Anthropologies of Media and Mobility: Theorizing movement and circulations across entangled fields

A two-day, interdisciplinary workshop
14-16 September, 2017 at The University of Cologne, Germany
Abstracts for papers due Monday, 3 April, 2017
Download the CFP here or just read on…

Call for Papers

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.

Organised by the EASA ANTHROMOB and the EASA Media Anthropology Network in collaboration with DFG Research Training Group Locating Media (U Siegen) and a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School for the Humanities (U Cologne).