[rohrpost] Media Transatlantic: Media Theory in North America and German-Speaking Europe

geert lovink geert at desk.nl
Son Sep 6 10:36:17 CEST 2009

Media Transatlantic: Media Theory in North America and German-Speaking  

April 8-10, 2010; University of British Columbia

Proposals due: Nov. 27, 2010

Website: http://www.mediatrans.ca

Ubiquitous and indispensible, media technologies have taken on an  
epistemological or even ontological significance: we learn what we  
know, and we become what we are, through print, TV, digital, mobile  
and other communications. “No part of the world, no human activity,”  
as Sonia Livingstone says, “is untouched…. Societies worldwide are  
being reshaped, for better or for worse, by changes in the global  
media and information environment.” Seeing media as a lens or even as  
an a priori condition for understanding historical, social and  
cultural change has become increasingly prevalent and urgent on both  
sides of the Atlantic. However, with some notable exceptions, this  
work has been developing independently, producing a wide-ranging if  
fruitful heterogeneity. On the one side are the interdisciplinary and  
theoretically-engaged Medienwissenschaften (media studies), and on the  
other, work developing out of the Toronto school and a variety of  
theoretical and disciplinary traditions. The purpose of this  
conference is to deepen and expand transatlantic dialogue between  
North America and German-speaking Europe (Germany, Austria and  
Switzerland) in the area of media theory -- and to provide an  
opportunity for developing connections to other contexts as well.  
Areas of research and scholarship relevant to this dialogue include  
communication, philosophy, media literacy, and literary and cultural  

Confirmed Keynotes:

·       Katherine Hayles (Chicago)

·       Sybille Krämer (Berlin)

·       Dieter Mersch (Potsdam)

·       Hartmut Winkler (Paderborn)

·       Geoffrey Winthrop-Young (Vancouver)

This conference invites papers, in English, focusing on such issues as:

·       Recent developments in media theory in North America and  
central Europe, for example:

o   Media and materiality

o   The construction of “mediality” in theory and practice

o   Media and the (post)human

o   The “mediatic turn” as milestone or misnomer

·       The foundational contributions of McLuhan, Innis and the  
Toronto School, of Flusser, Luhmann, and others

·       Media as means of socialization and education

·       Towards a philosophy of media

·        (Inter)disciplinary implications of media-theoretical