Call for Papers

2007 Media Fields Conference

University of Santa Barbara, California

April 6-7, 2007

The contours of media study are increasingly understood in environmental terms. This "spatial turn" recasts our ideas about the ways in which we encounter media objects, spaces, and vectors. It is in the cross-sections of space and epistemology that we are articulating the conceptual catalyst of the “media field” and convening our conference. Media fields bring into contact explorations of material spaces, unseen and transmitted atmospherics, and the languages and knowledges through which they are imagined, traversed, and constituted. Fields may be open grounds, areas on which games are played, bodies are screened, and militaries operate; fields include vast expanses of concrete, electricity, waste, or oil. Fields are breeding grounds and graveyards, public and private; they are represented and replayed in bars, airplanes, and memories. Media fields comprise multi-sensory and synaesthetic ways of knowing. Fields of media are residual, anachronistic, or embedded in cultural products and histories. The stuff of everyday life—garbage dumps, exhibitions, urban spaces, archives, political campaigns, battlefields, and daydreams—are also fields of forces where media are built, broadcast, and worked through.

The scope of this conference is interdisciplinary, though we are especially interested in work that reflects upon Media Studies itself as a dynamic field of study. We also invite artistic projects for exhibition. You might consider the following questions:

--How do we sense, experience, or know media fields or constellations? How might sounds, textures, temperatures, vibrations, odors, tastes, and densities inform our understanding of disparate sites, from video games to the Olympic Games?
--How does site-specific fieldwork lead to different kinds of knowledge about film or media, spaces, and their histories? What are the stakes of such shifts? What becomes of the text in the field?
--How might attention to residue, disjuncture and media sedimentation inform media historiography, policy, or activism?
--How are media flows not only smooth, transnational, and democratic but made viscous by uneven access to wireless zones, copyright regulations, surveillance, waste and pollution, electronic warfare, and everyday malfunctions that characterize mechanically reproduced media objects and processes?
--How are places of leisure, commerce, intimacy, law, and study co-impacted, reinvented, or elided by media?
--How do film and media artists, theorists, and policy-makers evoke fields?
--How might the concept of the “field” generate interdisciplinary discussion of media spaces and epistemologies?

Please submit abstracts or project descriptions of 300 words or less to

We encourage you to provide biographical information about yourself along with your abstract.
Deadline for submission: December 18th 2006.