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Call for papers:
States of Immersion: Bodies, Medias Technologies 

Edited collection — Estimated publication 2023
Updated deadline: July 31, 2021
(Version française ci-bas)

Over five days in October 2020, the conference “Immersivity and Technological Innovations” brought together more than fifty researchers and artists to address questions raised by virtual reality and, more broadly, by immersive media. To tackle the question of media immersivity and its related technological innovations, event participants addressed subjects ranging from the different “ramas” (panoramas, cyclorama, circorama, sensorama, etc.) to artificial intelligence through to a range of extended realities (augmented, virtual, mixed, etc.). The presentations questioned the ‘innovative’ nature of contemporary immersive media, by foregrounding a historical perspective often missing from industry discourses. While the latter continues to feed the fantasy of an ever-more-total immersion, we seek instead to propose a reflection on the role of the body, the media and the technologies of the development of immersion.

The organizing committee of the conference “Immersivity and Technological Innovations” is seeking contributions to bring together our reflections on all types of immersive experiments in a collective work. This proposed edited collection was presented to Santiago Hidalgo, co-director of the collection “Cinema and Technology” (Amsterdam University Press), who confirmed his interest.

Understanding contemporary immersive forms requires a range of approaches aimed at decoding the notion of immersivity through its different sociohistorical, disciplinary, technological and artistic contexts. It is also essential to develop a better understanding of the formation of media fantasies based on the appeal of immersion. How has the notion of immersivity been informed by art history, literature, cinema and video game studies? Do contributions from the field of design and applied sciences map easily onto these conceptions of immersion? What can past experiments in immersive media teach us about this (as yet unfulfilled) fantasy of totally immersive virtual experiences? What roles do bodies, spaces and narrative play in fostering and maintaining immersivity? What are the aesthetic aims of works that take advantage of the latest immersive technologies? What purposes do immersive technologies serve? Have virtual reality and other contemporary avatars of immersion managed, as these practices have become more professionalized, and despite their relatively slow adoption by the general public, to define their frames? Finally, can we recognize, within the emergent and specific conventions of these new forms, techniques of spatialization and storytelling that originate in ancient forms of immersive visual spaces, to use Oliver Grau’s expression?

In the context of the edited collection States of Immersion, we seek contributions that will foster a dialogue between the corporeal, affective and technological aspects of immersion. We encourage proposals that question the novelty of immersivity and those that propose new ways of looking at “immersive” forms of media. We invite contributions that address these issues from one or more of the following perspectives (including but not necessarily limited to):

  • (Pre-)history of immersive media (panoramas, cinéorama, sensorama, cinerama, etc.).
  • The limits of immersivity (challenges and flaws).
  • Psychological and cognitive approaches to the concept of immersivity.
  • The place of the body (agency, incorporation, presence, senses, affect).
  • Large formats (from Monet’s Nymphéas to IMAX).
  • Situating immersivity (sites, spaces and immersive locations).
  • Suspension of disbelief (automatons, conversational agents, Artificial Intelligence)
  • Creating immersivity (screenwriting, programming and the creation of immersive experiences).
  • Economic and logistical challenges of immersivity.
  • Institutionalization of immersive media forms.
  • (Photo)realism and other conventions.
  • Immersive systems in education or training scenarios (medical, military, etc.).
  • Accessibility and safety (universal and inclusive approaches to mediated immersivity).
   Beyond the traditional format of academic essays, we welcome suggestions for other types of reflections, such as interviews with artists working in immersive media or other forms of intellectual engagement that we have not listed here.
If you have an idea for content, we’re all ears!
 

Other information

In addition to the edited collection, we are considering other possibilities for the submissions, depending on the number of proposals we receive and in which language. These include the possibility of a special issue of a journal, depending on the thematic connections across the proposals.  

Submissions

The submission process will have two stages:

  1. First, please submit your proposals to immersivite@gmail.com by July 15  July 31, 2021 with the following details: 1) Title; 2) a 500-word proposal + 50 word bio; 3) three key references; 4) up to five keywords; 5) the language in which you would like to submit the text (English and/or French).Responses will be sent in September.
  1. Full papers (25,000-35,000 characters including spaces, excluding bibliography) must be submitted for review by December 1, 2021. Submissions may be sent to immersivite@gmail.com.

Editorial Committee

Philippe Bédard (Carleton University), Alanna Thain (McGill University) and Carl Therrien (Université de Montréal).

 

 


 

Appel à contributions :
L’immersion sous toutes ses formes : corps, médias, technologies

Ouvrage collectif — Publication prévue 2023
Nouvelle date limite: 31 juillet 2021

Pendant cinq jours en octobre 2020, le colloque « Immersivité et Innovations Technologiques » a réuni plus de cinquante chercheu.r.se.s et artistes autour des questions soulevées par la réalité virtuelle et les médias immersifs en général. Mobilisé.e.s par la question de l’immersivité médiatique et par les innovations technologiques afférentes, les intervenant.e.s de l’événement ont abordé des sujets allant des différents “-ramas” (panoramas, cyclorama, circorama, sensorama, etc.) à l’intelligence artificielle en passant par l’éventail des réalités étendues (augmentée, virtuelle, mixte, etc.). Ces conférences ont su remettre en question le caractère innovant des médias immersifs contemporains en ramenant à l’ordre du jour une perspective historique souvent évacuée dans les discours de l’industrie. Alors que ces derniers continuent d’alimenter le fantasme d’une immersion toujours plus totale, il est de notre ressort de proposer une réflexion sur le rôle du corps, des médias et des technologies dans le développement de l’immersion.

Le comité d’organisation du colloque « Immersivité et Innovations technologiques » vous propose de réunir nos réflexions sur tout type d’expérimentations immersives au sein d’un ouvrage collectif. Ce projet d’anthologie a été présenté à Santiago Hidalgo, codirecteur de la collection « Cinéma et technologie » (Amsterdam University Press), qui nous confirme son intérêt.

Comprendre les formes immersives contemporaines implique un éventail d’approches visant à déchiffrer la notion d’immersivité à travers différents contextes sociohistoriques, disciplinaires, technologiques et artistiques. Il nous apparaît également essentiel de développer une compréhension critique de la formation des fantasmes médiatiques associés à l’immersion. Comment l’histoire de l’art, la littérature, les études cinématographiques ou vidéoludiques ont-elles réfléchi l’immersivité? Est-ce que les apports des sciences du design peuvent s’arrimer facilement avec ces conceptions de l’immersion? Qu’est-ce que les pratiques immersives antérieures nous apprennent de l’idéal (encore irréalisé) d’une expérience virtuelle totalement englobante? Quels rôles le corps, l’espace et le récit jouent-ils dans la production et le maintien d’une expérience immersive? Quelles sont les visées esthétiques des œuvres qui tirent profit des dernières technologies immersives? À quelles fins les fonctions immersives des technologies sont-elles utilisées?  La réalité virtuelle et les autres avatars contemporains de l’immersion sont-ils parvenus, au fil de la professionnalisation de ces pratiques, et malgré leur adoption relativement lente par le grand public, à trouver leur cadre? Finalement,  peut-on reconnaître, au sein des conventions spécifiques à ces nouvelles formes qui émergent actuellement, des techniques de mise en espace et de mise en récit qui trouvent leur origine dans des formes antiques d’espaces imagés immersifs, pour reprendre l’expression d’Oliver Grau?

Dans le cadre de l’anthologie L’immersion sous toutes ses formes, nous sommes à la recherche de contributions qui sauront faire dialoguer les enjeux corporels, affectifs et technologiques de l’immersion. Nous encourageons les propositions qui remettent en question la nouveauté de l’immersivité et celles qui proposent de nouveaux regards sur les formations médiatiques dites « immersives ». Nous invitons les contributions touchant à ces questions dans l’une ou plusieurs des perspectives suivantes (sans nécessairement s’y limiter) :

  • (Pré-)histoire des médias immersifs (panoramas, cinéorama, sensorama, cinerama, etc.).
  • Les limites de l’immersivité (menaces et défauts).
  • Approches psychologiques et cognitives du concept d’immersivité.
  • La place du corps (agentivité, incorporation, impression de présence, les sens, l’affect, l’empathie).
  • Formats surdimensionnés (des Nymphéas à IMAX).
  • Situer l’immersivité (sites, lieux et espaces immersifs).
  • Suspension du jugement critique (automates, agents conversationnels et intelligence artificielle). 
  • Créer l’immersivité (scénarisation, programmation et production d’expériences immersives).
  • Enjeux économiques et logistiques liés à l’immersivité.
  • Institutionnalisation des formes médiatiques immersives.
  • (Photo)réalisme et autres conventions.
  • Systèmes immersifs d’éducation ou d’entraînement (médecine, aéronautique, armée, etc.).
  • Accessibilité et sécurité (approches universelles et inclusives à l’immersivité médiatique).
   Outre les contributions universitaires typiquement attendues dans ce genre d’ouvrage, nous aimerions aussi proposer d’autres types de réflexions, qu’il s’agisse d’entretiens avec des artistes qui œuvrent dans le milieu des médias immersifs ou de toute autre forme de production intellectuelle que nous n’aurions pas considérée.

Si vous avez une idée de contenu, nous sommes tout ouïe!

 

Informations supplémentaires

En plus du projet d’anthologie, nous étudions plusieurs possibilités pour la publication des textes qui seront remis, et ce, en fonction du nombre de propositions et de leur langue. Les options que nous prévoyons incluent la publication d’un ouvrage collectif accompagné d’un numéro de revue thématique, selon les maillages thématiques des propositions reçues.

Soumissions

Le processus de soumission se déroulera en deux temps:

  1. Veuillez d’abord soumettre vos propositions à immersivite@gmail.com au plus tard le 15 juillet  31 juillet 2021 avec les détails suivants :  1) Titre; 2) une proposition de 500 mots + bio de 50 mots; 3) jusqu’à trois références clés; 4) jusqu’à cinq mots-clés; 5) la langue dans laquelle vous pourriez soumettre le texte (français et/ou anglais).
                
    Les réponses seront envoyées au mois de septembre.
  2. Les textes complets (25,000-35,000 signes espaces compris, excluant la bibliographie) devront être soumis pour évaluation au plus tard le 1er décembre 2021. Les textes pourront être envoyés à immersivite@gmail.com.

Comité éditorial

Philippe Bédard (Carleton University), Alanna Thain (McGill University) et Carl Therrien (Université de Montréal).

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CALL FOR ARTICLES 

As a follow up to the one-day CLIC (Centre for Literary and Intermediality Crossings) conference on Seriality in December 2020 (keynotes by Jason Mittell and Adil El Arbi), the Spring 2022 issue of Journal for Literary and Intermedial Crossings (JLIC) will focus on Seriality research. 

Guest editors are Ronald Geerts, Anneleen Masschelein, Ernest Mathijs and Bart Nuyens.

The Journal for Literary and Intermedial Crossings (JLIChttps://clic.research.vub.be/en/journal) is an international, peer-reviewed open access journal. It publishes high-quality, innovative research engaging with literary and intermedial phenomena from various methodological angles and a wide range of disciplines including studies on literature, theatre, screenwriting, media and culture. The e-journal is supported by an international editorial board and aimed at an academic readership. JLIC offers an online publication platform to researchers from various fields engaging either directly or indirectly with the study of hybrid literary and/or intermedial phenomena.

Seriality has become “an endemic feature of our twenty-first-century, hypermediated world” (Lindner 2014, ix) permeating contemporary literature, theatre, tv-series, feature films, narrative games, podcasts, YouTube channels, Instagram and other forms of storytelling social media.

Seriality is traditionally associated with repetition and variation. However, our interest seems to have shifted to the dynamic qualities of seriality. What strikes us and interests us today is not so much repetition but evolution, the development of (story) lines. As a result, the narrative aspects of seriality appear to grow in importance, which seems to go hand in hand with the rise of what is covered by the broad umbrella term ‘storytelling’ (sometimes ‘complex storytelling’, e.g. Mittell 2015). Although seriality is often explicitly linked to popular culture (e.g. Kelleter 2017), an increased interest in ‘seriality as a strategy’ can be observed in all kinds of art forms. Seriality also seems to be an important element in multi, cross and transmedial storytelling as serial narrative strategies spill from one media to another. To the idea of a Serial Shakespeare as “an infinite variety of appropriations in American TV drama” (Bronfen 2020) Ivo Van Hove and Internationaal Theater Amsterdam recently added not just their theatrical serial Romeinse Tragedies (2007, Roman Tragedies) in a carefully reworked online streaming version (2021) but also a ‘classic’ weekly -thus not bingeable- ten-episode tv-serial on Dutch television (2021).

No wonder some see emerging a new field of research, seriality studies (Denson 2011).

We welcome academic and artistic research contributions.

Topics for articles might include, but are not limited to:

  • Seriality as an inter-, trans-, cross-media research field, …
  • Seriality and story worlds, …
  • Seriality in anthology series (Black Mirror, True Detective, other, literature), …
  • Seriality in literature: from crime literature to novel cycles (e.g. Proust, Knausgard, Elena Ferrante), …
  • Seriality as research process (theater, dance, performance, writing, eg Luk Perceval, Milo Rau, Michiel Vandevelde, Radouan Mriziga, Kenneth Goldsmith), …
  • Seriality and time (eg Richard Linklater (Boyhood, Before trilogy), François Truffaut (the “Antoine Doinel” films), Michael Apted (Up series), …
  • Seriality and how it influenced the conception of the term “character” (see previous point, but also multiple protagonists, influences on the narrative construction of the character, …
  • Seriality as never-ending story: 1001 nights (also in its many Covid-19 apparitions?), …
  • Seriality as episodicity and seriality-as-franchise: expanding series by developing relatively independent elements. Historical examples (literature, comics, theater, film). How far can one go (cf. the lack of success from recent Star Wars “episodes”)? (Franchising also to ‘occupy the market’, as the producers of the successful series CSI themselves created franchises very quickly, for fear that the story formula would be copied by others.), …
  • Seriality as a tension-building strategy (e.g. in podcasts, in documentaries or docu-fiction) when narrative strategies from fiction are used in documentary series of the type Wild Wild Country, Making a Murderer, De verdwijning van Britta Cloetens). How is its factual character influenced by the fictional narrative strategies?
  • Seriality as a commercial strategy: how an audience’s familiarity with characters, theme, arena and genre generates a customer-binding effect. To what extent is there a tension between the provision of fixed story elements vs variation, surprise, innovation? …
  • Seriality as fragmentation, e.g. p.o.v. storytelling of the same events from different successive narrators, creating repetitions and creating cognitive dissonance, Rashomon, The Leftovers, Westworld, De dag, in film and TV, in literature much older (Faulkner obviously, but also later), …
  • Seriality as in ‘adaptation’, ‘translation’, ‘recycling’, ‘remix’, … (The Bridge; The Office; Flikken (resp. Ghent, Maastricht, Rotterdam) but also e.g. “Serial Shakespeare” as a ‘dramaturg’ of contemporary series, Bronfen 2020), …
  • Seriality in / as social media (podcasts, YouTube vloggers, Instagram storytellers, Twitter poetry), …
  • Seriality and repetition and the tension between offering trusted elements vs necessary variation and progression (see seriality as a commercial strategy), …
  • Seriality in comics (“see album x”), …
  • Seriality in games, …
  • Seriality and poetry, …
  • Seriality and genre, …
  • To be continued … 

 

Academic articles should be between 5,000 and 6,000 words (references and footnotes included) in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian or Spanish. All manuscripts are peer- reviewed. JLIC supports textual as well as multi-media formatting. All work submitted to JLIC should reference and be formatted according to our Author Guidelines. Articles may be submitted in Word format. Figures, video and audio files etc. should be saved separately from the text.

The deadline for articles is 15 October 2021. Please send an abstract of maximum 500 words (in English and, if applicable, also in the language of your article, i.e. Dutch, French, German, Italian or Spanish) and a list of 5 keywords (in the same (two) language(s)) and a 100-word author bio (in English only) to ronald.geerts@vub.be by 1 September 2021.

Potential contributors should bear in mind that a two-stage review process is envisaged for full essays. In the first stage, articles will be reviewed by one of the journal editors. In the second stage, articles will be double-blind peer-reviewed by at least one external anonymous expert referee.

JLIC considers all manuscripts on the strict condition that:

  • The manuscript is your own original work, and does not duplicate any other previously published work, including your own previously published work.
  • the manuscript has been submitted only to the Journal of Literary and Intermedial Crossings; it is not under consideration or peer review or accepted for publication or in press or published elsewhere.
  • The manuscript contains nothing that is abusive, defamatory, libellous, obscene, fraudulent, or illegal.
  • Tthe author has obtained the necessary permission to reuse third-party material in their article. The use of short extracts of text and some other types of material is usually permitted, on a limited basis, for the purposes of criticism and review without securing formal permission. If you wish to include any material in your article for which you do not hold copyright, and which is not covered by this informal agreement, you will need to obtain written permission from the copyright owner prior to submission. 

References:

Lindner, C. 2014. “Foreword.”, Serialization in Popular Culture, edited by R. Allen and T. vanden Berg, ix–xi. Routledge.

Bronfen, E. 2020. Serial Shakespeare. An infinite variety of appropriations in American TV drama. Univ. of Manchester Press

Denson, S. 2011. ““To be continued…”: Seriality and Serialization in Interdisciplinary Perspective”, JLTonline (17.06.2011)

Kelleter, F. (ed). 2017 Media of Serial Narrative. Ohio State Univ. Press

Mittell, J. 2015. Complex TV. The Poetics of Contemporary Television Storytelling. NYU Press

Roman Tragedies, 2007-2021, International Theatre Amsterdam, re: Ivo Van Hove, https://ita.nl/en/shows/romeinse-tragedies/1569929/

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CALL FOR PAPERS

POSTHUMANISM AT THE MARGINS: ON FILM, MEDIA, AND NEW WAYS OF BEING

 

The term posthumanism has, throughout its relatively short lifespan, swelled to encompass any number of definitions and permutations, ranging from a descriptor for a technological afterlife of the “human” to a critical look at ways of being within a wider ecology. The immediate quandary that any scholar of the posthuman faces is the wrangling of a proper definition for such an expansive yet timely topic. It is precisely this ambiguity that we hope to engage with in this issue of Synoptique, as the amorphous idea of the posthuman offers us the chance to re-examine the “human.”

 

Traditionally, posthumanism has remained “committed to a specific order of rationality, one rooted in the epistemological locus of the West” (Jackson 2013, 671). By building upon such legacies of radical perspectives that decentre traditional Western humanist paradigms, such as deanthropocentrism, decoloniality, feminist, and Queer lenses, we aim to place posthumanism in conversation with film and media studies, with the goal of highlighting the historically marginalized perspectives central to this intersection. We believe that film and other new media are uniquely situated to address these sets of questions due to the breadth of disciplines they intersect with, as well as their positions between the technological and the cultural. We invite submissions to consider how different forms of media may challenge, transform, and transcend traditional paradigms of the posthuman; we especially invite submissions of alternative media such as video essays, zines, or other art pieces.

In the midst of a pandemic that has both exacerbated our differences and underscored our interconnectedness – particularly through widespread digital platforms – we might ask how the posthuman may act as a remapping of humanity away from Eurocentric individualism and onto one woven through with networks of relationality first expressed by marginalized communities. This issue of Synoptique looks to re-evaluate the notion of “moving beyond” the “human,” identifying the limitations of the posthuman movement in critical academic discourse – what we are moving away from, who is permitted to be seen as posthuman, what a posthuman world may entail – as well as reframing and renegotiating the normative, hierarchical configurations of the “human” that we wish to transcend (Muñoz 2015).

Drawing on recent work by scholars such as Kathryn Yusoff, Amy Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, and Zakiyyah Iman Jackson, this issue centres marginalized perspectives and stewardship, and departs from Western notions of linear time, uninhibited technological advancement, and individualism. In countering these traditions, we can instead expand upon the posthuman as it pertains to: postcolonial visions and our different places within those futures, technological futures and bodily enhancements, communal networks and infrastructures, ontological reconfigurations of the “human,” and temporal disruptions as decolonial knowledge production, among a vast array of other research areas. In mapping these points of tension, we hope to examine the renewed posthumanist perspectives and pathways forged by their interaction and intersection, which can be seen in works such as Asinnajaq’s “Three Thousand” and her reading of Inuit futurism, as well as Janelle Monáe’s ‘emotion picture’ “Dirty Computer,” which interrogates and queers the idea of cyborg. Through a multiplicity of such approaches including historical surveys, textual analyses, and more, we want to reassess film and media’s place in this conversation in conjunction with new ideas of what posthumanism can do, and it is our hope that you will explore these possibilities alongside us.

We are inviting submissions from scholars of all disciplines to submit works that interrogate the intersection between posthumanism and film and media, and that centre critical lenses including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Critical race and/or postcolonial theory
  • Afro and/or Indigenous futurisms
  • Queer studies
  • Trans studies
  • Feminist and gender studies
  • Disability studies 

We ask how classic sites of interrogation for posthumanist discourse, such as the cyborg and the (post-)apocalyptic, might be re-examined in a new light through these richly vibrant and still under-explored critical formulations. Essays submitted for peer review should be approximately 5,500 – 7,500 words and must conform to the Chicago author-date style (17th ed.). Video essays submitted for peer review are also accepted. All images must be accompanied by photo credits and captions.

We also warmly invite submissions to the review section, including conference or exhibition reports, book reviews, film festival reports, thought pieces and interviews related to the aforementioned topics. All non-peer reviewed articles should be a maximum of 2,500 words and include a bibliography following Chicago author-date style (17th ed.).

Creative works and interventions in the forms of digital video, still imagery, creative writing, and other multimedia forms are also welcome. These works will be embedded on the Synoptique website, and/or otherwise linked to in the PDF version of the journal. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions regarding your submission ideas for the non-peer reviewed section.

All submissions may be written in either French or English.

Please submit completed essays or works to the journal editors (editor@synoptique.ca) and the issue guest editors Brianna Setaro (brisetaro@gmail.com), Jess Stewart-Lee (Jess.stewart-lee@mail.concordia.ca), and Marielle Coleman (marielle.coleman@mail.mcgill.ca) by August 31, 2021.

 

 

APPEL À CONTRIBUTIONS:

Aux frontières du post-humanisme : De nouvelles représentations
de l’être humain dans les nouveaux médias et au cinéma

 

À travers sa vie courte mais riche en recherche, le terme post-humanisme a su se développer pour englober un grand nombre de définitions et de permutations, allant d’une conception de « l’être humain » dans un futur défini par la technologie à un regard critique sur les manières d’être au sein d’une écologie plus large. Le dilemme immédiat auquel chaque chercheur.e.s fait face en étudiant le post-humanisme est qu’il est difficile d’établir une définition exacte de ce sujet aussi vaste que d’actualité. C’est précisément cette ambiguïté que nous espérons aborder dans notre numéro de Synoptique ; puisque l’identité du post-humain reste floue, nous pouvons nous interroger sur les multiples définitions de « l’être humain ».

 

Traditionnellement, le post-humanisme est resté « committed to a specific order of rationality, one rooted in the epistemological locus of the West » (Jackson 2013, 671). En s’appuyant sur l’héritage offert par ce type de perspective radicale, qui a pour objectif de décentrer l’humanisme occidental traditionnel, il devient possible de mettre en avant les théories avancées dans le domaine des études décoloniales, féministes et queer. Cela nous permet de faire entrer le post-humanisme en conversation avec les études cinématographiques et médiatiques, dans le but d’éclairer les multiples perspectives historiquement marginalisées dans cette discussion. Nous pensons que le cinéma et les nouveaux médias sont particulièrement bien placés pour répondre à ces problématiques, en raison de l’étendue des disciplines avec lesquelles ils interagissent, ainsi que leur position entre le technologique et le culturel. Nous invitons les autreur.ice.s souhaiteraient répondre à cet énoncé à examiner comment différentes formes de médias peuvent remettre en question, transformer et surpasser les formulations traditionnelles du post-humanisme. Nous invitons également les contributions à prendre des formes alternatives, telle que des essais vidéo, des magazines ou d’autres œuvres d’art.

 

En sachant que cette pandémie a à la fois exacerbé nos différences et souligné notre interconnectivité – notamment par le biais de plateformes numériques généralisées – nous pouvons nous demander comment le post-humanisme peut être redessiné pour promouvoir une idée de l’humanité loin de l’individualisme eurocentrique. De plus, comment pouvons-nous baser cette nouvelle conception sur des réseaux de relations tissés par les communautés marginalisées ? Ce numéro de Synoptique cherche à réévaluer la notion de « dépassement » de « l’être humain », identifier les limites du mouvement dans le discours académique critique – ce dont nous nous éloignons, qui ou quoi peut être considéré comme post-humain, ce qu’un monde posthumain pourrait impliquer – ainsi que le recadrage et la renégociation des normes hiérarchiques de la définition de « l’être humain » que nous souhaitons transcender (Muñoz 2015).

 

En s’inspirant du travail des chercheur.e.s tels que Kathryn Yusoff, Amy Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, et Zakiyyah Iman Jackson, cette publication se centre sur les perspectives offertes par une directive marginalisée, et s’écarte des conceptions occidentales du temps linéaire, du progrès technologique démesuré et des phénomènes d’individualisme et d’anthropocentrisme. En allant à l’encontre de ces traditions académiques, nous pouvons nuancer le terme de post-humanisme pour qu’il comprenne des sujets variés tels que les visions postcoloniales, les modifications corporelles liées à la technologie, les réseaux et infrastructures communes, les multiples reconfigurations de « l’être humain » ; ainsi que de créer du savoir décolonialisé en renouvelant certaines conceptions partiales du temps. Nous espérons examiner les points de tension qui émergent à l’intersection de toutes ces idées, permettant ainsi une exploration d’une vision du post-humanisme renouvelée. Ces points d’intersection sont particulièrement visibles dans des œuvres telles que « Trois mille » d’Asinnajaq et son interprétation d’un futurisme inuit, ainsi que le film « Dirty Computer » de Janelle Monáe, qui interroge et bouleverse l’idée du cyborg. En se basant sur une variété de méthodologies, y compris enquêtes historiques et analyses textuelles, nous souhaitons réévaluer la place du cinéma et des médias dans cette conversation tout en considérant le rôle du post-humanisme. Nous espérons que vous explorerez ces possibilités à nos côtés.

 

Nous invitons les contributions de chercheur.e.s de toutes disciplines à nous faire parvenir leurs travaux interrogeant l’intersection du post-humanisme avec le cinéma et les médias, et centré sur des aspects critiques tels que :

  • Les études postcoloniales
  • Les futurismes afro et autochtones
  • Les théories queer
  • Les études sur la trans-identité
  • Les études féministes et de genre
  • Les études sur le handicap

Nous souhaitons explorer comment les sites traditionnels d’interrogation du discours post-humaniste, tels que le cyborg et le (post-)apocalyptique, pourraient être réexaminés à travers des formulations critiques et décolonialisées. Les contributions pour la section avec comité de lecture devraient faire environ 5 500-7 500 mots et doivent suivre les directives du style auteur-date de Chicago (17e éd.). Les essais vidéo pour la section avec comité de lecture seront également acceptés. Toutes les images doivent être accompagnées de leur source et d’une légende.

 

Nous invitons également les contributions comprenant des critiques de conférences, d’expositions, de festivals de films, de livres ainsi que des entretiens et réflexions liés aux sujets mentionnés. Les articles sans comité de lecture doivent comporter un maximum de 2 500 mots et inclure une bibliographie suivant le style auteur-date de Chicago (17e éd.).

 

Enfin, les œuvres et interventions créatives sous forme de vidéo numérique, d’images, d’écriture créative et d’autres formes multimédias sont également les bienvenues. Ces œuvres seront intégrées sur le site web de Synoptique, et/ou liées à la version PDF de la revue. N’hésitez pas à nous contacter si vous avez des questions concernant vos idées de soumission pour la section sans comité de lecture.

Toutes les contributions peuvent être rédigées en français ou en anglais.

Veuillez soumettre vos essais ou vos travaux terminés aux éditeurs de la revue (editor@synoptique.ca) et aux rédacteurs invités du numéro Brianna Setaro (brisetaro@gmail.com), Jess Stewart-Lee (Jess.stewart-lee@mail.concordia.ca), et Marielle Coleman (marielle.coleman@mail.mcgill.ca) avant le 31 août 2021.

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Call for papers:
States of Immersion: Bodies, Medias Technologies 

Edited collection — Estimated publication 2023
(Version française ci-bas)

Over five days in October 2020, the conference “Immersivity and Technological Innovations” brought together more than fifty researchers and artists to address questions raised by virtual reality and, more broadly, by immersive media. To tackle the question of media immersivity and its related technological innovations, event participants addressed subjects ranging from the different “ramas” (panoramas, cyclorama, circorama, sensorama, etc.) to artificial intelligence through to a range of extended realities (augmented, virtual, mixed, etc.). The presentations questioned the ‘innovative’ nature of contemporary immersive media, by foregrounding a historical perspective often missing from industry discourses. While the latter continues to feed the fantasy of an ever-more-total immersion, we seek instead to propose a reflection on the role of the body, the media and the technologies of the development of immersion.

The organizing committee of the conference “Immersivity and Technological Innovations” is seeking contributions to bring together our reflections on all types of immersive experiments in a collective work. This proposed edited collection was presented to Santiago Hidalgo, co-director of the collection “Cinema and Technology” (Amsterdam University Press), who confirmed his interest.

Understanding contemporary immersive forms requires a range of approaches aimed at decoding the notion of immersivity through its different sociohistorical, disciplinary, technological and artistic contexts. It is also essential to develop a better understanding of the formation of media fantasies based on the appeal of immersion. How has the notion of immersivity been informed by art history, literature, cinema and video game studies? Do contributions from the field of design and applied sciences map easily onto these conceptions of immersion? What can past experiments in immersive media teach us about this (as yet unfulfilled) fantasy of totally immersive virtual experiences? What roles do bodies, spaces and narrative play in fostering and maintaining immersivity? What are the aesthetic aims of works that take advantage of the latest immersive technologies? What purposes do immersive technologies serve? Have virtual reality and other contemporary avatars of immersion managed, as these practices have become more professionalized, and despite their relatively slow adoption by the general public, to define their frames? Finally, can we recognize, within the emergent and specific conventions of these new forms, techniques of spatialization and storytelling that originate in ancient forms of immersive visual spaces, to use Oliver Grau’s expression?

In the context of the edited collection States of Immersion, we seek contributions that will foster a dialogue between the corporeal, affective and technological aspects of immersion. We encourage proposals that question the novelty of immersivity and those that propose new ways of looking at “immersive” forms of media. We invite contributions that address these issues from one or more of the following perspectives (including but not necessarily limited to):

  • (Pre-)history of immersive media (panoramas, cinéorama, sensorama, cinerama, etc.).
  • The limits of immersivity (challenges and flaws).
  • Psychological and cognitive approaches to the concept of immersivity.
  • The place of the body (agency, incorporation, presence, senses, affect).
  • Large formats (from Monet’s Nymphéas to IMAX).
  • Situating immersivity (sites, spaces and immersive locations).
  • Suspension of disbelief (automatons, conversational agents, Artificial Intelligence)
  • Creating immersivity (screenwriting, programming and the creation of immersive experiences).
  • Economic and logistical challenges of immersivity.
  • Institutionalization of immersive media forms.
  • (Photo)realism and other conventions.
  • Immersive systems in education or training scenarios (medical, military, etc.).
  • Accessibility and safety (universal and inclusive approaches to mediated immersivity).
   Beyond the traditional format of academic essays, we welcome suggestions for other types of reflections, such as interviews with artists working in immersive media or other forms of intellectual engagement that we have not listed here.
If you have an idea for content, we’re all ears!
 

Other information

In addition to the edited collection, we are considering other possibilities for the submissions, depending on the number of proposals we receive and in which language. These include the possibility of a special issue of a journal, depending on the thematic connections across the proposals.  

Submissions

The submission process will have two stages:

  1. First, please submit your proposals to immersivite@gmail.com by July 15, 2021 with the following details: 1) Title; 2) a 500-word proposal + 50 word bio; 3) three key references; 4) up to five keywords; 5) the language in which you would like to submit the text (English and/or French).Responses will be sent in September.
  1. Full papers (25,000-35,000 characters including spaces, excluding bibliography) must be submitted for review by December 1, 2021. Submissions may be sent to immersivite@gmail.com.

Editorial Committee

Philippe Bédard (Carleton University), Alanna Thain (McGill University) and Carl Therrien (Université de Montréal).

 

 


 

Appel à contributions :
L’immersion sous toutes ses formes : corps, médias, technologies

Ouvrage collectif — Publication prévue 2023

Pendant cinq jours en octobre 2020, le colloque « Immersivité et Innovations Technologiques » a réuni plus de cinquante chercheu.r.se.s et artistes autour des questions soulevées par la réalité virtuelle et les médias immersifs en général. Mobilisé.e.s par la question de l’immersivité médiatique et par les innovations technologiques afférentes, les intervenant.e.s de l’événement ont abordé des sujets allant des différents “-ramas” (panoramas, cyclorama, circorama, sensorama, etc.) à l’intelligence artificielle en passant par l’éventail des réalités étendues (augmentée, virtuelle, mixte, etc.). Ces conférences ont su remettre en question le caractère innovant des médias immersifs contemporains en ramenant à l’ordre du jour une perspective historique souvent évacuée dans les discours de l’industrie. Alors que ces derniers continuent d’alimenter le fantasme d’une immersion toujours plus totale, il est de notre ressort de proposer une réflexion sur le rôle du corps, des médias et des technologies dans le développement de l’immersion.

Le comité d’organisation du colloque « Immersivité et Innovations technologiques » vous propose de réunir nos réflexions sur tout type d’expérimentations immersives au sein d’un ouvrage collectif. Ce projet d’anthologie a été présenté à Santiago Hidalgo, codirecteur de la collection « Cinéma et technologie » (Amsterdam University Press), qui nous confirme son intérêt.

Comprendre les formes immersives contemporaines implique un éventail d’approches visant à déchiffrer la notion d’immersivité à travers différents contextes sociohistoriques, disciplinaires, technologiques et artistiques. Il nous apparaît également essentiel de développer une compréhension critique de la formation des fantasmes médiatiques associés à l’immersion. Comment l’histoire de l’art, la littérature, les études cinématographiques ou vidéoludiques ont-elles réfléchi l’immersivité? Est-ce que les apports des sciences du design peuvent s’arrimer facilement avec ces conceptions de l’immersion? Qu’est-ce que les pratiques immersives antérieures nous apprennent de l’idéal (encore irréalisé) d’une expérience virtuelle totalement englobante? Quels rôles le corps, l’espace et le récit jouent-ils dans la production et le maintien d’une expérience immersive? Quelles sont les visées esthétiques des œuvres qui tirent profit des dernières technologies immersives? À quelles fins les fonctions immersives des technologies sont-elles utilisées?  La réalité virtuelle et les autres avatars contemporains de l’immersion sont-ils parvenus, au fil de la professionnalisation de ces pratiques, et malgré leur adoption relativement lente par le grand public, à trouver leur cadre? Finalement,  peut-on reconnaître, au sein des conventions spécifiques à ces nouvelles formes qui émergent actuellement, des techniques de mise en espace et de mise en récit qui trouvent leur origine dans des formes antiques d’espaces imagés immersifs, pour reprendre l’expression d’Oliver Grau?

Dans le cadre de l’anthologie L’immersion sous toutes ses formes, nous sommes à la recherche de contributions qui sauront faire dialoguer les enjeux corporels, affectifs et technologiques de l’immersion. Nous encourageons les propositions qui remettent en question la nouveauté de l’immersivité et celles qui proposent de nouveaux regards sur les formations médiatiques dites « immersives ». Nous invitons les contributions touchant à ces questions dans l’une ou plusieurs des perspectives suivantes (sans nécessairement s’y limiter) :

  • (Pré-)histoire des médias immersifs (panoramas, cinéorama, sensorama, cinerama, etc.).
  • Les limites de l’immersivité (menaces et défauts).
  • Approches psychologiques et cognitives du concept d’immersivité.
  • La place du corps (agentivité, incorporation, impression de présence, les sens, l’affect, l’empathie).
  • Formats surdimensionnés (des Nymphéas à IMAX).
  • Situer l’immersivité (sites, lieux et espaces immersifs).
  • Suspension du jugement critique (automates, agents conversationnels et intelligence artificielle). 
  • Créer l’immersivité (scénarisation, programmation et production d’expériences immersives).
  • Enjeux économiques et logistiques liés à l’immersivité.
  • Institutionnalisation des formes médiatiques immersives.
  • (Photo)réalisme et autres conventions.
  • Systèmes immersifs d’éducation ou d’entraînement (médecine, aéronautique, armée, etc.).
  • Accessibilité et sécurité (approches universelles et inclusives à l’immersivité médiatique).
   Outre les contributions universitaires typiquement attendues dans ce genre d’ouvrage, nous aimerions aussi proposer d’autres types de réflexions, qu’il s’agisse d’entretiens avec des artistes qui œuvrent dans le milieu des médias immersifs ou de toute autre forme de production intellectuelle que nous n’aurions pas considérée.

Si vous avez une idée de contenu, nous sommes tout ouïe!

 

Informations supplémentaires

En plus du projet d’anthologie, nous étudions plusieurs possibilités pour la publication des textes qui seront remis, et ce, en fonction du nombre de propositions et de leur langue. Les options que nous prévoyons incluent la publication d’un ouvrage collectif accompagné d’un numéro de revue thématique, selon les maillages thématiques des propositions reçues.

Soumissions

Le processus de soumission se déroulera en deux temps:

  1. Veuillez d’abord soumettre vos propositions à immersivite@gmail.com au plus tard le 15 juillet 2021 avec les détails suivants :  1) Titre; 2) une proposition de 500 mots + bio de 50 mots; 3) jusqu’à trois références clés; 4) jusqu’à cinq mots-clés; 5) la langue dans laquelle vous pourriez soumettre le texte (français et/ou anglais).
                
    Les réponses seront envoyées au mois de septembre.
  2. Les textes complets (25,000-35,000 signes espaces compris, excluant la bibliographie) devront être soumis pour évaluation au plus tard le 1er décembre 2021. Les textes pourront être envoyés à immersivite@gmail.com.

Comité éditorial

Philippe Bédard (Carleton University), Alanna Thain (McGill University) et Carl Therrien (Université de Montréal).

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For its third issue, The Neutral is soliciting contributions for ‘The Unhuman’

The human body is already unhuman, populated by a microbiome that sustains its life, and yet, discourses of the unhuman are harnessed to draw the parameters of what it means to be human. This construction of the human depends upon what is jettisoned as unhuman in order to reaffirm the position and borders of what or who is considered human, particularly as marginalized groups are subjected to dehumanization. By the term “unhuman,” we aim to invoke an unmaking of the human or category of the human, in keeping with the proliferation of scholarship that has emerged as a response to the posthuman turn in the humanities and the rise of the anthropocene discourse, both of which have been critiqued for not fully engaging pressing issues such as colonialism, race, capitalism, disability, and more.  In this issue of The Neutral, we seek essays that address the unhuman, that think with the unhuman, and in doing so, offer ways of critiquing anthropocentrism, particularly as it is bolstered by a Western, imperialist concept of the human, through moving image media.We also seek to examine how the human is already enfolded within the unhuman, and integrated with its environment, other species, and technology, and imaginings of monstrous and alien life forms.

The distinction between the human and nonhuman animal has long troubled philosophers, including Aristotle, Descartes, Kant, and Heidegger, who have attempted to index attributes that belong to humans alone. Derrida, however, acknowledges the positionality of the animal, an animal that returns one’s gaze. He proposes to examine the relationship between species as an “abyssal rupture,” as a multiplication of differences, which also gestures towards the limitations of what the human can know, and the aporia in its knowledge of other species. And Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of “becoming-animal” which follows their rhizomatic methodology in which they counter prevailing tendencies to categorize organisms according to stable characteristics, instead, opening up to the possibilities of continually shifting relationalities. Other thinkers draw us towards the place where the border of the human collapses, including Julia Kristeva’s abject, Georges Bataille’s eroticism, and Sigmund Freud’s unconscious. Potential papers might ask: How do moving images visualize or theorize the abyssal rupture, or rhizomatic structures? How does film present vegetal or subterrestrial ontologies?

Posthumanism offers philosophical frameworks and practices that have engendered the impetus to decenter traditional human subjectivity and subjecthood, marked temporally as coming after humanism and its search for an essential, universal human subject with sovereign agency. However, the turn towards the study of nonhuman life forms is a premature move for scholars such as Sylvia Wynter and Paul Gilroy, who rightly point out that racialized persons are still struggling to attain recognition of their rights as humans. Afropessimists like Frank B. Wilderson III go further still in asserting that the human is given coherence by anti-Blackness and that the Black/human relation is structurally irreconcilable. Meanwhile, scholars such as Mel Y. Chen take up questions of the nonhuman to illuminate new perspectives on racialized, queer, and differently abled bodies. Potential papers might ask: What limitations or illuminations do discourses of animality, monstrosity, or technologization hold for marginalized populations, and how does moving image media navigate these tensions?

Posthumanism is also symptomatic of a convergence of anti-humanism, post-humanism and post-anthropocentrism within the technological and digital age. Norbert Wiener’s cybernetics or using feedback as a way to communicate with the inhuman produces potentials of understanding technology as systems of interactions. Recognizing sense organs as key components in relations between machine and multispecies life, the use of systems enables a bounded relation of humans, ecology, and machines. Richard Grusin, more recently, in his anthology named The Nonhuman Turn (2015), invites proponents of posthumanism and new materialism to consider that which falls outside the domain of ‘human’ altogether. Contemporary scholarship that emerged in recent years which engages the “other-than-human” often maintains that the continuum between bodies human and nonhuman has been eroded by our ever-increasing entanglements with technology. Yet, it also seems to gesture at the idea that the nonhuman has ultimately always resided within the human. How can we begin to address the ways in which this scholarship remains problematic, for its attempts to expand the prescribed categories of human still perform exclusion? Have we indeed moved past humanism, or simply reworked its main tenets so that it can begin to account for our contemporary moment?

As the representations of what defies “normality,” monsters are aberrations of the human, and such become the site upon which humans work out their anxieties about sexuality, gender, and race. Monstrosity also offers ways of re-examining what constitutes the human, as Jeffrey Jerome Cohen’s “zombie-oriented ontology” emphasizes human corporeality, and thinks through the body as a vessel that has been emptied of its subjecthood. Science fiction also grapples with unhuman life forms, presenting imaginative possibilities of what extra-terrestrial beings might be, from the malevolent forces of epics disaster films to a more nuanced approach that considers the alien as communicating an understanding about what it means to be earthly, to be human, and the human’s responsibilities to its planet. Potential papers might ask: How might we understand horror, sci-fi, and ecocinema in light of thinking beyond the human? What do speculative fictions help us understand about the limitations of being human?

For this issue, ultimately, we ask: What role(s) do film and moving image media play in the construction and/or conceptualization of the unhuman? How does it emerge as both a condition and a discourse? How have the ontological and epistemological pressures that animate the “unhuman” been facilitated, crystallized, and/or reflected by media? 

Please submit completed essays between 5,000-7,000 words in length, including endnotes and citations, as a Word document in Chicago style by registering on our website’s submission portal by July 15, 2021.

 


 

Version Française

Pour son troisième numéro, The Neutral sollicite des contributions pour ‘The Unhuman’

La distinction entre l’animal humain et non-humain a longtemps troublé les philosophes, dont Aristote, Descartes, Kant et Heidegger, qui ont tenté d’indexer des attributs qui n’appartiennent qu’aux humains. Derrida, cependant, reconnaît la positionnalité de l’animal, un animal qui renvoie le regard. Il propose d’examiner la relation entre les espèces comme une « rupture abyssale », comme une multiplication des différences, ce qui signale aussi limites de ce que l’homme peut savoir, et l’aporie dans sa connaissance des autres espèces. Et le concept de « devenir-animal » de Deleuze et Guattari qui suit leur méthodologie rhizomatique dans laquelle ils contrarient les tendances dominantes à catégoriser les organismes selon des caractéristiques stables, ouvrant au contraire les possibilités de relationalités en constante évolution. D’autres penseurs nous entraînent vers là où la frontière de l’humain s’effondre, notamment l’abject de Julia Kristeva, l’érotisme de Georges Bataille et l’inconscient de Sigmund Freud. Des articles potentiels pourraient demander: comment les images en mouvement visualisent-elles ou théorisent-elles la rupture abyssale ou les structures rhizomatiques? Comment le film présente-t-il des ontologies végétales ou souterraines?

Le posthumanisme offre des cadres et des pratiques philosophiques qui ont engendré l’élan pour décentrer les subjectivités humaines traditionnelles et la subjectivité elle-même, marquées temporellement comme venant après l’humanisme et sa recherche d’un sujet humain essentiel et universel avec une action souveraine. Cependant, le tournant vers l’étude des formes de vie non humaines est une décision prématurée pour des universitaires tels que Sylvia Wynter et Paul Gilroy, qui soulignent à juste titre que les personnes racialisées ont encore du mal à obtenir la reconnaissance de leurs droits en tant qu’êtres humains. Des « Afro-pessimistes » (issue de l’Afropessimism) comme Frank B. Wilderson III vont encore plus loin en affirmant que c’est l’anti-noirceur qui rend l’humain cohérent et que la relation Noir / humain est structurellement inconciliable. Pendant ce temps, des chercheurs tels que Mel Y. Chen abordent les questions du non-humain pour éclairer de nouvelles perspectives sur les corps racialisés, queer et ayant des capacités différentes et/ou handicaps. Des articles potentiels pourraient demander: quelles limites ou potentiels éclairages les discours sur l’animalité, la monstruosité ou la « technologisation » présentent-ils pour les populations marginalisées, et comment les images en mouvement permettent-elles de surmonter ces tensions?

Le posthumanisme est également symptomatique d’une convergence de l’antihumanisme, du post-humanisme et du post-anthropocentrisme à l’ère technologique et numérique. La cybernétique de Norbert Wiener ou l’utilisation du feedback comme moyen de communiquer avec l’inhumain produit des potentiels de compréhension de la technologie en tant que systèmes d’interactions. Reconnaissant les organes sensoriels comme des éléments clés dans les relations entre la vie des machines et la vie multi-espèces, l’utilisation de systèmes permet une relation délimitée entre les humains, l’écologie et les machines. Richard Grusin, plus récemment, dans son anthologie intitulée The Nonhuman Turn (2015), invite les partisans du posthumanisme et du nouveau matérialisme à considérer ce qui ne relève pas du domaine de « l’humain ». La recherche contemporaine qui a émergé ces dernières années et qui engage « l’autre qu’humain » soutient souvent que le continuum entre les corps humains et non humains a été érodé par nos enchevêtrements toujours croissants avec la technologie. Pourtant, elle semble également suggérer l’idée que le non-humain a finalement et ultimement toujours résidé dans l’humain. Comment pouvons-nous commencer à aborder la manière dont ces courants et discours académiques restent problématiques, car leurs tentatives d’élargir les catégories prescrites d’humains continuent d’exclure? Avons-nous en effet dépassé l’humanisme, ou simplement retravaillé ses principes fondamentaux pour qu’il puisse commencer à rendre compte de notre moment contemporain?

En tant que représentations de ce qui défie la « normalité », les monstres sont des aberrations de l’humain et deviennent ainsi le site sur lequel les humains développent leurs inquiétudes concernant la sexualité, le sexe et la race. La monstruosité offre également des moyens de réexaminer ce qui constitue l’humain, car « l’ontologie orientée zombie » ou « zombie oriented ontology » (dans son anglais original) de Jeffrey Jerome Cohen met l’accent sur la corporéité humaine et pense à travers le corps comme un vaisseau vidé de sa subjectivité. La science-fiction engage aussi des formes de vie inhumaines, présentant des possibilités imaginatives de ce que pourraient être les êtres extraterrestres, des forces malveillantes des films catastrophes et épiques, à une approche plus nuancée qui considère l’extraterrestre comme communiquant une compréhension de ce que signifie être terrestre, être humain, et les responsabilités de l’homme envers sa planète. Des articles potentiels pourraient demander: Comment pourrions-nous comprendre l’horreur, la science-fiction et l’écocinéma à la lumière d’une pensée qui va au-delà de l’humain? Qu’est-ce que les fictions spéculatives nous aident à comprendre sur les limites de l’être humain?

Pour ce numéro, ultimement, nous demandons: quel (s) rôle (s) les médias cinématographiques et de l’image animé jouent-ils dans la construction et / ou la conceptualisation du un-humain? Comment émerge-t-il à la fois comme condition et comme discours? Comment les pressions ontologiques et épistémologiques qui animent le un-humain sont-elles facilitées, cristallisées et / ou reflétées par les médias?

Veuillez soumettre les articles composés entre 5 000 et 7 000 mots, y compris les notes de fin et les citations sous forme de document Word dans le style de Chicago à submission portal avant le 15 juillet 2021.

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The UC Santa Barbara Media Fields Collective is excited to announce the call for papers for issue 17 of Media Fields: Critical Explorations of Media in Space.


Please email submissions to submissions@mediafieldsjournal.org by June 4, 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

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100 Years of 16mm – Call for Papers

With its devices and materials largely consigned to archives, storage closets, and junk shops, it is easy to forget that 16mm was – for over 50 years – a major global media infrastructure. Considered an ascendant technological platform from the 1920s onward, 16mm was a suite of hardware and software that rapidly wended its way into the operations of government, industry, business, military, schools, museums, and homes. Sold as an amateur’s delight, a mighty military tool of operations, a miraculous business solution and a community organizing device, it transformed realms large and small, public and private, local and global. By mid-century, millions of 16mm cameras and projectors had launched countless new audio-visual forms and created everyday interfaces that reshaped how and what people would see and hear. New kinds of content arose, which appeared in remote as well as common places. Audiences morphed; They could be as small as one but as big as the formal and informal networks that grew to connect them.  Colonialist, imperialist, nationalist, and multi-nationalist institutions arose using this non-flammable, highly portable film format. Artists and activists also engaged these small affordable media machines establishing other, and sometimes, counter-pathways. Standardized in 1923, 16mm technologies, institutions, and practices constituted a primary and dominant media substrate for more than half a century, enabling a vast arena of film and media activity.

 

It’s time for a more fulsome assessment of its legacies.

 

This IN FOCUS  (Journal of Cinema and Media Studies) invites proposals for essays addressing the crucial, generative, and transformative history of 16mm film as a tool of making, storing, preserving, distributing, and showing moving images and sounds.  For almost 100 years, this uniquely important film format has upended and reshaped a vast realm of creative, political, governmental, sexual, educational, recreational, informational, and experimental activity. This dossier begins a conversation about its histories and impact, working to catalyze a fuller understanding of this particular moving image/sound infrastructure and the many practices and expressive forms it enabled.  Mapping its lasting, diverse and global impacts will be a priority of this IN FOCUS feature. Contributions may take the form of case studies or surveys, conceptual explorations, formal/artistic examinations, or institutional and technological studies.

 

Please share a brief 150-word abstract or statement of interest by March 31, 2021.

 

Send to: Haidee Wasson (haidee.wasson@concordia.ca)

Professor, Film and Media Studies, Concordia University, Montreal

 

Final Essays: 2500 words; due January 1, 2022

 

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The UC Santa Barbara Media Fields Collective is excited to announce the call for papers for issue 17 of Media Fields: Critical Explorations of Media in Space.


Please email submissions to submissions@mediafieldsjournal.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
 
 
Mary Michael and Charlotte Orzel
Issue Co-Editors
Media Fields Journal
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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 laura.e.stamm@gmail.com by February 1st. I am also happy to answer any questions. 

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CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS
 

Queer Emergencies

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

  • Name

  • Institutional or other affiliation (if applicable)

  • Presentation format (i.e. paper, roundtable, workshop, creative)

  • Presentation title

  • 250 word abstract

  • Email address you can be contacted at

  • Accessibility needs

 

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/

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