[Air-L] Call: Conference Panel ”The Marxist Critique of the Political Economy of the Media” at the 2nd Marx Conference

Christian Fuchs christian.fuchs at uti.at
Wed Nov 11 06:39:28 PST 2015

Call for Abstracts: Conference Panel ”The Marxist Critique of the 
Political Economy of the Media” (2 sessions)

Part of the 2nd Marx Conference, Stockholm, Sweden. October 14-16, 2016.
Venue: ABF-huset, Sveavägen 41.
Website: http://www.marx2016.org

Convenors: Arwid Lund, Uppsala University, Sweden; Christian Fuchs, 
University of Westminster, UK.
Supported by the open access journal tripleC: Communication, Capitalism 
& Critique (http://www.triple-c.at)

Details: http://www.triple-c.at/index.php/tripleC/announcement/view/26

Abstract submission: max. 250 words. Deadline January 31, 2016. 
Submission to: arwid.lund at abm.uu.se.
Please indicate to which of the two sessions you submit (see below). 
Each session will consist of a panel of four speakers, 15 min. for each 
presentation, and half an hour for concluding questions and discussions.
In 2013, a very successful Marx conference was held in Stockholm, 
gathering 2000 activists and scholars, with keynote speakers such as 
Michael Heinrich and Wolfgang Haug. The main topic of the conference was 
Marxist theory as a tool for analysing contemporary society. 2016’s 
follow-up conference (Marx2016) aims at political openings and 
potentials for a world beyond capitalism based on a thorough analysis of 
contemporary society. The general theme of the conference is To change a 
changed world.
The conference consists of four main tracks. One of the sub-tracks will 
focuses on Marxist studies of media, communication and information

There will be two sessions based on the following questions and themes:

Theme 1: Digital labour, Marx and Dallas Smythe:
In 1977, almost 40 years ago, Dallas Smythe published his seminal 
article “Communications: Blindspot of Western Marxism”, in which he 
introduced the notions of audience labour and the audience commodity.
This session asks: What is the relevance of “audience labour” for the 
political project of Marxism and the analysis of online participants and 
user generated content in the age of commercial social media such as 
Facebook, YouTube and Google? Does it matter for Marxism as a political 
project if the analysis of digital capitalism is based on the concepts 
of surplus-value or rent?

Theme 2: Exploitation 2.0: Class and Exploitation in the Digital Age:
Capitalism is a dynamic, dialectical system that changes in order to 
maintain its fundamental structures of exploitation. The rise of the 
computer, digitisation and the Internet’s role in the economy and 
society has brought about changes of class structures.
This session asks: How have class and exploitation changed in the age of 
digital media? How can we analyse unpaid activities on commercial 
platforms with the help of class and other concepts such as the 
multitude and exploitation? What is the role of conflicts and struggles 
between users and the owners of corporate Internets platforms (such as 
Facebook, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, Weibo, Amazon, Pinterest, Tumblr, 
Flickr, etc.). Can peer production and non-commercial, alternative 
online media challenge capitalism? What are the implications of digital 
Marxism and media Marxism for Marxist theory and socialist politics?

The sub-theme of The Marxist Critique of the Political Economy of the 
Media will be accompanied by one keynote talk in a general plenary 
session that provides a general introduction to the Marxist political 
economy of media, information and communication:
Christian Fuchs: “The Marxist Critique of the Political Economy of Media 
in the Age of Digital Capitalism”.

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