Anthropologies of Media and Mobility:
Theorizing movement and circulations across entangled fields
An International Workshop organized by the Anthropology and Mobility Network and the Media Anthropology Network (EASA) in collaboration with Locating Media (Siegen) and a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School (Cologne)
University of Cologne, Germany
14-16 September 2017
This international workshop seeks to theorize the relationship between media and mobility. While mobility has been defined as movement ascribed with meaning, one might in similar fashion define media as meaning ascribed with movement. Interrogating the linkages between media and mobility can enable more thorough understandings of how various power structures produce, transform and reproduce social, material and discursive orders. People, devices, and data are increasingly on the move – movements that may transgress borders and boundaries, but which are also integral to the constitution and regulation of the barriers themselves. The movement of people triggers new imaginaries of territories and social spaces, which circulate through media, questioning and forging new ties between people, signs and things. More broadly, the mobilisation of tangible and intangible things demands a reconceptualization of what a 'thing’ is, what constitutes the human, and what defines human collectivity. In such circumstances, reimagining circulations through the lens of media and mobility becomes an important step towards understanding current socio-cultural and political changes. While this lens has been applied broadly within anthropological research, its theoretical consequences merit further investigation and discussion.
With a focus on a comparative approach, this workshop invites papers that rethink the theoretical underpinnings of media and mobility studies in anthropology. In particular, we hope to encourage papers based on multidisciplinary and mixed-methods research between social anthropology and other disciplines, including sociology, geography, communication studies, and the digital humanities. We aim to select presentation proposals, across a wide variety of formats, from early and mid-career scholars. Possible topics represented could include (but are hardly limited to):
- Theoretical discussions that connect (or disconnect) media and mobility;
- Empirical case studies that contribute to the conceptualisation of media and mobility;
- Ethnographic research that brings into relief the politics of media and mobility;
- Comparative studies that challenge Anglophone and Eurocentric theorizations of media and mobility;
- Practice-based demonstrations of experimental approaches to thinking through media and mobility;
- Contributions on media and mobility that engage with broader theoretical debates in social and political theory.
In addition to paper presentations with discussion, we would like to encourage audio/visual, sensory and experimental formats that speak to the conference theme. Please specify the technical and spatial needs for your presentation in your proposal.
The workshop will take place over two days at the University of Cologne, which is extremely accessible by both air and train transport. Some bursaries will be made available thanks to contributions from both the University of Siegen’s Locating Media graduate school and EASA.
Abstracts for papers (max. 300 words), listing your institutional affiliation and position, should be sent by email a Word .doc attachment by Monday 3 April, 2017 to mediamobilityworkshop[at]gmail.com. If you would like to be considered for a travel bursary, please add a few sentences below your abstract regarding why you require funding consideration.
EASA2016 in Milan: Media Anthropology's Legacies and Concerns (Budka, Ardevol & Postill)
In 2015, John Postill, Philipp Budka and Elke Mader organised a workshop entitled “Theorising Media and Conflict” at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the University of Vienna. The workshop was supported by EASA, the Austrian Research Association (ÖFG) and the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the University of Vienna. Selected papers of this workshop will be published in an edited volume edited by Postill, Budka, and Birgit Bräuchler (under review with Berghahn's Anthropology of Media Series). Together with the EASA Anthropology and Mobility Network, the Media Anthropology Network is organising the workshop “Anthropologies of Media and Mobility: Theorizing Movement and Circulations Across Entangled Fields” which will take place from 14-16 September, 2017 at the University of Cologne (https://mediamobility.wordpress.com/). This two-day workshop is organised in collaboration with DFG Research Training Group Locating Media (University Siegen) and a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School for the Humanities (University of Cologne) and supported by EASA.
The workshop was generously supported by EASA, the Austrian Research Association (ÖFG) and the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the University of Vienna.
EASA2014 in Tallinn: Panel Media Futures: Media Anthropology of, for and Through the Notion of 'Future' (Elisenda Ardevol, Budka & Debora Lanzeni)
Report from a workshop and e-seminar (Nov/Dec 2013)
Between 2014 and June 2017 the Media Anthropology Network organised and hosted 15 e-seminars via its mailing list (+1,500 subscribers). The topics ranged from youth in the media city to social media as practices. In 2016, the Network organized a joint e-seminars with the American Anthropological Association's Digital Anthropology Group and its Committee for the Anthropology of Science, Technology & Computing on “Facebook as Research Field and Research Platform”. All e-seminar documents can be downloaded for free at http://www.media-anthropology.net/index.php/e-seminars