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CFP: “The Political Screen” Screens Conference

Deadline: September 15th

Details Below _________________________________________________________________

London Screen Studies Group The Political Screen University of London, 19-20th June 2015.

“Screen media, emerging in industrialized ways in the course of the second industrial revolution, is increasingly ubiquitous. Our access to understanding the world, and the political and economic forces that shape it, has been and is increasingly mediated by screens: from cinema, to television, to digital media (including new forms of “social” media and gaming), the world is frequently filtered through the visual and the screen. Indeed, those very screens themselves are caught up in histories of extractive and exploitative capital, such as, just for example, the coltan dug largely from post-imperial and yet conflict torn Democratic Republic of Congo that is essential to the construction of “smartphones” and other electronic screen devices. Elite and powerful institutions, notably states and corporations, have sought to produce and control screen media. Various forms of “propaganda” and censorship is produced and enacted around the world. Corporate sponsorship finances much screen media production in the industrialized west. Yet, simultaneously, the elite control of screen media has been, and is, contested by oppositional and radical groups who produce and use screen media to challenge power. This conference examines these complex, intertwined, histories and current practices in order to contribute to newly politicized screen and screen studies practices. What are the histories of the elite use of screen media? What screen media has been produced by dominant groups? How do these groups seek to control and shape screen media culture? What ways has this been, and can this be, contested? What are the current practices that best contest dominant power?

We hope to examine these issues across the history of industrialized screen media, from the late nineteenth century, and across the world and different political and economic regimes. We seek papers that cross the disciplinary borders of media, cultural, and film studies, and that re-engages questions of power, representation, ideology with those about technology, regulatory, and political-economic processes. In doing so the conference hopes also to begin to re-examine those disciplinary borders in the goal of producing a more politically useful capacious media studies that contributes to the urgent necessity of political and economic transformation.

We invite paper and panel proposals that address these broad issues, and that might, for example, examine:

  1. Propaganda and documentary

  2. Censorship and surveillance

  3. State media

  4. The control of copyright and intellectual property

  5. The histories of Film, Media, and Cultural Studies

  6. Radical media production

  7. Authoritarian/fundamentalist/far right media

  8. Media and Development

  9. Activism online

  10. New documentary practices

  11. State/media interactions across the world

The conference is hosted by the Screen Studies Group at the University of London and will be held at UCL and LSE. Please send a one page proposal and short bio to Shaku Banaji at, and Lee Grieveson at by September 15th 2014.”

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