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[ecrea] Cfp: Workshop “Media Manipulation” | 29 June 2018 | Cambridge, UK

Mon Apr 16 16:45:33 GMT 2018

Call for papers: Workshop “Media manipulation: ideologies of influence and political economies of intervention in a digital world”

29 June 2018 | Cambridge, UK

The StoryLab Research Institute at Anglia Ruskin University and the ERC-funded Project “Situating Free Speech: European Parrhesia in Comparative Perspective” at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge, invite paper submissions for a workshop on the topic of “media manipulation”.

Manipulation — of attention, opinion, action — has been a salient concern in the recent Euro-American takes on digital media and their role in politics. While the question of media and power is by no means new, our workshop aims to critically engage recent concerns with manipulation through an empirically informed discussion of ideologies and political economies of mediated influence. Our goal is to situate manipulation — as an idea, practice, and analytical perspective on social relations — by bringing together empirically and theoretically minded papers that explore the relationship between media and social influence in diverse geographical and historical contexts — both in and beyond Western liberal democracies. We propose to organise the workshop around two foci: vernacular ideologies of mediated influence and political economies of manipulative interventions.

The focus on ideologies brings to attention how people imagine agents, objects, media and mechanisms of manipulation as well as how they incorporate them into narratives of influence or indeed into political projects of manipulation. What cultural assumptions about agency and autonomy, freedom and constraint, causation and responsibility inform understandings of manipulation? How do cultural ideas of action frame manipulation as practice; what technologies of control do they inform? And what forms does manipulation take in response to these vernacular ideologies in the context of political orders other than contemporary liberal democracies?

The focus on political economies brings attention to the view of power as manipulation. How is manipulation, as an expertise of power, arranged and mediated in technological, cultural, and social settings? Who manipulates and by what means? What modes of manipulation do specific media technologies afford? How is manipulation articulated in relation to digital media practices, as well as broader grammars of influence, which inform political orders other than liberal democracy, for instance, in Russia or China? Please find a google document version of the call here:

We invite contributions from across the social sciences and humanities and encourage presentations that feature work-in-progress. Participants will be expected to give a 15-20 min presentation, followed by an extensive discussion. Papers will not be pre-circulated.

To apply, please send a Word or PDF document containing your name, institutional affiliation, email address, the proposed title of your paper and an abstract (max 300 words) to Taras Fedirko ((tf338 /at/ and Samuel Lengen ((samuel.lengen /at/ by 2 May. We will inform applicants by 10 May.

We have some funding available and will do our best to cover travel costs and accommodation. Our allocation of financial support will prioritise graduate students and precariously employed colleagues.

This is an open event. If you wish to attend, please register here: There is no participation fee, free lunch is included.

Dr Samuel Lengen, StoryLab Research Institute, Anglia Ruskin University
Dr Taras Fedirko, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge

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