The deadline for the CFP has now passed
CALL FOR PAPERS / CALL FOR PROJECTS: MARXISM AND NEW MEDIA
DUKE UNIVERSITY PROGRAM IN LITERATURE (DURHAM, NC) JANUARY 20 & 21, 2012 KEYNOTES: ALEX GALLOWAY (NYU), RICARDO DOMINGUEZ (UCSD), and McKENZIE WARK (Eugene Lang College/The New School). DEADLINE FOR ABSTRACTS: OCTOBER 30, 2011
New media technologies are leading to the emergence of vibrant public spaces in countries like China and Tunisia, channeling previously restricted dissent and political deliberation. Similarly, scholars, journalists, and activists are using networking and social media to organize coalitions and mobilize resistance in contexts as diverse as the Wisconsin protests, the Wall Street protests, and the so-called “Arab Spring.” In an ironic self-critique, smart-phone applications like the newly released “Phone Game” expose the global working conditions and technology’s problematic material production through its very gameplay. With the implicit resistance to hegemony and material critique in these examples, we find that Marxism offers both methodological and interpretive tools to interface with new media, not least among them the dialectical analysis of global relations of production. However, writing in the Nation, Chris Lehmann has recently argued that the Internet is less the harbinger of a post-capitalist cyber-Utopia than a “digital plantation” in which unpaid digital labor (and leisure time) becomes transmogrified into ad revenue. In their article, “The Internet’s Unholy Marriage to Capitalism,” John Bellamy Foster and Robert W. McChesney argue that the Internet and related media are not merely the suspension of the laws of capitalism, but rather its final perfection.
It seems, then, that a number of unresolved questions remain concerning the ways new media both participates in and resists institutional power. For example: how should we consider the economic, environmental, and human costs incurred in the production of new media technologies? How might resistance and radical change emerge among the ongoing institutionalization, and the incumbent conservatism, of both Marxism and new media studies? How will we navigate through the internal divisions of an academy that has eagerly appropriated new media as an attempt to “reinvigorate” the humanities through renewed funding and (often) corporate partnership?
We invite papers and creative/artistic work that address these issues and others that deal with the engagement of Marxist thought and the study of media technologies. Our objective is to provide a fresh articulation and re-interrogation of the theories and practices within both New Media and Marxism. Papers may intervene at points of seeming incompatibility, address the current place of this convergence in one or many institutional and cultural settings, or perhaps look forward to emerging discourses relating to this intersection.
Possible paper, project, and panel topics might include:
• New Opportunities for Resistance, Wikileaks, Hacking and Hacktivism, Pirate Culture, the Arab Spring, the Jasmine Revolution, and Anonymous
• Immaterial Labor, User-Generated Content, the Knowledge Worker, Affective Labor, Precariousness and “the Precariat,” the Digital Plantation, and the Attention Economy
• Intellectual Property, Copyright, Creative Commons, Open Access and Open Source Practices, and Virtual Property
• New Forms of Collectivity, Wikipedia, Crowdsourcing, Flash Mobs, Smart Mobs, and Partcipatory Journalism
• New Regimes of Control, Censorship, Filtering, Firewalls, and Search Engine Rankings • New Media Art • Critical Code Studies • Biomedicine and biometrics
• Energy, Ecology, Tech Trash • The Open University
• ‘Re-visualizing’ Marxism • Ideology, Contact Zones, and Interfaces
Please send a 250-500 word abstract to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 30, 2011.
Zach Blas Gerry Canavan Amanda Starling Gould Rachel Greenspan Melody Jue
Lisa Klarr Clarissa Lee John Stadler Michael Swacha Karim Wissa