[artinfo] Call for Papers: Rethinking Power in Communicative Capitalism
marisol.sandoval at uti.at
Tue Feb 16 11:22:23 CET 2016
Call for Papers
Rethinking Power in Communicative Capitalism.
Critical Perspectives on Media, Culture and
ESA RN18 Mid-Term Conference 2016
Venue: ISCTE - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
Date: September 8-10, 2016
Jodi Dean (Hobart and William Smith Colleges, NY,
USA): Communicative capitalism and class struggle
Christian Fuchs (University of Westminster, UK):
Karl Marx and communicative capitalism
Abstract submission deadline: May, 15, 2016
Notification of selected abstracts: June, 10, 2016
Conference dates: September 8-10, 2016
Please send your 250-400 words abstract to Romina
Surugiu (University of Bucharest)
romina.surugiu at fjsc.ro, Roy Panagiotopoulou
(University of Athens) rpanag at media.uoa.gr, and
Marisol Sandoval (City University London)
marisol.sandoval.1 at city.ac.uk
Call for Papers:
The proliferation of digital media in the 21st
century has once again shown the deeply
ambivalent and contradictory potentials of
Digital technologies have been celebrated for
enabling new levels of democratic communication,
participatory media production, community
building and media activism. From Wikipedia, to
open source programming, open access publishing,
and peer-to-peer file sharing, we have witnessed
the rise of a range of alternative forms of
communication and media production that seemed to
challenge established media business models and
momentarily contested corporate power.
However, far from decreasing the dominance of
corporate media, the expansion of digital
culture, the Internet and social media further
strengthened the power of multinational
corporations over media culture and human
communication. Despite the rhetoric of 'social'
media, sharing, community and collaboration, the
majority of the digital media sphere remains
privately owned and controlled. In this corporate
media system, multinational corporations maintain
almost exclusive control over large parts of the
media and communication technology,
infrastructure and content.
Power in communicative capitalism is uneven and
corporate control confronts us with a range of
problems such as the systematic surveillance of
Internet users, an increasingly commercialised
online environment, devastating environmental
impacts of the production and usage of media
technologies and the global exploitation of
digital labour. (Digital) media technologies are
deeply entangled with the on-going economic,
social, environmental and political crises.
Mobilising the empowering qualities of digital
technologies and their potential to contribute to
progressive social change requires an effective
critique of corporate dominance, challenging
power inequalities and strengthening radical
This conference invites contributions that offer
a critical analysis of corporate media culture
and alternatives to it and thus contribute to
rethinking power in communicative capitalism.
Questions that can be addressed include, but are
not limited to the following ones:
- Theorizing communicative capitalism
How does power work in communicative capitalism,
how can it be theorised and rethought?
- Ideology in communicative capitalism
What are the main forms of ideology in
communicative capitalism and how do they operate
in the media? Which forms and approaches of
ideology critique do we need to understand them?
How are contemporary right-wing extremist,
far-right populist, fascist, neoliberal,
patriarchal, racist, anti-socialist,
pro-capitalist and religious ideologies expressed
on the Internet and social media and what are the
ways of expressing their petitions for
- The environmental impact of communicative capitalism
What are the environmental impacts of the
production of media and communication
technologies along global supply chains? What are
the environmental impacts of media usage and
'cloud computing'? What are key drivers of
negative environmental impacts and how can they
- Labour in communicative capitalism
How does exploitation and alienation work in
communicative capitalism? What is the relation
between various forms of digital labour? How do
working conditions look like in the global
production of media and communication
technologies? What are the limits and potentials
of a global solidary labour movement in
communicative capitalism? How can we best think
of the relation between work and communication,
labour and profit, the economy and culture? How
do we have to rethink or even revise the concepts
of the "base" and the "superstructure"?
- Marxism and communicative capitalism
What is the role, importance and legacy of Karl
Marx's works and Marxist theory in the age of
- Gender and sexuality in communicative capitalism
What is the role of and relationship of identity
politics and anti-capitalism for feminist media
- Global perspectives on communicative capitalism
What global power inequalities and asymmetries shape communicative capitalism?
- Communicative capitalism and the public sphere
How can we best theorise and understand
potentials and limits for the mediated public
sphere in communicative capitalism?
- Media and communicative capitalism
How have the media changed in recent years? Are
there scopes beyond the capitalist media? How can
we best use critical/Marxist political economy
and other critical approaches for understanding
the media today? What is the role of media and
communication technologies in the acceleration
and globalization of the capitalist economy? What
are the conditions of working in the media,
cultural and communication industries in the
contemporary times? Who owns the media and ICTs?
What are specific characteristics of knowledge
and the media as property?
- Resisting communicative capitalism
What are strategies for left politics to
effectively resist and challenge communicative
capitalism? What is the role of media activisms
today? And the relation between the street
activism and the media activism ("Tweets and the
streets")? And how the unions and other kind of
non-governmental associations use the media? How
their uses differ from the uses made by the newly
social movements? Which are the opportunities and
the limits of media activisms?
- Alternatives to communicative capitalism
What are the problems and post-capitalist
potentials of alternative projects such as
cultural and media co-operatives, left-wing and
radical media projects, alternative social media,
alternative online platforms, alternative media,
community media projects, commons-based media,
peer production projects, etc.?
- Communicative capitalism and the common
What are the potentials or the common to
challenge and offer an alternative to
communicative capitalism? How can the threat of
co-optation be resisted?
- Communicative capitalism and state power
How does the relationship of media, communication
and state power influence the various forms of
regulation, control, repression, violence and
Submission deadline for abstracts: May, 15, 2016.
An abstract should be sent to:
Dr. Romina Surugiu (University of Bucharest) romina.surugiu at fjsc.ro,
Dr. Roy Panagiotopoulou (University of Athens) rpanag at media.uoa.gr,
Dr. Marisol Sandoval (City University London) marisol.sandoval.1 at city.ac.uk
Abstracts should be sent as e-mail attachment
(250-400 words abstract, title, author name(s),
email address, institutional affiliations).
Please insert the words "ESARN18 submission" in
The conference will be hosted by ISCTE- University Institute of Lisbon
The RN18 organising committee is led by Dr.
Romina Surugiu, University of Bucharest and Dr.
Marisol Sandoval, City University London.
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