CFP Communication, Postcoloniality and Social Justice conference

Call for papers:
Communication, Postcoloniality, and Social Justice: Decolonizing Imaginations

A four-day conference: Sponsored by the Waterhouse Family Institute for the study of Communication and Society (WFI) at Villanova University, PA, 26th-29th March, 2015, Location: Villanova University (Specifics to be announced later)

Conference Organizers: Bryan Crable; Raka Shome (Biographies of organizers presented at the end of call for papers)

Keynote Speakers: Arjun Appadurai (New York University, USA), Inderpal Grewal (Yale University, USA), and Ravi Sundaram (Center for the Study of Developing Societies, India)

Plenary Speakers: Ramesh Srinivasan (USA); Mohan J. Dutta (Singapore); Shanti Kumar (USA), Ramaswamy Harindranath (Australia); Nitin Govil (USA); John Erni (Hong Kong); Aniko Imre (USA); Radhika Parameswaran (USA); Soyini Madison (USA); Raka Shome (USA); Boulou Ebanda De B’Beri (Canada) (These are confirmed so far; we are awaiting confirmation from other speakers.)

Three Plenary Sessions: 1) Significance of postcolonial studies for communication and media research 2) Postcolonial feminist and queer approaches 3) Postcoloniality and the Global South: Logics of Modernity beyond the West/North

In the past two decades, postcolonial theory has become increasingly influential in various spaces in the Social Sciences and Humanities. Recent communication and media scholarship has also shown some interest in postcolonial frameworks. However, there has not been a focused and sustained conversation in Communication/Media Studies in the United States and we think, even outside, that has engaged the ways in which communication and media studies, and postcolonial studies can mutually inform each other in the advancement of social justice projects. The conference emerges from the recognition that diverse logics, networks, and trajectories of communication and media today (as well as in the past) play a significant role in the production of colonial power relations in contemporary globality.

The organizers of Communication, Postcoloniality and Social Justice: Decolonizing Imaginations thus invite proposals from scholars who employ postcolonial frameworks to study various communication and media phenomena—including their embedded-ness in various logics of transnationality. We are interested in exploring how communication/media scholarship, with its varied rich perspectives, may make contributions to broad field of postcolonial studies by foregrounding the importance of communication/media frameworks for understanding colonial cultures, and transnational relations. At the same time we recognize that many of the core concepts and assumptions in the fields of Communication and Media Studies are rooted in Western/Northern exclusionary intellectual frameworks. Thus, we wish to explore how postcolonial analytical frameworks may productively enrich our understandings of various communication and media phenomena and enable us to decolonize normative frameworks in the field so as to be responsive to various struggles engendered by contemporary (and past) post/colonial logics. The conference aims to provide a productive space that can facilitate dialogue and interconnections amongst scholars conducting postcolonial scholarship in communication and media studies. We also hope that this conference can provide a space for building intellectual solidarities amongst scholars in Media and Communication who are concerned with the politics of colonialisms (including their varied transnational logics) as they inform our research and influence our social, economic, cultural, and academic practices.

REGISTRATION FEES: $250 (includes some meals and coffee; specifics will be confirmed in fall, 2014)

FORMAT: We welcome proposals from scholars, activists, and researchers from various parts of the world. Papers must demonstrate an engagement with the field of postcolonial studies. (Just any descriptive study of colonialism, while suitable for other venues, will not fit the goals of this conference). Submissions must be made by August 30, 2014. Acceptance of papers will be announced sometime in October 2014. PLEASE EMAIL SUBMISSIONS SIMULTANEOUSLY TO: Bryan Crable and Raka Shome. In subject heading please write: “Submission for Communication, Postcoloniality and Social Justice conference.” Given the volume of submissions we expect to receive, we will not be able to acknowledge receipt of every submission.

Please choose any one format:
1) Panel proposals: Panels on a theme relevant to the conference are welcome. A panel should have between 3-4 panelists (including discussant. Chair may be one of the presenters, or you may select your own Chair/moderator who is not a presenter). Please submit title, panel abstract (which should include names/affiliation of participants, description and justification of panel). REQUIRED: 350 word panel description/justification, and approximately 200 words abstract of each paper to be presented.

2) Individual paper proposals: Please send an abstract of around 350 words. Name, paper title, and institutional affiliation must be included.

A statement of commitment to attend is required of all participants. Please include that in your proposal submissions.

Potential topics of interest are (and these are not exhaustive). Postcoloniality and the Global South; Feminist and Queer Approaches; Transgendered subjects and/in colonial cultures; Gay imperialism; Homonationalism; Heterosovereignities; Modernity beyond the West/North (Papers dealing with Islamic modernities from a postcolonial/transnational perspective especially welcome); Memor(ies) and Postcoloniality ; Diaspora (especially new logics of diaspora) and Hybridity; Media and Migrations; Post/colonial Visual cultures; Cultural Studies and the Postcolonial; Nation, nationalisms, national identity; Asylum and Exile; Colonial Necropolitics; Colonial Biopolitics; Subalternity and Communication (e.g., the ‘impossibility’ of communication in the politics of subalternity); Cosmopolitanism(s); Politics of Cultural Translation; Engagements with works of key postcolonial scholars in terms of their relevance for media/communication studies; Communication of “human rights;” Consumption, Cultural Industries, and Postcolonial/Transnational Power relations; Environment and the Postcolonial (papers on mediations of “climate change” are particularly welcome); Intellectual and Cultural Property Issues; Affective regimes and post/colonial relations; Celebrities and Colonialism; Materialities of colonialism; Fashion, Identity and Colonialisms; New Media; Postcolonial Urbanisms; Traveling technologies and colonial circuits; Techno-cities; Transnational Temporalities; Postcoloniality and computer cultures; Postcolonial Piracy; The “global” city; Technological Colonialisms; Science and the Postcolonial; Electronic Others; Postcolonial Securitizations; Politics of Representation; Global health and colonial relations; “Humanitarianism,” “Natural Disaster” and Contemporary colonial logics; Decolonizing Pedagogy and the field of Media/Communication Studies; The contemporary university and (the possibility of) postcolonial interventions.