CfP: EASA Media Anthropology Network Workshop “The Digital Turn in Media Anthropology”

Organizers

Prof. Sahana Udupa (Ludwig Maximilian University Munich)
Dr. Elisabetta Costa (University of Groningen)
Dr. Philipp Budka (University of Vienna)

Date & Venue

11 October 2019
Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) Munich, Germany

Abstract

By building on the Media Anthropology Network panel at the EASA 2018 conference in Stockholm and the follow-up e-seminar from 16 Oct. – 9 Nov. 2018 (http://www.media-anthropology.net/index.php/e-seminars), this workshop critically explores “the digital turn” in the anthropological study of media, and aims to push further ethnographic knowledge into the role that digital media technologies play in people’s everyday life and broader sociopolitical transformations. In so doing, this workshop contributes to the reassessment of media anthropology in digital times, and raises critical questions on how digital media have posed new epistemological challenges, inspired methodological innovations, and offered opportunities for political activism for media anthropologists. A key question that drives this discussion is whether the digital turn has reconfigured the classic distinction between “home” and “field” through temporally intensified “horizontal” networks on a global scale. Have these connections – culturally translated across different societies – collapsed the distinction between “home” and “field”? As users and researchers of digital media, how do we rework anthropology’s classic conundrum of home-field, distance-nearness and us-other in radically progressive ways? What does the “digital turn” entail in terms of how we engage research participants, and how do we use these new pathways to critique the multidirectional “colonial matrix of power” (Mignalo & Walsh, 2007) that is riding on the very infrastructure of contemporary digital media?

We invite scholars to engage with these questions through various topic fields they are researching, and consider this reflexive move as an important step towards challenging “the global fact” of racial, gender, ethnic and religion-based exclusions. We also invite scholars to bring cases of innovative use of digital research to overcome prevailing hierarchies in anthropological knowledge production – between researchers and research participants, as well as within the academic community.

Drawing from their own research, and from their engagement with relevant literatures, workshop participants will ask the following questions:

  • What is the present state of anthropological study on digital media technologies and their impact on culture and society?
  • What are the main questions in need of urgent research (especially in connection to decolonizing media/digital anthropology, gender, visuality, extreme movements and speech)?
  • How have digital technologies transformed (media) anthropology and how does the future look for media anthropologists?
  • What is the role of digital technology in transforming knowledge production and dissemination in media anthropology?
  • How can anthropologists contribute to the interdisciplinary effort of theorizing digital media practices and digital technologies?
  • Who will be the main beneficiaries of this research, both in academia and beyond?

We invite ethnographic and/or theoretical papers that focus on the above questions.

Participants who need travel support to attend the workshop are invited to mention the same (limited financial support is available for travel and accommodation).

In a single word document, please send your abstracts of 1000 words and a short bio (100 words) stating your current affiliation, mentioning whether you are an EASA member.
Please use the filename format: authorlastname_digitalturnworkshop2019, and send this no later than 1 June 2019 to digitalturnworkshop @ ethnologie.lmu.de

Selected participants will be notified by 30 June 2019. EASA members will get the first preference in travel bursaries.

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