Call for Researchers: ICAS:MP, Media and the Constitution of the Political (TM 7)

ICAS:MP, TM7 (Thematic Module 7), invites applications for junior researcher positions. These are for archival collections, ethnographic research and interviews, and legal research, under the supervision of module coordinators Ravi Vasudevan (CSDS) and Srirupa Roy (University of Goettingen). The thematic focuses of the research include:

Social Media, Data and Information Infrastructures

This project looks at data and information infrastructures that have emerged from the rise of social media. The expansion of social media and low-cost mobile phones has seen rapidly growing data collection infrastructures at all points in India. Governments have been modernising data collection while addressing paper-based systems. Private companies work with a host of smaller intermediaries and advanced analytics to analyse and make sense of data.  Networks that work with mobile phones increasingly rely on a steady stream of data about user experiences. Research sites may include government information systems, small scale data collection agencies, media companies, new start-ups that take social media experiences as a significant site of their work. Researchers should be able to combine field work with an interest in conceptual issues posed by social and digital media.

Crowds, Media and Democracy

Research will focus on crowd formations in and through media, from photography and poster art through newsreel and fiction film and sonic technologies such as loudspeakers, to video and the contemporary virality of social media circulation and aggregation. It will explore how media have been deployed to capture, project, invite identification with and mobilize people as mass formations. The project will explore a range of media archives, and their framing by key categories of political discourse, crowd, mass, procession, assembly, riot, uprising, revolution; how they are attached to legal discourse, evidence, culpability, and contest; and how they relate to the political, in terms of tracking key sites, vectors and scales of transformation.

Media in Times of War

This project will explore the relationship between war, media technologies, and the register of the political. Our aim will be to look at how media – radio programmes, photographs and posters, newsreel, propaganda, instructional, educational and fiction films, video film, websites, blogs  and social media – capture and reflect on war, at the front, in barracks and camps, but also in the relation between “home” and the front, as zones which produce men, material and affect. We are also interested in the latency of war, as in the dispersal, distribution, and supra-legal shoring up of military force into border regions, and through paramilitary networks. We are interested in levels of information and publicity about military and paramilitary forms, the levels of visibility and secrecy through which the relationship of the civil and the military is calibrated. We are also interested in the entanglement of media technology with war – as technologies of vision, of seeing and targeting, of listening and surveillance, as deployed by humans and machines – and in the overlap of peace-time and war-time technologies.

Law and Media

This project addresses the penetration of law by media, ie, where law has more than an external and regulatory relationship to media, but is a sphere whose material forms, practices and symbolic edifice are constituted by media. Here, we would like to consider how police stations, legal practices, law courts, forensic procedures and cyber-labs become the site for a variety of media practices, discourses about media, and relate to the complicated phenomena of the media trial.  Scholarship attentive to law and its cultural forms has noted how the court has a certain theatrical quality, in its formal and ritual qualities of performance. It also acquires a cinematic force in the articulation of the visual, the visceral, and the verbal, as it re-expresses the boundaries of permissible discourse in adjudicating censorship. In this project we propose to research more broadly the media form of the world of law: in legislative acts, first information reports and police diaries, judicial pronouncements, case law and file work. We will research paper and speech, graphics and indexical traces, and the status of recorded speech on tape, cassette, as audio-file, new analytic engagements with the voice, and the use of analog and digital video as evidence. We propose ethnographic research, legal research into legislations and case law, and archival research.

Journalism after the Emergency

In collaboration with ICAS: MP Thematic Module 3 on democracy, researchers will be invited to work with, classify and add to interviews conducted with leading journalists going back to the time of the Indian Emergency, 1975-1977.

Research will be conducted under the supervision of module coordinators. The duration of research, and the level of compensation, will be determined by project needs and researcher experience. Send a statement of purpose of one page, indicating how you would contribute to any of these research themes, along with a CV, to:

Laila Abu-Er-Rub, Head of Administration, ICAS:MP abu-er-rub@mwsindia.org

The deadline has been extended to 25 November 2018.

For more,  see the page at Sarai

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CFP: Conference “Towards Extinction, To Ward Off Extinction” at CECILLE, Lille, France

Towards Extinction, To Ward Off Extinction

An International Conference organised by CECILLE (Centre d’Etudes en Civilisations, Langues et Lettres Étrangères)

 

7-9 November 2019
Université de Lille SHS, France

Convened by: Thomas Dutoit (CECILLE), Sarah Jonckheere (CECILLE/IdA), and Laura Lainväe (EMMA)

Keynote speakers:
Sarah Wood, co-editor and advisory board of OLR and Angelaki, UK

Jesse Oak Taylor, University of Washington, USA

 

Towards Extinction, To Ward Off Extinction

 

More than 99 percent of all species that have inhabited the Earth are estimated to be extinct (Beverly Peterson Stearns and Stephen C. Stearns). Hence, extinction cannot be reduced to futuristic scenarios only: it is at same time present (species are going extinct right now), present in absence (with the traces left behind by past extinctions), and awaiting in the future (extinction of multiple species and their habitats because of the human-caused climate change). Those past, present, and future extinctions construct a complex web of life and death, of coexistence and coextinction.

Extinction is thus an event that is complex, multiple, and haunting, if only because of the ambivalent responses it draws forth. On the one hand, doomsayers express a self-annihilating desire for extinction and consider that humanity is fast-set on a fateful, timely death-course. On the other hand, eco-minded people still hope to find that railroad switch which would allow for a last-minute alteration of mankind’s trajectory. This desire for the quenching out of the human race, along with the concomitant attempts at averting the end, might be symptomatic of the very uncanniness and plurality of extinction itself.

More generally, this attraction/repulsion reaction towards extinction might in fact point to the way one can approach it: to make the unavoidable avoidable, one ought to think about it; in other words, it is necessary to extend one’s thoughts towards extinction in order to ward off extinction. Thought radiates at the core of extinction.

One might argue that it is lack of thinking, and more importantly lack of thinking otherness (i.e.non-human species), coupled with a sinister capitalistic greed, that brought about the Anthropocene: indeed, as early as the Industrial Era, man’s inherently constitutive role in the fashioning of the then-discovered geological record became evident. Extinction was thereby written into our modern concept of time. Even as the concept of anthropogenic agency emerged, mankind’s invention of modern science, and especially evolution, had a gory impact upon animals, violently translating them into species and media through brutal processes of killing, excoriating, eviscerating, etc. (Jesse Oak Taylor).[1]

As humans, we need to be aware of our power to rewrite the earth with pollution, overfarming, deforestation etc.; but we should not forget that we are not only the infamous influencers of the earth, but also the readers of the earth: reading the geological strata, reading fossils, reading animal traces, and reading the consequences of climate change.

One might even aver that the next great extinction is a literary event:it can always only, and by definition, be imagined because if it were to happen actually, there would be no humans left to do the imagining.

This conference will attempt to open up new avenues to alter our ways of thinking about the earth and thinking about otherness in a more eco-responsible way: instead of wounding, the emphasis will be put on caring, on caring for the other, and with the other. Underlying this conference is the urgent need to undermine and decentre all anthropocentric views of human exceptionalism in order to reassess such notions as empathy and responsibility: how can one (take) care and be responsible for the earth? How can we implement an environmental ethics in order to stave off extinction? How does extinction force us to be responsible, not only for present-day non-human species but also to take responsibility and respond for dead species? How can literature make us more responsible readers and writers of the earth?

 

We welcome 20-minute papers that could include but are not limited to the following topics across a wide range disciplinary areas:

 

  • thinking extinction, extinction as possibility of impossibility, or impossibility of possibility
  • ambivalence of extinction
  • records and traces of extinction
  • sensationality of extinction
  • extinction and cinema
  • climate change and extinction
  • extinction and repetition
  • literature, responsibility, and extinction
  • extinction and responsibility

Proposals of about 300 words together with a short biographical note (50 words) in Word or PDF format should be sent to towards.extinction.lille2019@gmail.com by January 1st, 2018. Files should be named and submitted in the following manner:

Submission.FirstNameLastName.docx (or .doc or .pdf)

 

Example:“Submission.JaneDoe.docx”


[1]As Jesse Oak Taylor explains, “[i]n order for species to take shape, animals first had to become specimens. The “type” had to be abstracted from the individual life as that life was converted physically and violently into a sign (“Tennyson’s Elegy for the Anthropocene: Genre, Form, and Species Being).

Call for full papers of ZER Journal on TV

ZER is a semi-annual journal on communication edited by the Basque
Public University and it is beginning a transformation stage. Among its
new objectives, the journal will focus on highlight specific topics. It
is not related to monographs, so ZER will continue to publish articles
focused on communication. ZER is inviting a call for papers for issue
46, May 2019, from scholars whose research interest connects with
television. In recent decades, some voices have warned about the future
of television and audiovisual media and have questioned its media
centrality.

ZER aims to address the process of reconfiguration and adaptation of the
contemporary television panorama. These are the suggested topics:

-Changes in content production and new professional challenges
-Multiple forms of distribution and different business models
-TV and new forms of consumption: speed watching, multiple devices
-The challenge of public, local, community and regional television
channels. New financing strategies
-New television platforms, new formats and new narratives
-Changes in the relationship of information and entertainment
-Big Data and television.
-Social networks and participation
-Communication Politics on regional, state and community fields
-The big global changes: blockchain

The deadline for ZER applications is March 31th, 2019. The originals may
be sent in English, Basque and Spanish. The information for the
registration and sending of originals can be found at
http://www.ehu.eus/ojs/index.php/Zer/information/authors

Guest editor: PhD Andoni Iturbe Tolosa (Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea /
University of the Basque Country)