CFP – Media Justice: Race, borders, disability, data


International Communications Association Preconference, 25 May 2017
Sherman Heights Community Centre, San Diego

CALL FOR PAPERS

Call for the ICA 2017 Pre-Conference “Media Justice: Race, borders,
disability and data,” Sponsored by the Philosophy, Theory and Critique
Division and Communication and Technology  Division of the International
Communication Association

Summary: This is a call for abstracts and session proposals for the Media Justice
pre-conference at the 2017 International Communications Association
meeting in San Diego. The Media Justice pre-conference, to be held on
May 25th, 2017, at the Sherman Heights Community Center in San Diego,
will bring together activists, advocates, and researchers to advance the
shared theory and practice of media justice.

We welcome proposals for academic papers, more informal presentations and panels.

Deadline for proposals: 15 February, 2017 (200 words abstract)

Organisers: Prof Gerard Goggin (University of Sydney), Dr Sasha
Costanza-Chock (MIT), Dr Tanja Dreher (University of Wollongong), Prof
Ricardo Dominguez (UCSD), Maegan Ortiz (Institute of Popular Education
of Southern California)

In the United States, there is an active media justice movement, yet the
concept is rarely used in international academic, activist or advocacy
work. Media justice organizing is based in the realization that social,
racial, gender, disability, cultural, economic, and other forms of
justice require changes in the distribution and control over media and
communications technology (Gregg 2011; Cyril 2005). The Center for Media
Justice explains: “we organize under-represented constituencies for
media rights, access and representation to win social and economic
justice” (http://centerformediajustice.org/about/our-story/our-vision).
Media justice campaigns have focused on media representation, network
neutrality, phone and broadband access, the communication rights of
incarcerated people, policing and surveillance technology, community
media, and public interest cable franchising agreements, among other
areas. Media justice advocates emphasise the struggle against the
broader matrix of domination (Hill Collins, 1990) and links with social
justice movements outside the media field. Given the location of ICA
2017 in San Diego, and the role of the media in the stunning victory for
the Trump campaign’s open appeal to racism, misogyny, homophobia and
transphobia, xenophobia, islamophobia, ableism, and anti-Blackness, this
is the ideal time and place for a preconference on Media Justice.

Hackett describes media activism as ‘the movement of movements,’ and
argues that all social justice movements have an interest in the
transformation of media representations, production processes,
platforms, and policies. Media are addressed as a site of intervention,
rather than merely providing publicity for social justice movements. In
contrast to liberal media reformers, media justice advocates call for
significant structural and institutional changes beyond the tightly
focused field of media policy (Hackett 2011). Media justice advocates
further stress the importance of power redistribution in order to
address past injustices:

Media justice is more than an oppositional framework or simple effort at
political contrast. It is a multi-layered, emerging analysis that draws
on civil and human rights, globalization struggles, corporate
accountability and cultural studies. It starts with a structural
analysis but it doesn’t stop there because media doesn’t stop there. Who
owns it, what’s on it and how it makes us feel are all spheres we must
address simultaneously. Where we go from here has to take into account
where we’ve been and who has been advantages and who has been hurt. And
it is this analysis that separates media justice from the fight for
media democracy, because without a vision that seeks to repair the
impact of the past and the privilege, we’ll have the same old oppression
with better, high-speed resolution. (Makani Themba-Nixon, n.d., cited in
Cyril, 2005: 97).

While some notion of media justice has always been implicit within media
and cultural studies (e.g. the tradition of work on alternative,
citizens,’ and community media), and grassroots organizers have been
developing a praxis of media justice for more than a decade, relatively
little has been published on media justice in either academic or popular
venues.

This pre-conference considers the ways in which recent attention to
race, borders, disability, and data might offer productive resources for
research and practice aimed at media justice. The program brings
together researchers, scholars, activists, and advocates in media
justice organizing in order to advance shared development of theory and
practice. We will discuss questions of justice in regards to media and
communications practices, infrastructures, and representation, as well
as the many ways in which media are vital to wider processes of social
justice and transformation.

We welcome contributions on the following topics (for example):

* Media justice in the time of Trump, Brexit, and resurgent
authoritarian power

* What have we learned from media justice organizing around race and
borders?

* How does thinking from disability challenge and transform ideas of
media justice, communication rights, voice, and listening?

* What are the key challenges for media justice in the age of ‘Big Data?’

* What are the implications of current developments in the
communications infrastructure (especially the internet, including
‘privatised’ networks, the ever expanding surveillance apparatus, the
likely end of net neutrality, etc) – for the above issues?

* How can we further develop a research and advocacy agenda around media
justice?

In order to encourage productive dialogues between communication rights
researchers and practitioners, the program will include invited speakers
from a range of advocacy and activist organisations, and researchers
working on media justice. The program will be facilitated to identify
points of connection, possibilities for ongoing collaborations, and
further development of engaged research and practice.

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 15 February 2017

To submit a proposal, please prepare a title and
200 word abstract; submit your proposal via this form:
http://bit.ly/mj-ica2017-submitabstract.

Please direct any questions to: Prof. Gerard Goggin (University of
Sydney) gerard.goggin@sydney.edu.au, Dr. Tanja Dreher (University of
Wollongong) tanjad@uow.edu.au, or Dr. Sasha Costanza-Chock (MIT)
schock@mit.edu

The Sherman Heights Community Centre is approximately 1.5 miles from the
San Diego Hilton. Participants will have the option of taking a local
bus, a short taxi ride, or walking (approx. 30 mins); we will also
organize transportation at attendee request.

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