[Air-L] CFP: University of Leeds ICS Postgrad Conference "Communications and Space/Place"

Paul Aitken info at paulaitken.com
Mon Dec 17 10:13:13 PST 2007

Communication and Space/ Place

2nd Postgraduate Conference
University of Leeds, Institute of Communications Studies
Leeds, United Kingdom
Friday, 6 June 2008

Following the great success of last year's first PhD conference, the 
Institute of Communications Studies (ICS) at the University of Leeds 
will be hosting a second post-graduate conference for research in 
communications and media. We invite students from all disciplines at the 
Master's or Doctoral level to present research that pertains to the 
conceptualisation and/or observation of �space/place� in relation to 
communication, media and culture.

Although Space and Place can be understood broadly, the theoretical and 
material implications of their relationship to media and communications 
are important to studies in this field. The two words, taken either 
together or separately, are crucial to all manner of media and 
communications structures/networks/economies/policies, such as the 
discursive 'space' of contemporary politics, shifting conceptions of 
public and private 'places', the focus on flows between locales in a 
global capitalist economy, the importance of creative 'space' in the 
culture industries, the decentralised 'space' of online 'citizen media', 
and so on. While a look at various definitions of either word reveals at 
once their potential compatibilities and irreconcilabilities, the 
linguistic convergence marked by each word's functionality as both verb 
and noun presents us with myriad possibilities of thinking Space and Place.
Spaces and places may be 'real' or 'virtual' environments and locales; 
sites of expansion or contraction; material realisations or policies of 
freedom or restriction. Space/Place can also be understood in terms of 
culture and discursive relationships; they can be formations where the 
identities of groups and individuals are explored and/or constructed, 
and where notions of human agency encounter forces and ideologies that 
influence and are influenced by the ways that social actors and 
institutions communicate.

The following are some possible areas of inquiry:

The problematic dichotomies of public-private, 'real'-virtual, spaces 
and places for the use/consumption of media.

Meaning/Representation: The spaces and places in which media and 
communication are produced and consumed have a profound relationship to 
how 'meaning' is derived from them. How are people from different 
cultures, ethnicities, etc. represented by and in media and communications?

What are the policies that shape the relationship of communication, 
space/place, and 'stakeholders' (public, state, market, NGOs etc) how is 
space/place regulated? How do space/place relate to prohibition of 
communication, or the use of various media as propaganda?

The spaces and places in which media and communication are produced and 
consumed have a profound relationship to how 'meaning' is derived from 
them. To what extent, and in which ways, are media and communications 
spaces/places contingent (or not) on aspects of each other and on media 
producers and consumers?

Are there barriers to participation in certain media/communications 
spaces/places? How does power operate in these spaces/places? How are 
new formations of power relationships developed with relation to 
space/place? How are old formations changing or being reinforced in 
contemporary media?

What happens at the edges and intersections of spaces/places, i.e. when 
traditional media meet the Internet, or when communications cross over 
between genres and media? Does a place necessarily constitute a space, 
and vice versa? Are they fluid; are they mutually exclusive?

Please submit an abstract by 21 January 2008 with a general description 
of your research paper, indicating your topic, theoretical framework, 
research questions or hypotheses, and methodological considerations. The 
abstract should not exceed 500 words and should be attached to your 
email in a common document format (MS Word compatible, Word Perfect). 
Should your proposal be accepted, we will ask you to provide a full 
paper before the conference.

All accepted full papers will be read, discussed and commented on by 
members of the academic staff from the Institute of Communications 
Studies who have expertise in your topic, method, or theoretical 
framework. This can be a golden opportunity for you to refine your 
thoughts, openly share your concerns, and receive constructive critique 
from professors and fellow postgraduate students working in your area. 
It is also a great chance to start building or expanding your 
professional and academic network. Following the conference your paper 
will be published in the forthcoming ICS Postgraduate Conference 
proceedings open access online journal.

Contact Information:

Email: ics-pg-conference at leeds.ac.uk
Conference Website: 

Important Dates:

Abstracts: 21 January 2008
Acceptance Notification: 3 March 2008
Full papers: 30 April 2008

Please indicate the following in the body of your email:

Title of presentation as it appears on the abstract
Affiliaton (program and university)
Level and year of study (ex. Master's, 2nd year)
Phone number
E-mail address
Mailing address
A/V requirements (computer/projector, film projector, VCR/DVD, stereo, 
Other requirements (table, easel, hooks, display materials).
Mobility and other special needs requirements (wheel chair access, etc.)

We look forward to receiving your abstracts, and thank you for your 

-The Organising Committee.
Paul Aitken
Guitarist - Improviser - Academic
+44 (0) 7942 610 871
info at paulaitken.com

"I am well aware that I have not written anything but fictions...which 
is not to say that they have nothing to do with the truth." - Michel 

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