Please email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 7, 2021.
You can review our submission guidelines at mediafieldsjournal.org.
Call for Submissions
Modularity and Modification
Media Fields: Critical Explorations of Media in Space, Issue 17
To move, media must be flexible. Think, for instance, of the remarkably consistent form of the upscale multiplex that has made a home for global blockbuster cinema in China, Mexico, India, Belgium, and Canada alike. Or consider the efforts of communities who have had to salvage, appropriate, and alter telecommunications infrastructure—developing their own technical expertise in the process—in an effort to bring internet connectivity to remote areas neglected by corporate service providers. While distinct, these examples each raise the question of how media flexibility is underpinned by the tension between modularity and modification.
Modularity involves the repetition, standardization, and recombination of existing forms: exhibitors use the standard form of the multiplex to signify the “world-class” status of their up-to-date cinemas, while amateur technicians rely on widely used antennas, wires, and protocols to plug into existing internet infrastructure. Conversely, modification calls on the ability to adapt given materials (including technologies, practices, ideas, and senses of self) to prevailing conditions: theatre chains grapple with issues of urban development, audiences, and taste cultures as they develop new sites in new locales, while communities adapt technology to the resources they have, the landscapes they inhabit, and the histories they share to make their projects work. In these and other examples, media forge the channels along which modular elements can be disseminated and within which opportunities for modification take root.
Considering these concepts as an entry point for the study of media in space immediately conjures associations with Michel de Certeau’s opposition between strategy and tactics. If modularity offers the opportunity to expand the “proper place” of the powerful and extend the imposed terrain on which the subjected must move, modification suggests the potential to rework that terrain along tactical lines. The modularity of communication infrastructures and media forms might suggest narratives of spatial and temporal compression and, in turn, buttress colonial narratives that render distant, foreign spaces more legible, accessible, or profitable for powerful interests. Conversely, the modification of modular media genres, formats, technologies, and environments evokes profuse examples of narratives of localized or regionalized difference, adaptation, resistance, and even refusal.
Such associations between modularity, modification, power, and resistance do not hold seamlessly, and are useful only to the extent that they are contextualized and questioned. Media scholarship that engages in this work does not necessarily dispense with familiar associations with these concepts but expose the frictions and counternarratives that arise out of close, critical analysis. Reconsidering these associations raises questions including: What are productive ways of conceptualizing modification without fetishizing neoliberal concepts of ingenuity that displace the responsibilities of media institutions and telecommunications services onto individuals? How might we understand corporate modularity as involving forms of differentiation that enable flows of capital and hegemony? Where can we see the activities of user or audience modification being channeled or controlled by powerful interests? In what ways does modularity emerge from individuals, social groups, and communities rather than being imposed on them? Can we uncover or recover cases that subvert binaries associating modularity with the homogenous, the corporate, and the global and modification with the heterogenous, the individual, and the local?
The Media Fields Editorial Collective in the Department of Film and Media at the University of California, Santa Barbara seeks papers that interrogate the imbrication of modularity and modification in spatial practices and imaginaries and put forward thought-provoking examples of how they might be operationalized in the service of today’s media scholarship.
Potential paper topics include, but are not limited to:
- Technological standards and standardization
- Circulating genres and formats
- Digital “modding”
- Film and television “packaging”
- Franchises, sequels, spinoffs, ripoffs, and reboots
- Platform systems and their users
- Communication infrastructures and their nodes
The Kardashians and Trans Femininity: Appropriation, Artificiality, and Racial Erasure”
Dossier for TSQ*Now
Edited by Dr. Laura Stamm (University of Pittsburgh)
With Keeping Up With the Kardashians ending after 19 seasons, it seems timely to reflect upon the ways in which the Kardashian aesthetic transformation has been influenced by (and appropriated) trans femininity. This dossier will ideally include both paranoid and reparative readings. For, as much as Kardashian femininity could not exist without trans femininity, perhaps there is a way in which the Kardashian women have also made trans femininity increasingly possible. What I mean is that the drag queen, trans feminine aesthetic that the Kardashian women have so spectacularly appropriated has also changed the way we conceive of cis femininity as tied to any sort of aesthetic of authenticity. Taken even further, could we create a genealogy of contemporary trans femininity through a reading of the Kardashians? How can we put questions of race at the center of this trans-femme-cis-femme circuit?
Topics may include (but are not limited to):
- Critical race studies
- Trans of color critique
- TV studies
- Drag culture
- Body-as-technology critique
- Personal narrative
- Social media technology
I am seeking contributions for a dossier for TSQ*Now, an online forum on trans studies organized by the TSQ editorial collective. The forum allows scholars to respond to currents issues with more immediacy and flexibility than traditional academic publishing. I am interested in hearing from scholars of any rank, and I especially encourage trans scholars to submit.
Interested writers should submit a 150-200 word abstract and a brief bio with affiliation and contact information to email@example.com by February 1st. I am also happy to answer any questions.
CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS
An online symposium organized in conjunction with the Toronto Queer Film Festival
April 24 & 25, 2021
Proposal deadline: Jan 5, 2021 Submit proposals here.
Everyone is welcome to apply. All participants will be paid.
Confirmed keynote speaker: Dean Spade with more TBA
The Toronto Queer Film Festival is seeking proposals for a symposium on the theme of Queer Emergencies that aims to address queer, trans, and two-spirit experiences and challenges in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
This is a landmark time for humanity. Homebound and with resources dwindling, many of us continue to create art and engage in solidarity practices from within our communities. Queer Emergencies celebrates the resilience, resistance and creativity of our community in its response to the intense pressures and transformations wrought by the global pandemic. It seeks to engage work that is vital in this moment, speaking to the unique challenges that precarious and marginalized queer and trans communities are facing today.
We’ve noticed a prevailing capitalist logic to the disbursement of resources, while artists are incurring losses of incomes and/or assets due to the economic contraction caused by widespread social distancing measures. Current structuring of funds prioritizes the privileged among us, leaving most people who were already struggling with few to no resources.
The Queer Emergencies 2021 Symposium asks the question: what are our current limitations and how can we work within them in creative ways? What are the issues facing queer, trans and two-spirit communities in the current moment and how can we allow them to radicalize our collective future?
As ever, TQFF’s mandate remains to decolonize queer and trans art and media histories and practices. This symposium seeks projects with a unique perspective who frame their work in a critical, anti-oppressive and future-bound model.
We are interested in papers, workshops, roundtables, readings, performances that critically engage and reckon with and through media and the arts.
Topics could include, but are not limited to:
Queer and/or Indigenous histories of organizing and reisistence to public health crises
Anti-racism/decolonization in artistic practices and/or arts organizations
Unpacking inclusion & building social/class alliances and solidarity
Queer and/or Indigenous perspectives on climate emergency, both locally and beyond
Mutual aid & food justice
Solidarity & allyship both within the queer/trans/2S communities and beyond
Community resilience & self-care
Envisioning the future of queer and trans resistance
Queer and trans organizing and activism before, during and after COVID
Mental health and artistic production/practices during and after COVID
Queer/trans pandemic crip time: living and working with chronic illness and disability
Essential and abandoned: intersectional (anti-racism, decolonial, disability justice) approaches to the disproportionate impact of economic and public health failures on our queer/trans/2S communities
Coalitional organizing and solidarities: defunding the police, abolishing prisons, workplace safety, and envisioning a world where public health and art are prioritized over property, police, prisons, and imperial global militarism
Combatting, strategizing/organizing against, and documenting the present and future of genocide (pandemics, climate emergency, structured institutional/infrastructure neglect and abandonment)
Queer migrant justice: open borders, mass migration, and worldwide worker solidarity
Rent strikes, mass evictions, kangaroo “housing courts,” and housing for all
While papers, roundtables, workshops, and other typical academic conference formats are welcomed, we especially encourage more creative formats including but not limited to: arts-based research, poster presentations, poetry, performances, music, readings, artist talks, and other presentation formats that innovate and encourage online participation. As a symposium organized with a film festival, we are particularly interested in contributions that engage in some way with queer and trans media and/or art practices.
As a grassroots organization embedded within our communities, the Toronto Queer Film Festival encourages contributions from folks across our community – not just academics embedded within universities, but also independent scholars, activists, artists, community members, and other people with lived experience that would provide valuable perspectives to discussions on global queer liberation art and media.
Everyone is welcome to apply.
Please submit the following information via our online form by Jan 5, 2021
Institutional or other affiliation (if applicable)
Presentation format (i.e. paper, roundtable, workshop, creative)
250 word abstract
Email address you can be contacted at
This symposium will be held online. We are particularly interested in submissions that take full advantage of the capabilities of online platforms. Individual papers and presentations should be no more than 15 minutes. Roundtables, workshops, panels, should be no more than 1 hour, including opportunity for Q&A. We will also accept submission for proposals with shorter durations (i.e. lightning talks, microsessions, etc).
Only selected participants will be notified.
Selected participants will be notified of their acceptance by January 30, 2021
ABOUT THE TORONTO QUEER FILM FESTIVAL
TQFF is a registered not-for profit organization formed and run by an ad-hoc collective of artists and arts professionals who came together in 2016 to launch the Toronto Queer Film Festival. We began this project out of an urgent need to provide screen space in Toronto for media by and about marginalized queer and trans people.
We have three primary mandates:
1) to exhibit queer independent and experimental film and video art;
2) to support the production of alternative queer film and video art through community-based arts education and professional development; and
3) to foster community engagement with the arts by welcoming all attendees to our accessible venues with “pay what you can” pricing for events, ASL interpretation, and closed captioning of all programs.
TQFF distinguishes itself from other Toronto cultural events that serve the LGBT community by focusing on experimental time-based media that challenges and expands social, political, and artistic conventions. Our curatorial mandate is to centre the programming of work by and about queer and trans people of colour, Indigenous people, and people with disabilities, as well as the work of local artists, low-income, DIY filmmakers, and emerging artists.
You can read more about TQFF on our website: https://torontoqueerfilmfest.com/about/
Call for Submissions: Special Issue on “Critical and Creative Engagements with Petro-Media”
Guest edited by Rachel W. Jekanowski (Memorial University) & Emily Roehl (Texas State University)
Submission Deadline: December 10, 2020
This special issue of Imaginations will concentrate on media engaging with petroleum and its attendant socio-political and economic structures. Drawing on technology and media studies, energy humanities scholarship, and a range of methods in visual and cultural studies, the contributors will theorize contemporary and historical uses of media to resist and facilitate petroleum infrastructures. Building on Imaginations’ long-standingengagement with petrocultures scholarship, including their 2012 special issue “Sighting Oil” (Sheena Wilson and Andrew Pendakis, eds.), this issue will mobilize critiques of corporate petro-media with decolonial methods from a range of disciplines, focusing on the interlacing of oil, settler colonialism, Indigenous resurgence, and media production. The issue will consist of peer-reviewed essays from scholars and practitioners, artist interviews and contributions (including samples of multimedia work with accompanying artists statements), and a review section (including a comparative book review essay, curatorial reviews and responses to digital exhibitions in the age of COVID-19, etc.). We are particularly invested in featuring research-creation and media-rich scholarship.
We invite submissions that take up different facets of media production by Indigenous, immigrant, and settler artists, activists, and corporate representatives to examine the complex entanglements of cultural production, settler colonialism, and fossil fuel extraction. Given our location on occupied Indigenous territories where we work as researchers and educators, we assert that energy developments are always already implicated within histories of colonialism and white settlement in North America. Critically, we invite contributions that include and foreground visual media in their
analyses, featuring original videos, archival photographs and film stills, and photographs of authors’ art installations.
We invite submissions that engage with the following topics (including but not limited to):
- the way media networks and ways of viewing the world support the extraction, production, and consumption of fossil fuels and interact with the financial and socio-political systems the production of oil requires;
- the way media, like energy infrastructures, are used as conduits for the transportation and transmission of fuel, people, capital, and ideas about sovereignty, identity, futurity, and relationships to the nonhuman world;
- the way various media—from corporate films, digital photography, games, and television advertisements, to activist protests and social media—have alternatively been used to uphold, legitimize, critique, and resist energy practices within settler colonial nations like Canada and the United States.
Submissions are also welcome from the following fields and approaches (including but not limited to):
- cultural studies
- energy studies
- critical Indigenous studies
- critical settler colonial studies
- decolonial approaches to media
- environmental humanities
- Indigenous sovereignty
- film and media studies
- literary studies
- multimedia and digital arts
- research-creation methods
- social and environmental justice
- feminist, queer, and posthumanist approaches to petro-media interventions from critical race studies
In sum, this special issue will contribute to discussions within media and literature studies about the imbrication of energy, communication, and art, while foregrounding Indigenous resurgence, energy justice movements, and deepening attention to the asymmetrical effects of climate change on communities and environments.
Recognizing the challenges of producing work during a pandemic, and reflecting the editors’ commitment to experimenting with mixed methodologies and media-rich scholarship, this special issue will feature shorter research essays alongside artist submissions and research-creation. Research essays should be 3000-5000 words; artist contributions and curatorial reviews can be 500-2000 words. Citations should adhere to the MLA Style Guide.
Please see the full list of author submission guidelines available on the Imaginations Journal website. The Imaginations style sheet is accessible here.
Submission deadline is December 10, 2020.
We plan to notify contributors as to the status of their submissions by May 2021 at the latest. The special issue is tentatively planned for publication in Fall 2021.
MAB20 consists of a series of events, meet-ups and publications taking place on- and offline between March 2019 and July 2021. A final event including an award show, workshops and a conference with keynotes and an academic track, is scheduled from July 28th – July 2nd, 2021 to take place in Amsterdam and Utrecht.
We invite papers from academics, students, and industry practitioners that align with the theme “Futures Implied” and the sub-themes: “Playful & Artistic Civic Engagement”, “The Aesthetics and Poetics of Responsive Urban Spaces”, “Restorative Cities”, “More-than-Human-Cities”, and “Citizens’ digital rights in the era of platform ecologies.” Paper contributions should address current practices, discuss theoretical approaches, or present novel research that explore and further develop our understanding of media architecture through relevant case studies, design processes, and community and industry examples.
Deadline: January 25th, 2021
Notification of acceptance: 29 March, 2021
All revisions due & Camera Ready: 24 May, 2021
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