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The Studio for Media Activism & Critical Thought, Ryerson University presents:

Activist Media Archives: De/Materializing Bodies
A 1-day Symposium
November 12, 2016

 Call for Papers/Proposals

 The Studio for Media Activism & Critical Thought is seeking abstracts and proposals for its November 12 2016 day-long symposium on the media activist archive. Deadline for submission of abstracts & proposals has been extended to September 16 2016.

“Activist Media Archives: De/Materializing Bodies” will bring together artistic, scholarly, and activist communities to discuss the archive across 3 intersecting streams: national media archives, Indigenous media archives, and feminist/LGBT/queer media archives. This symposium offers activists, artists, and scholars a chance to interrogate the affective relationship between materiality, archives, and Canadian cultural practice. Within Canada, much archival material documenting the voices of marginalized groups is dematerial(iz-ed/ing); we hope to consider both why this is occurring and how we can create/have created new archival practices to reincorporate lost records, voices, affects and bodies. In the case of official archives, Diana Taylor argues that while the material itself does not change, “what changes over time is the value, relevance, or meaning of the archive, how the items it contains get interpreted, even embodied” (The Archive and the Repertoire, 19). What does the way we engage with conventional national archives, ostensibly records of a perceived national identity, contribute to colonizing practices? At the intersection of preservation, neo-liberal regimes, and (new) materialism, this will be a space to explore how and why the works of instigators of social change (activists and artists) are often unpreserved. It will also be an opportunity to explore affective and ephemeral archives, and the possibilities for new forms of media activist archivization across both digital and analogue platforms.

This conference is open to both scholarly and artistic presentations(or a combination of both): please indicate this, as well as the appropriate stream, in your proposal. Presentations should propose to be no longer than 20 minutes, although in some instances a longer artistic presentation or performance could be facilitated. 

Papers will be considered for publication in the inaugural issue of a forthcoming online graduate journal on social justice media, Spring 2017.

Possible topics for papers include but are not limited to:

  • Official and unofficial archives and histories of LGBT2S, disability, anti-poverty, feminist, Indigenous and racialized media activism. This could include: video, radio, digital media, photography & social media.
  •  The praxis of scholarly archival research, particularly in relation to to activist media, or to activist scholarship.
  •  Considerations of the changing function of the media activist archive in the digital realm, or what Amit Pinchevski has called “new archival formations that…feed into the social practice of memory” (253).
  • The relation of digital and/or analog archives to national feeling.
  • Best practices on collection and preservation of Indigenous, feminist & LGBT2S, disability, anti-poverty, racialized media activist archives.
  • Media art practices foregrounding critical engagement with theories and practices of the archive.
  • Media archive as site of both memorialization and loss.
  • Accounts, stories, theorization by Indigenous scholars/artists regarding the media archive in relation to memory, trauma, oral histories,
  • Collaborations and other initiatives that transform unofficial and incomplete analog archives into socially share-able art installations, exhibitions, and digital initiatives.

Abstracts and proposals should be no longer than 400 words. 

Please send, along with a short bio to: thestudioformediaactivism@gmail.com ​