Archive for calls, February 2020

[Previous message][Back to index]

[Commlist] Call for Papers: "Cross-border media infrastructures and imaginaries in a changing Asia-Pacific" // Media International Australia

Sat Feb 29 19:22:21 GMT 2020

Special issue of Media International Australia (

"Cross-border media infrastructures and imaginaries in a changing Asia-Pacific"

Dr. Tom McDonald and Professor Heather A. Horst, Editors

Media of various forms, and the infrastructures and communities that are associated with them, have often been strongly determined by national boundaries. This is particularly the case in the Asia-Pacific region, where media organizations have traditionally been owned by government entities and/or large national conglomerates. At the same time, the movement of people, goods, capital, information and ideas are undergoing shifts and intensifications, owing to broader geopolitical changes, state-led infrastructure projects and the aspirations of individuals and communities shaped by such regional transformations.

Against this context, media flows are being created, worked and reworked, facilitated by new infrastructures, imaginaries and understandings. These flows frequently cross, circumvent or come up against borders, both domestic and international. Online shopping, logistics, blockchain and fin-tech are fostering new cross-border flows of goods and money. Media content is increasingly consumed internationally, posing new opportunities and challenges for media companies, regulators and governments. Users and consumers of the media are also witnessing the reworking of their media environments because of these changes, adopting inventive responses to and adaptations of the media in return.

While much attention has focused on how powerful states seek to exert influence beyond their borders through the promotion of platforms, technologies and services, this special issue challenges dominant narratives of the contemporary moment from the vantage point of the Asia Pacific region and the heterogeneity it embodies. Through attention to the changing circuits of media in the region, this special issue seeks to understand (and explore alternatives to) ‘great power struggle’ narratives by considering the role of local media forms, perspectives and practices in such processes of transformation. Specifically, we ask contributors to consider: * How are media flows redefining understandings of borders? * What kinds of novel communities are being created by cross-border media flows? * What forms of social imaginaries accompany the emergence of new infrastructures from “outside”? * How are boundaries and borders being made, unmade or remade within and across the Asia-Pacific region? We are particularly excited to include case studies that address imaginations and infrastructures of cross-border media from across the broader Asia-Pacific region. 


Tom McDonald is a media anthropologist dedicated to using ethnographic engagement to achieve a richer understanding of how digital technologies, media and material culture come to mediate ongoing transformations in the communicative practices, economic behaviours, social relationships and human subjectivities of people in China and beyond. Tom joined the Department of Sociology at the University of Hong Kong in August 2015. Prior to this, he was a Research Associate at the Department of Anthropology, University College London. Tom’s first monograph, Social Media in Rural China: Social Networks and Moral Frameworks (2016, UCL Press), details the findings of 15-months of ethnographic fieldwork in the Chinese countryside, examining how social media use reconfigures social relations and morality. A separate co-authored volume, How the World Changed Social Media (2016, UCL Press) expands on the wider findings of the larger comparative UCL Why We Post study, to which my ethnography formed a central contribution. Tom’s research increasingly focuses on economic concerns, reflecting the rapid convergence between digital money and media in China. His current project examines everyday cross-border money transactions between Hong Kong and Mainland China.

Heather A. Horst is the Director of the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University in Australia. A sociocultural anthropologist, she researches material culture, mobility, and the mediation of social relations through digital media and technology. Her publications focusing upon these themes include The Cell Phone: An Anthropology of Communication (Horst and Miller, 2006); Hanging Around, Messing Around and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media (Ito, et al 2010; 10th anniversary edition published in November 2019); Digital Anthropology (Horst and Miller, eds., 2012); Digital Ethnography: Principles and Practices (Pink, Horst, et al 2016); The Routledge Companion to Digital Ethnography (Horst, Hjorth, Galloway and Bell, eds. 2017); The Moral and Cultural Economy of Mobile Phones: Pacific Perspectives (Foster and Horst, eds 2018) and Location Technologies in International Context (Wilken, Goggin and Horst, ed. 2019). She has also been the executive producer of two films focused upon mobile media, Mobail Goroka (2018) and Parenting in the Smart Age: Fijian Perspectives (2019), based upon research in Fiji and Papua New Guinea. Heather’s current research is focused upon the circulation of protest music in Melanesia through mobile technologies as part of an Australian Research Council Linkage project with the Wantok Foundation and Further Arts Vanuatu. She is also a Chief Investigator on a Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision Making and Society where she will be examining the role of automated decision in design, creativity and fashion as well as new forms of transport and mobility.

* Tom McDonald ((mcdonald /at/
* Heather Horst ((h.horst /at/


* 30 April 2020: Abstracts due for submission to guest editors
* 15 May 2020: Invite to submit full papers sent to selected authors
* 30 July 2020: Full papers due for submission to guest editors
* 30 August 2020: Feedback on full papers sent to selected authors
* 30 September 2020: Full papers due for submission to Media International Australia

[PDF version of CfP: ]

This mailing list is a free service offered by Nico Carpentier. Please use it responsibly and wisely.
To subscribe or unsubscribe, please visit
Before sending a posting request, please always read the guidelines at
To contact the mailing list manager:
Email: (nico.carpentier /at/

[Previous message][Back to index]