CFP: CRCC symposium on Media and Time

Loughborough, UK, 15-16 June 2017

We are inviting applications for a symposium on Media and Time, organised by Loughborough University’s Centre for Research in Culture and Communication, due to take place in Loughborough on 15-16 June 2017.

Confirmed key-note speaker: Professor Paddy Scannell, University of Michigan

Media and communication technologies are inextricably bound up with the passage of time. Different forms and genres of mediated communication shape our sense of time in different ways, structure our daily routines, invite us to join in festive occasions, and help us manage the unexpected. They offer narratives and images of the past, contribute to the formation of collective memories, and help us imagine the future. Media are also themselves subjected to the passage of time: established forms of communication are unsettled by new technologies, as well as by the economic, political and cultural changes occurring in the society at large. Finally, media old and new play an important role in both furthering social change and reproducing the status quo, a fact that only becomes fully apparent once we study the media over a longer stretch of time.

Despite the ubiquitous presence of time in mediated communication, the relationship between the two has so far received only sporadic attention, and is often discussed across different disciplinary field and subfields. This two-day symposium seeks to bring together scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds to discuss selected aspects of the relationship between media and time. The event will be organised around three key themes, each addressing a set of related questions:

Theme 1: The challenges of temporal comparison: While comparative media research typically engages with spatially defined units, it is also possible to apply comparison diachronically, across different points in time. What challenges are brought by shifting from a synchronic to a diachronic plane of comparison, and what are the possible solutions to them?

Theme 2: Times of memory, times of media: Remembering and mediation are of necessity time-bound practices, yet so far we know rather little about how the temporalities of memory and media interact. Does, for instance, the temporal organisation of mnemonic practices change depending on the temporality of the media form used? How do new technologies, both historically and today, impact on the perceptions of time passing and subsequently also on the way we remember past events?

Theme 3: The temporalities of media history: Engaging in historical research inevitably involves dealing with temporally bound phenomena, but the temporal character of historical developments in media is rarely explicitly reflected upon. What can be gained by paying more explicit attention to issues of temporality, such as periodization, the differing pace of historical change, or the relationships between simultaneous vs. successive developments?

Convenors: Melodee Beals, Ele Belfiore, Emily Keigthley, Thoralf Klein, Sabina Mihelj, Simone Natale, Alena Pfoser, James Stanyer and Peter Yeandle.

Please submit a c. 250 words abstract with a brief bio to Emily Keightley (E.Keightley@lboro.ac.uk) and Peter Yeandle (P.Yeandle@lboro.ac.uk) by Monday 12 December 2016.

Participants will be asked to contribute a small fee to cover meals and related expenses (up to £50, with a discount for PhD students and participants from low-income countries).

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