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CFP Para|Sites: Locations and Dislocations of Media

The 2013 Neil Postman Graduate Conference | New York University | February 22, 2013 CFP Deadline: November 18, 2012 

“Networks are within the movement, with other movements around the world, with the Internet blogosphere, with the media and with society at large. Networking technologies are meaningful because they provide the platform for this continuing, expansive networking practice that evolves with the changing shape of the movement.”

— Manuel Castells, Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age (2012)

The 2013 Neil Postman Graduate Conference takes Para|Sites: Locations and Dislocations of Media as its theme.

Para|Sites aims to examine media practices that transform what is regulated and controlled, actions that reveal and exploit gaps in existing social, cultural, political and educational frameworks. “Para” indicates that which is to one side of, beyond, or alongside. This conference addresses the ways that media practices can subvert, recode, co-opt, and reroute networks, systems, and traditional media structures to achieve social and cultural agendas. At times these practices can occur at the expense of particular hosts: they exhibit “parasitical” behaviors in order to move into—or through—spaces in ways they cannot on their own. They can also generate alternative structures and divergent networks (“para-sites”) that facilitate undisciplined and innovative practices.

As a field, media studies can be considered para-sited, hosting conflicts and confluences, challenging the very idea of disciplines, borders and identity. This conference aims to also look at possibilities in the field of media studies within disjunctures, dislocations, disruption, and crises, producing potentialities and alternatives.

Possible topics and topic areas include (but are not limited to): “Para— ” individuals, groups, organizations, collectives exploiting/co-opting; counter-visualities, para-academia, disability studies, alt-porn, or ethnographic states of exception. “Sites” as the locations, habitats, and networks being exploited; limits and borders, new materialisms, digital ethnographies, and informal economies. “Media Studies” as host and/or para-site; disciplinary intersections, cybernetics, blogging, digital humanities.

Keynote: Manuel Castells, Wallis Annenberg Chair in Communication Technology and Society at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, will deliver the Keynote Speech. Castells will speak about networked social movements and communication power from his recent book Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age.

The New York University Department of Media, Culture, and Communication invites graduate students, academics, activists, workers, and artists to submit conference paper proposals. The conference will be held on February 22, 2013 at NYU. Paper proposal submissions (no more than 300 words) should be sent by November 18, 2012 to (with “Call for Papers” in the subject). We also welcome ideas for artwork on the theme to be displayed during the conference.

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