September 21, 2016

Call for Papers: International Association for Media and History, July 10-13, 2017

CFP: Media and History, Crime, Violence, and Justice, July 10-13, 2017, Paris, France

27th Conference of the International Association for Media and History

MEDIA AND HISTORY: CRIME, VIOLENCE AND JUSTICE is the main topic of the conference and a special section will also deal with international and comparative approaches to media history. Workshops for younger scholars will be organized.

Confirmed keynote speakers (there will be other plenary sessions with professionals and filmmakers):
Carrie Rentschler, William Dawson Scholar of Feminist Media Studies, McGill University
Francesco Casetti, Thomas E. Donnelley Professor of Humanities and Film and Media Studies, Yale University.

Call for Papers:

The relations between media and the acts or representations of crime, violence and justice are evolving through history. The openness of this call for papers is voluntary chosen in order to receive diverse and critical proposals dealing with this broad topic. Most of the time, it is through media that we encounter conflicts and violence; from news formats to fictional accounts; from traditional media such as newspapers, film, radio and television to ‘newer’ interactive media. Such media coverage is very frequently linked to debates on law and order. How can an open society react to crime and violence? Often, the relationship between conflict and crime and their representation can cause various conflicts.
First, media can become tools of propaganda, war and discrimination. They are then not only ways to communicate information but they are also part of performativity and action. Second, media can become a target of violence themselves, whether or not in totalitarian states or countries where the freedom of speech is restricted. Third, in each historical context, ‘new’ media inventions can produce an atmosphere of fear and violent contest or censorship, especially when they disturb existing (political) power patterns or structures. Fourth, media and communication technologies are also an essential part of social movements and political activism by offering spaces of visibility and instruments of contestation aimed at social change that can lead to situations of conflict and confrontations within the public sphere.
These various relations of media to crime, violence and justice are not new. Numerous scholars work or have worked on this topic by focusing on media and law, politics, journalism, media activism, war, (cultural) diplomacy or likewise the narration and mediatization of war, conflicts, punishment, violence, crime and justice. The latter are not only an essential part of news and the journalistic, political agenda, but they are also essential when it comes to fictional formats such as film or television series. Depending on historical, political and cultural premises, the signification and definition of crime and violence in media and law texts ask the question of the circulation and understanding of these concepts in society. This conference aims to (re)think the historical relations between media, crime, violence and justice also in order to offer new insights into more recent forms of this very complex interplay. Scholars and practitioners from various disciplines and approaches (history – media and communication studies – law – politics, gender, queer and feminist studies – sociology – anthropology – economy etc.) are welcome to submit papers and panel proposals that deal critically with the following topics:
- Historical representation/mediatization/definitions of crime, violence and justice in news or informational formats, film, documentaries, television drama or radio plays
- Historical approaches to media events related to crime, violence and justice.
- The production and reception of news and fiction dealing with crime, violence and justice
- Media historical approaches to symbolic and physical violence
- The crime scene, the criminal and the victims in news and fiction
- Historical (media-) constructions of the judge, the lawyer or secret service agents
- ‘New’ media inventions as aggregators of fear, conflict or censorship
- The historical role of media and technologies in social and political protest, movements and activism, leading sometimes to conflicts and violence
- The historical (international) relations of legal public entities, diplomacy, the police and the military with journalists and media institutions
- Media as targets of violence and crime
- The role of media archives for the historiography and memory of crime, violence and justice
- Media, history and criminology
- The history of cybercrime
- Legal actions attacking or protecting media content and their producers or audiences/users
There is also one special area dedicated to the question of international approaches to media history. Panel and paper proposals in this field are warmly welcome. The idea is to have space for epistemological, theoretical, practical and also comparative discussions on how media history is thought and experienced in different cultural areas: what kinds of archives are accessible, in creation or needed, the place of media history in academia etc.


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