CFP: NECS Graduate Workshop: Return of the living-dead media: Media Cultures of Persistence, Resistance and Residue

Potsdam, Germany, 26–27 July 2016

Hosted by ZeM – Brandenburgisches Zentrum für Medienwissenschaften (Brandenburg Center for Media Studies), Potsdam, Germany

Return of the living-dead media:

Media Cultures of Persistence, Resistance and Residue

Obsolescence and old media have recently become the subject of intense critical attention. Whereas previously studies of media development tended to privilege the “new,” scholars are beginning to acknowledge the vital role that old media play in shaping new media histories. The persistence of obsolete media within new landscapes and contexts troubles the commonly held perception of progress as entailing a rupture from the past, urging us to re-evaluate the importance of the discarded in a culture of planned disposability.

This workshop aims to address notions of persistence and resistance within the study of film and visual culture. A range of conceptual frameworks have been deployed to examine the persistence of past media forms, such as Residual Media (Acland, 2007), Zombie Media (Hertz and Parikka, 2012), Haunted Media and studies of hauntology and nostalgia. Whether perceived as comforting or monstrous, as expressing a conservative attachment to the past or a critical challenge to the present, residual media have generated a range of critical as well as artistic responses. We invite graduates and post-graduates to reflect on the re-presentation, remediation and re-appropriation of “old” media in “new” media contexts, both contemporaneous and historical. What do we understand of as “old” media and how is this historically variable? How, and for what purposes is “the old” being valued, devalued and re-evaluated? What are the different practices and spaces in which old media are being engaged with? What are the affective modes of engagement being generated by residual media? How might the past be re-animated to tell new stories, or to represent previously unaccounted for histories?

We welcome papers that address the overarching theme of the workshop, including those that consider, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Historicizing old media: old media of the past, present and future

  • Representing residue: fictional and speculative depictions of old media

  • Artistic re-appropriations: collage, hacking, bricolage, gleaning, recycling, junk art, “found” footage and assemblage

  • Challenges to the persistent “death of cinema” narrative

  • Old images/ new stories: re-appropriating the archive to re-present radical, feminist or “queer” histories

  • Haunted media: (im)material cultures within digital contexts

  • Studies of nostalgia, “Retromania” and retro markets
  • Monstrous and zombie media: the unsettling character of persistence
  • Where the old things go: spaces of storage and waste
  • Objects of (no) value: Trash and junk aesthetics

Submissions deadline: 31st January 2016

Please address abstracts (300 words) along with institutional affiliation and brief biographical note (150 words) to: Notification will follow shortly thereafter.

The conference language is English.

Participants will need to cover their own travel and accommodation expenses. Travel information as well as a list of affordable hotels and other accommodation will be provided in the beginning of January.

Conference attendance is free, but valid NECS-membership is required to participate.

Participants must register with NECS at and pay their fee by February 1st. For the terms of NECS membership, please also refer to our website

Organizers: Anna Luise Kiss (Filmuniversität Babelsberg Konrad Wolf), Sophia Satchell-Baeza (King’s College London), Marta Małgorzata Wąsik (University of Warwick)


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