Organization: Carnegie Mellon Departments of English and Modern Languages
Bridges and Borders: Media (In)Forms
A Graduate Student Virtual Conference presented by the Department of English Literary & Cultural Studies Colloquia in Collaboration with the Department of Modern Languages. Featuring keynote speaker Dr. Cait McKiney.
“Studying information activism means following information as it moves—the logistics of information—to see the infrastructures that quietly get it where it needs to go: across space, across different forms of media, and through time.” Cait McKinney Information Activism (2020)
Media is information, and media is in formation. This year’s theme, Media (In)forms, asks participants to think about how forms of media and culture trouble, question, or inform. At the same time, we hope to problematize and disrupt the forms themselves. Form and content have long been central to the study of language, culture, and media. These theorizations, however, are contested and messy. From print to digital, moving to still, and visual to audio, we ask participants to think critically about how media is created, produced, and distributed through various channels. We invite participants to think of media expansively and consider overlooked, unusual, or even, contested forms of media.
We ask: What are the affordances or limitations of certain forms? How can media’s infrastructures encourage political solidarity or create disparity? How does media shape our understanding of gender, sexuality, race, and nation? What do we do with antiquated or “out-of-date” media? How is media used in education? How do forms of language include or exclude? What does it mean to examine the “stuff” of media? How can forms repair, reinforce, resolve, or renew?
For this year’s virtual conference, we seek papers, creative pieces, and preconstituted panels from graduate students across disciplines.
We welcome proposals that consider the following keywords and concepts:
- Forms of resistance and solidarity
- Racialized forms
- Queer media and gendered forms
- Language forms and functions
- Networks, distributions, and institutions
- Global media
- State and legal forms
- Media preservation and archives
- Object histories
- Media archeology
- Analog, digital, and new media
- Non-commercial and underground media
- Film and television
- Sound studies
- Media in the classroom
- Literary and cultural forms
Please submit abstracts of up to 250-word via our website (https://www.cmu.edu/dietrich/english/research-and-publications/bridges-and-borders.html). We welcome completed projects or works-in-progress drawn from coursework, dissertations, or independent research as individual or preconstituted panel submissions as well as creative works related to the theme.