Call for Papers

Access/Trespass: 2013 Media Fields Conference

University of California, Santa Barbara

April 4-5, 2013


Keynote speaker: Ricardo Dominguez (Associate Professor of Visual Arts, University of California, San Diego)

The Media Fields collective at UC Santa Barbara is excited to announce its fourth graduate student conference exploring the complex relationships between media and space.  Our hope to anticipate or catalyze new horizons for our field has inspired the theme for our 2013 conference, Access/Trespass.  The collective welcomes scholarly submissions engaged with how the idea of "trespass" might be employed to energize, expand, negate, or flip the idea of access. While access has been a useful concept for understanding rights discourses, implying a spatial relationship of a center to a periphery and a juridical authority that dispenses privilege, trespass may make more legible the outline of these accepted, naturalized, or enacted terms. We encourage scholarship that explores the tactical, rhetorical, or strategic deployment of “trespass” in various media contexts, challenging notions of who is deemed a trespasser, and interrogating who is calling it trespass. Papers should reflect a consideration of the theoretical and ethical implications of  naming, embracing, or resisting trespass as a category. Our hope is to mobilize trespass in a way that reimagines the agentive capacity of those not "permitted" access. Indeed, trespass, whether by hacktivist groups like anonymous or surveillance media like TSA scanners, can also be thought of as a demand for access.

We seek papers that take into account how these ideas of trespass and access can be discussed in the context of media studies. Guerilla media, appropriative media, and media piracy could all be fertile grounds for developing the idea of media trespass, and for reconsidering the ethical aspects of policies that define who is and is not a trespasser, or what activities are and are not criminalized. Discussions of such media could suggest a potential for a politics of resistance by “trespassers” who reject their marginal positioning. However, we also invite papers that think about trespass in terms of violation; for example, medical technologies such as mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds can position the body as a site of trespass. This conference aims to develop an understanding of the diverse ways that media objects and practices enable, work alongside, or prevent various forms of trespass.

Potential topics might include:

  • Obscenity and taste; abject media
  • Identity, pseudonym, and identify theft; digital bodies; passing and race/gender
  • Ways of working around media censorship, including piracy, VPNs, etc.
  • Media crossing borders; smuggling media; media imperialism
  • Media and surveillance: drones, scanners, medical imaging
  • Dataveillance and information privacy
  • Hacktivism: media and protest
  • Transgressive film or media movements; border (crossing) films
  • Films about issues of access or trespass
  • Access and trespass in documentary filmmaking or journalism
  • Governmentality of social networks; media black-outs
  • Accessibility and archival studies; trespass in histories of film and media
  • Disciplinary trespass; boundaries of artforms
  • Interpenetration of media and environment; citizen activism and environmental media; GIS mapping and computer modeling technologies
  • Androgyneity or drag in film and media
  • Race, gender, and sexuality and access to media and media representation
  • Access to/trespass on media infrastructures
  • Spatial protocols for “new” spatial formations (e.g. Mars)

  • Each panelist will have 20 minutes to present his/her paper. All submissions should include a 300-350 word abstract and a brief bio of the author. We also invite experimental presentation formats; if your presentation will be unconventional we ask that you provide a brief summary of your planned format.  Submissions are due January 17th and should be emailed to