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[Commlist] CFP: Mass Communication and Transnational Empire: 50 years of (transformations since) Herbert Schiller
Fri Apr 05 10:30:43 GMT 2019
*Call For Papers: UDC- Project Censored 2019 *
October 31-November 3, 2019
California State University, East Bay
*Mass Communication and Transnational Empire: 50 years of
(transformations since) Herbert Schiller*
Fifty years ago, the world was at a conjunctural moment. The hegemony of
liberal Keynesianism had been exhausted, leading to rebellions in cities
across the United States, Paris, industrial centers in Northern Italy,
and Mexico City. Repression under Communist governments were met with
demands for freedom in Prague. The rise of Black Power, the Chicano
movement, and other national liberation struggles demonstrated
resistance to the capitalism, racism, and imperialism that was endemic
to the postwar order.
In the United States disciplinary foundations across the social sciences
shifted from theories of social stability to critical theories of
society and political power. In sociology and political science C.
Wright Mills produced a critical approach to American imperialism
dissecting the social and historical formation of elite power (1956).
The radical economics of Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy produced a
foundation and thread for socially and politically engaged heterodox and
Marxist economists (1968). And, perhaps, most famously Herbert Marcuse’s
/One-Dimensional Man/ (1964) raised questions about the continuity and
efficacy of social struggles in the context of U.S. commodity affluence,
imperialist internecine conflicts, and the comfortable, smooth,
reasonable, democratic unfreedom characteristic in the West. In this
context, it was Herbert I. Schiller that authored one of the defining
texts in the political economy of communication tradition, /Mass
Communication and American Empire /(1969). In this tradition of critical
approaches to U.S. society and culture, Schiller suggested that the
U.S.’s cultural imperialism emboldened its economic and military might
around the world. During the next decade, a neoliberal order emerged
that empowered finance capital while reorienting relationships between
the state and the economy and shifting our cultural politics around the
Now, in 2019, political, economic, and environmental crises
are restructuring the geopolitical order, and the world as we know it is
once again at a breaking point of exhaustive struggle. Neoliberal
ideology has been unmasked, its promises of accomplishing social equity
through “free markets” and “trickle- down economics” are no longer
tenable. Migration and displacements challenge conceptualization of the
nation, community and citizenship. It is in this context that we must
acknowledge the emergent right-wing populism embodied by Duterte,
Bolsinaro, Trump, Erdogan, and Brexit—and a global, digitally connected,
“alt-right” network. It is a response of exclusion, advocating a
tribalism whose only response to the challenges facing us is further
extraction of resources, including our humanity.
The fractures in neoliberal hegemony allow for new possibilities as we
work to forge a new path. We call for a reflection on the role of empire
and communication, and for reflective discussion about how scholars,
activists and journalists have considered this relationship through its
own history. Lest they are left hanging at the whim of corporate elites
and right-wing nationalists the persistent struggles by the most
vulnerable—undocumented workers, immigrants, refugees, women, queer
folx, indigenous peoples, and people of color—must be read as
constituting a new front and articulation in the global wars of
position. Stuart Hall referred to these struggles through “a politics
which understands the nature of a hegemonic politics in which different
struggles take the leading position on a range of different
fronts....The mode of prodction does not command every contradiction; it
does not find them all at the same place or advanced to the same
degree....” In this same vein, Herbert Marcuse, described vulnerable
groups as the “outcasts,” “outsiders,” “the exploited,” “the
persecuted,” “other races,” “other colors,” “the unemployed,” and “the
unemployable.” It was through the resistance of the most vulnerable that
Marcuse was able to articulate “The Great Refusal.” It was in their
struggles that Marcuse recognized the limits to critical theory: “The
critical theory of society possesses no concepts which could bridge the
gap between the present and its future; holding no promise and showing
no success, it remains negative. Thus, it wants to remain loyal to those
who, without hope, have given and give their life to the Great Refusal.”
Mills, Marcuse, Baran and Sweezy, and, especially, Schiller provide a
departure point that we must return to if we are to understand the
futures of a fractured, vicious, and persistent American empire.
At this conference, we will ask: In what ways do we still exist in
“American empire”? What are its prospects for the future, what
alternatives are emerging and in what way? What role do media and
communication networks play in solidifying or disrupting these
possibilities? What continuities or disjunctures exist in the relations
between the state, capital, labor, technology, and ideology? In what
ways are the structures and ideologies of colonialism and imperialism
(re)produced and experienced within national contexts?
The Union for Democratic Communications-Project Censored 2019 conference
invites contributions that reflect on the relationships between media,
communication, and empire from a variety of perspectives. Contributions
may examine these concepts through historical materialist, feminist,
critical race, queer, and other critical approaches, and might be
situated in interdisciplinary areas such as Latinx Studies, Black
Studies, gender studies, cultural studies, and environmental studies. In
particular, we invite contributions that highlight the means and methods
for active resistance, democratic communication, and the promotion of
social justice. New and established scholars, graduate students,
activists, and media creators are encouraged to submit proposals.
Topics included but not limited to:
* Race, class, gender and/or indigeneity
* Subaltern publics/communities, counterpublics, intersectional &
* Subversive political knowledge & oppositional gazes
* Debt, precarity and austerity
* transnational capitalist class
* Refugees and migrants
* Intersectionality,hybridity, articulation
* Nomadism, dislocation, ephemerality, ontological hybridity
* slavery, colonialism/post-colonialism and/or the primitive
accumulation of capital
* progressive movements, social movements, mass mobilizations and
* alt-global visions
* left-state alternatives
* state violence
* media reform and communication policy
* media literacy and critical media theory
* the neoliberal assault on higher education, radical scholars and
* radical scholars and academic freedom
* critical communication pedagogy
* fake news and propaganda
* CNN Effects
* intersections of politics, morality, and communication in the
current political climate
* eco media studies
Abstracts for papers should be 300-500 words and include name and
affiliation of submitter.*
* Enhancing Chance of Acceptance for Individual Submission:
* Don’t reveal your identity in the title or the abstract.
* Make sure your abstract relates to either the conference theme or
the organization’s mission (and ideally, to both).
* Describe clearly and concisely (300-500 words) what your submission
* Make sure it is well-edited.
*Panels, Workshops, Working Groups, and Roundtable Submissions:*
Abstracts for panel proposals, workshops, and roundtables should be
300-500 words and include title, abstract, and participants invited.*
Enhancing the Chance of Acceptance for a Panel/Workshop:
* Have one member of the panel or workshop submit an overarching panel
title and abstract.
* Each member should submit an individual abstract for their
contribution and, if appropriate, a title for their contribution.
Also, include just the panel title so they can be reviewed together.
* Don’t reveal your identity or the identity of anyone on the panel in
any of the submissions.
* Make sure all abstracts relate to either the conference theme or the
organization’s mission (and ideally, to both)
* In all abstracts, describe clearly and concisely (300-500 words)
what your submission does. Make sure it is well-edited.
Graduate students should submit full papers and abstracts to be
considered for the Brian Murphy Student Paper Award.
*All submissions undergo a double-blind review.
Please send abstracts and proposals to:
*Deadline for Submissions*: *15 June 2019*
*Notice of Acceptance*: Applicants will be notified of their acceptance
no later than 1 August 2019.
For more information, please visit our Conference Index. For any
questions, please contact: (udc.steering /at/ gmail.com)
<mailto:(udc.steering /at/ gmail.com)>
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