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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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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
  • petrocultures
  • 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.

Submission Guidelines

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.

All submissions must be sent to imaginations@ualberta.ca and copied to mrln@yorku.ca and bbellamy@ualberta.ca. Please include a separate sheet with short biographical and contact information. Media can be emailed as an attachment or accessible by hyperlink.

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.

Contact Us

Please direct questions and inquiries to issue editors Emily Roehl (e.a.roehl@gmail.com) and Rachel W. Jekanowski (rjekanowski@mun.ca).

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The Media Architecture Biennale (MAB) is the world’s premier event on media architecture, urban interaction design, and urban informatics. It brings together architects, artists and designers, leading thinkers on urban design, key industry and government representatives as well as community activists. Together, they explore the design and role of media in the built environment and its implications for urban communities and ecosystems.

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.
 
The theme of MAB’s 6th edition is Futures Implied, which opens up investigations into future scenarios implied in today’s urban transformations and emerging technologies like digital platforms, responsive technologies and smart city promises. How can we shape technologies and spaces to respond to their surroundings, contributing to cities that are both socially and ecologically sustainable? The point of departure is that technologies are never neutral enablers, they are built upon numerous spoken and unspoken assumptions about urban life, each with their own implications for both social relations as well as their effect on the natural ecosystem.

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
Click Here for more info >>
 

MAB20 is organized by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and the [urban interfaces] group at Utrecht University, in collaboration with the Media Architecture Institute.

Join the MAB-Community on  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn

For more information, visit www.mab.org or contact us via info@mab20.org

 
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