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[Commlist] CfP: Communication, Capitalism and Critique, ESA RN18 Conference 2020

Wed Mar 04 19:24:02 GMT 2020

Communication, Capitalism and Critique: Critical Media Sociology in the 21st Century
ESA RN18 Mid-Term Conference 2020
Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy
10-12 September 2020
Conference website:

European Sociological Association (ESA) ‐ Research Network 18: Sociology of Communications and Media Research in cooperation with the:

Interuniversity Department of Regional and Urban Studies and Planning (DIST) of the Polytechnic University of Turin and the University of Turin Italian National Sociological Association (AIS) – Section: Cultural Processes and Institutions
Italian Scientific Society of Sociology, Culture, Communication (SISCC)
Antonio Gramsci Piedmont Institute Foundation

Invites applications for the:


ESA RN18 Mid-Term Conference 2020


Tiziana Terranova (University of Naples ‘L’Orientale’, Italy): Hypersocial Networks: for a critical genealogy of the social network topos

Peter Thomas (Brunel University London, UK)

Donatella Della Ratta (John Cabot University, Rome, Italy): Twenty-Twenty Critical Theory Toolkit: Take the Red Pill and live happily in the age of algorithmic (in)humanity


We live in times of deepening economic, political, social, ideological and ecological crises that are expressed in widespread precarious labour, the commodification of (almost) everything, the rise of new nationalism, populism and authoritarian forms of capitalism, and ecological destruction. The display of power and counter-power, domination and spaces of power struggles, and the commons and the commodification of the commons characterise modern society. Contradictions and antagonisms between the haves and the have-nots shape contemporary Europe and beyond. Media and communication are fields of conflict in this power struggle: they are power structures and sites of power struggles, able to support both the expansion and the commodification of the commons.

On reflection of the conference place, Turin was the city where Gramsci lived, was politically active and where he set up the weekly newspaper ‘L’Ordine Nuovo’ and acted as editor of the newspaper ‘Il Grido del Popolo’. Gramsci exerted influence on the study of culture and communication in society. ESA RN18’s mid-term conference in Turin is an occasion for media/communication/cultural sociologists to ask: What is the relevance of Gramsci and other approaches and thinkers inspired by Marx for the study of communication and society today?

ESA RN18 calls for contributions that shed new light on theoretical and analytical insights that help to shape critical media sociology in the 21st century, in particular, but not exclusively, addressed to any of the following:

1.	Critical Media Sociology and Capitalism
2.	Critical Media Sociology and Critical Theory
3. Critical Media Sociology and Critical Political Economy of Media, Information and Communication
4.	Critical Media Sociology, Gramsci and Hegemony
5.	Critical Media Sociology and Ideology Critique
6.	Critical Media Sociology and Cultural and Communication Labour
7.	Critical Media Sociology and Digital Labour
8.	Critical Media Sociology, New Nationalism and Authoritarianism
9.	Critical Media Sociology, Consumption and Production in Urban Processes
10.	Critical Media Sociology, Patriarchy and Gender
11.	Critical Media Sociology, Social Inequality, Identity and Subjectivities
12.	Critical Media Sociology, Ecology and Climate
13.	Critical Media Sociology, Democracy and the Public Sphere
14.	Critical Media Sociology and the Left
15.	Critical Media Sociology, the Commons and Alternatives


Abstract submission deadline: 1 April 2020
Notification of selected abstracts: 15 May 2020
Conference dates: 10-12 September 2020

Abstracts should be sent to:

Conference Organising Committee, (rn18esasubmission /at/

Abstracts should be sent as an e-mail attachment (400-600 words including title, author name(s), email address(es), and institutional affiliation(s)). Please insert the words “ESA RN18 Submission” in the subject. Although we do not provide a template for the abstract submission, we expect abstracts that include a rationale, research question(s), theoretical and/or empirical methods applied, and potential results and implications. Each abstract will be independently reviewed by two members of the ESA RN18 Board based on the call for papers.


90 Euro for ESA RN18 members / 110 Euro for non ESA RN18 members (conference dinner included)

60 Euro for ESA RN18 members / 80 Euro for non ESA RN18 members (without conference dinner)

25 Euro for students (Bachelor and Master) (without conference dinner) / 55 Euro (conference dinner included)

The registration details, including the registration form, will be available on the conference website in spring 2020:

You can become a member of ESA RN18 by joining the ESA and subscribing to the network. The network needs material support, so we encourage you to join or renew your membership. The network subscription fee is only 10 Euro:

Participation support for 4 PhD students and/or independent researchers will be available. This will not cover all costs, but part of them (accommodation and full conference fee). Preference will be given to presentations that suit the overall conference topic. If you want to apply for participation support, please send an extended abstract (600 - 800 words), biographical information (up to 250 words) and indicate this in your abstract submission by adding the sentence ‘I want to apply for participation support for PhD students / independent researchers’. The notifications about participation support will be sent out together with the notifications of acceptance or rejection of presentations. Additional information to prove your position as a PhD student or independent researcher will be requested.


The conference will be hosted by the Interuniversity Department of Regional and Urban Studies and Planning. The Department is located at the Castello del Valentino, Viale Mattioli 39, 10125 Turin, Italy (see:

The ESA RN18 organising committee is led by:

Dr Marisol Sandoval, Coordinator of ESA RN18, City University London, UK
Dr Thomas Allmer, Coordinator of ESA RN18, University of Innsbruck, Austria
Dr Paško Bilić, Vice-Coordinator of ESA RN18, Institute for Development and International Relations, Croatia

The local organising committee is led by:

Dr Tatiana Mazali, Chair of the local organising committee, Interuniversity Department of Regional and Urban Studies and Planning, Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy


The Conference Organising Committee is closely monitoring the situation of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). While we are concerned about recent developments, the conference organisation is currently proceeding as initially planned. Please visit the conference website regularly for new updates.

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