The Media Fields research collective formed at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2007 to advance scholarship on the spatial aspects of a range of media forms, including film, television, radio, and digital media. The aim of Media Fields Journal is to circulate research on media and space, to function as a testing ground for new disciplinary trajectories, and to facilitate conversations that advance space, spatiality, and critical practice as crucial topics in the field of media studies.
Issue 2: Media, Labor, Mobility
Call for Submissions
Please submit by October 15, 2010
Submission Guidelines [PDF]
This issue of Media Fields Journal brings together interdisciplinary approaches to media, labor, and mobility. We invite manuscripts, art projects, and interviews that foreground the dynamic between the global circulation of media texts and the global dispersion of media production (the “new international division of cultural labor”). In popular and scholarly discourse on media, information technology, and globalization, mobility is often celebrated as a positive, enabling force without sufficient regard for material concerns and human subjects. Yet the idea that information and images move ever more freely across borders elides the fact that workers’ movements and lives are increasingly regulated at multiple nodes, as illustrated by the recent, widely publicized case of suicides committed by workers at Chinese factories manufacturing goods for Apple, Dell, Sony, and other transnational electronics corporations. Scholars in fields such as cinema and media studies, anthropology, sociology, and communication have addressed this elision by foregrounding the material realities of mediated mobilities through work on offshore digital labor, geographical centers of digital activity and production (“the global city,” “media capital”), the global export of electronic waste, and material infrastructures of media piracy.
In this issue, we aim to address questions of global worker mobility and immobility in relation to audiovisual media practices. For example, in what ways can media texts or discursive strategies mask or reveal transnational processes and sites of labor? How can the spaces and speeds of film, video, and other audiovisual media illuminate varieties of spatial and temporal disjuncture such as those experienced by “digital nomads” or formed in diasporic media cultures? How might digital labor facilitate the movement of media products and information, but not necessarily of laboring bodies? How do new regimes of creative production simultaneously expand and constrict workers’ lived experiences?
We seek essays of 1500-2500 words, digital art projects, and audio or video interviews exploring possible relations between media, labor, and mobility. We encourage approaches to this topic from scholars in cinema and media studies, anthropology, art and art history, communication, geography, sociology, and other fields.
Potential topics for articles, art projects, or interviews include:
- The spatial dispersion/outsourcing of different tasks associated with media production
- Labor and mobile media technologies (cellular phones, MP3 players, GPS devices, etc.)
- Traces of, or reflexivity about, production in media texts and technologies
- Migrant workers and media
- Labor, media, and modes of travel and transportation
- Labor, media, and bodily (im)mobility
- Virtual labor and mobility in digital media spaces and industries (video games, online social networks, etc.)
- Reconfigurations of labor under new information and communication technology (ICT) regimes
- Global media production, distribution, and sovereignty
- Labor, media, and virtual, imagined, and aspirational mobilities
- Representations and aesthetics of labor and mobility in audiovisual media
- Mobility and fandom/fan labor
- Media piracy and questions of labor and mobility
- Mobility and the use of media technologies in labor struggles
- Creative labor, culture, and cosmopolitics
Feel free to contact issue co-editors, Hye Jean Chung and Athena Tan, with proposals and inquiries. Email submissions, proposals, and inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.