapt to and adopt in their own way worldly projects that originate from afar? What kinds of oppressions and freedoms are involved in these processes? Shifting global circumstances usher these questions into the anthropological domain, where they are dealt with from a multitude of perspectives, including anthropologies of globalization, media, religion and the environment, existential anthropology and economic anthropology, theories of network and meshwork and theories of political economy. We invite participation from any and all concerned with imagining the shape of the world and the place of the human in relation to it.
Instructions for the submission of individual paper abstracts: If you are interested in presenting a paper on any of the panel themes below, please contact the individual listed panel convenors directly. Send the panel convenor your paper title and abstract (maximum 250 words), along with your email address and institutional affiliation. Do NOT submit your paper abstracts to the conference organisers. The deadline for submission of paper proposals is 1 August 2013.
Conference panels of interest to readers of the Material World Blog may include the following:
Extended abstracts (500 words max.), for a 15 minute presentation, can be submitted by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org until 17th March 2013
4-6 September 2013
Lisbon, Catholic University of Portugal
Convergence and digitalization have become buzz-words employed to demonstrate how technological change has impacted on the media and is reconfiguring today’s media systems. Accordingly, media research in the last decade has centered itself on the contemporary changes operated on and by the new media, sometimes over-estimating the transitions that are taking place and not acknowledging common patterns that can be found between the emergence of new media and the appearance of other means of communication in previous decades. In fact, instead of being something new brought by digitalization, moments of technological transition can easily be found in many historical periods, namely throughout the 20th century. While today the internet and new media are inducing new patterns of media consumption, back in the 1920s radio broadcasting facilitated change in everyday life by bringing entertainment into the homes, while in the 1950s television also enabled new patterns of media consumption inside the home.
CCI Winter School 2013
24 – 28 June
Deadline for Applications: 11 February 2013, Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCI)
Queensland University of Technology
Building on the widely-acknowledged success of last year’s inaugural CCI Winter School, we now invite applications for 2013. The CCI Winter School is a competitive program that offers selected doctoral students a week-long program of interdisciplinary study, collaboration and social interaction in the broad area of creative industries and innovation research, drawing on the Centre’s expertise in media, cultural and communication studies, economics, education, policy and law, in relation to the creative economy.
The International Symposium “The Secret Life of Objects: Materialities, Medialities, Temporalities” will take place in Rio de Janeiro, between August 1st and 3rd. Promoted by the State University of Rio de Janeiro, along with several other academic institutions (such as the Vilem Flusser Archiv and Universität Wien), the event is intended to debate the emergence of new paradigms, epistemologies and intellectual scenarios within the
Humanities (see below). The keynote speaker will be the French sociologist Bruno Latour and several other participants have already confirmed their presence (Graham Harman, Siegfried Zielinski, Joachim Paech, Richard Grusin, Steven Shaviro, Ian Bogost etc.).
Overview: There are strong indications that a significant transformation is underway in the so-called “human sciences” (Geisteswissenschaften, sciences humaines, Humanities). After a period of intense crisis and uncertainty, in which human sciences have frequently sought to mirror or approach the hard sciences, the beginning of the twenty-first century seems to witness a broad renewal of disciplines, approaches and methodologies. From the questioning of its traditional foundations, humanities are reinventing themselves by a broad reconfiguration of its borders and even of the notion of “humanity” that served as its cornerstone. One of the areas where the wealth of this new scenario is most clearly displayed is that of media studies. Spurred by the impact of new digital technologies, media studies cleverly learned to appropriate the epistemological principles and major theoretical issues that have come to characterize the contemporary cultural scene. The objective of the Seminar “The Secret Life of Objects: Medialities, Materialities, Temporalities” is to sketch a systematization of this scenario from a transdisciplinary perspective, but with a decisive focus on communication studies and culture. The three axes that structure the Seminar represent articulating knots that cut across different disciplines in the humanities, from sociology to philosophy, but acquire special meaning in the context of new media studies. The underlying assumption is that we need to radically rethink the notion of epistemic agency in a context where the action and the impact of the objects, media and technological materialities become increasingly important. Thus, it is not only necessary to investigate the place of human actors in a world enriched by the life of polymorphic objects, but also to highlight the issues that the strong tradition of hermeneutics of the humanities have often obscured: what, without constituting meaning per se, contributes nonetheless to the production of meaning? What is a medium and how mediation processes unfold? In what ways does technological materiality inform cultural worlds and determine forms of cognition? What new models of historical research of techniques and culture are emerging within the current epistemological paradigms? In what ways is the material dimension of experience combined with the intangible dimensions of culture? What does it mean to purport an “object-oriented” philosophy? In what sense does the category of the human reconfigure itself in light of our new relations with objects and nonhuman entities? How important is the legacy of the genealogy and archeology of knowledge (Nietzsche, Foucault) to a perspectivization of the impacts of “new” digital culture? By means of interdisciplinary panels, in which philosophers, anthropologists and scientists will discuss with experts in media studies, we intend to address these issues in order to elaborate a preliminary cartography of an epistemological territory still in its early stages of exploration.
The event is free and open to the public. Enrollment is possible trough our website
vidadosobjetos/inscricao. The form is in Portuguese, but it’s very easy to fill out:
CPF (ID Number, if known)
Link para Redes Sociais (Link for social networks)
The event is organised by Erick Felinto (President) – UERJ, Adalberto Müller – UFF/Letras, André Lemos – UFBA, Fernanda Bruno – UFRJ, Lúcia Santaella – PUCSP, Maurício Lissovsky – UFRJ, Simone de Sá – UFF and Vinicius Andrade Pereira – UERJ.