“Articulating Voice. The Expressivity and Performativity of Media Practices”

Sponsored by the Philosophy, Theory and Critique (PTC) Division of the International Communication Association

Event date: 24 May 2018, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Prague, Czech Republic
Venue: Main Conference Hotel

Deadline for proposals: 10 January 2018 (300-500 words abstract)

Organizers: Christian Pentzold (University of Bremen), Kenzie Burchell (University of Toronto), Olivier Driessens (University of Cambridge), Alice Mattoni (Scuola Normale Superiore), John Postill (RMIT University), Cara Wallis (Texas A&M University)

“Media matter most when they seem not to matter at all.” (Wendy Chun) But how can we understand the practices through which innovations in media and digital data move from being unexpected, novel, and impactful to the negotiated, embedded, and habitual?

The pre-conference takes issue with the mundane yet pervasive nature of media habits, rituals, and customs. It assesses the purchase of practice-based approaches in order to see under what conditions and with what consequences they enter studies in communication and media. In particular, we invite participants to consider the expressive and performative dimension of what people actually do and say in relation to media and to the wider communication ecologies in which these articulations take place. We are especially interested in contributions that examine how voices are expressed, represented, or muted and that study the ways practices of voice combine, overlap, or collide with other mediated activities in contemporary societies. With this, we strive for an explanation and critical appreciation of media practices whose accomplishment is a perennial exercise in which we find ourselves immersed.

We welcome theoretical and/or empirical contributions on questions including:

How can we theorize and study the interplay between media-related practices and technologies, discourses, or institutions? How are these constellations created, maintained, and transformed? How do praxeological approaches correspond to other inquiries into speech acts, media rituals, or media habits?
What resources and skills are mobilized in order to perform voices? What is the meaning of the work that goes into activities of voicing? How do they contribute to or undermine the constitution of public spheres, privacy, and civic life in past and contemporary societies?
How do we grasp media practices empirically, and how do we analyze them across modes of expression, across cultures, different times, and ages? How can we challenge and advance the kinds of translation and transformation happening in-between the situated enactment of media practices and the descriptions and stories of scholarly accounts?
How can we understand the ways through which media practices are accomplished in social fields? How are they deployed in struggles for gaining voice and visibility as in political communication and journalism, participation and mobilization, health communication, or science communication? How have media practices changed over time and in relation to innovations in digitization and datafication?

Responses to the contributions will be given by Elisenda Ardèvol (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya); Maria Bakardjieva (University of Calgary), S. Elizabeth Bird (University of Southern Florida); Nick Couldry (London School of Economics and Political Science).

Please email a 300-500 words proposal to Christian Pentzold (christian.pentzold@uni-bremen.de) by January 10, 2018.

Authors will be notified of their acceptance before January 31, 2018.

Please direct any questions to: Alice Mattoni (alice.mattoni@sns.it) or Christian Pentzold (christian.pentzold@uni-bremen.de).