Objects of Global Media

full name / name of organization: 
Paul Benzon / MLA 2016
contact email: 

Objects of Global Media -- MLA 2016 (http://bit.ly/mla16objects)

What are the symptomatic objects of global media? Where are they? What characterizes the networks they circulate through, and what do their circulations (or lack thereof) tell us about questions of power, embodiment, law, temporality? What histories do they exist within, and how might they help us reimagine those histories more critically and productively? How might we see the stakes of global media culture differently if we rethink them around an object such as the earbud, the undersea cable, the SIM card, or the server rack?

In order to raise these and other questions, this proposed special session builds on recent scholarly work in media archaeology and recent conversations at MLA about the materiality of media to offer a context for critical consideration of the technologies of global capital at a granular scale. Following a pecha kucha format (20 slides shown for 20 seconds each, for a total of 6 minutes, 40 seconds), proposed talks should focus on a single—and indeed perhaps also singular—key object within the global media landscape, whether small or large, and should offer a materially inflected critical reading of that object as a way of raising larger issues including globalization, media change, capital, and ecopolitics. Speakers might focus on infrastructure, ephemera, waste, circulation, labor and supply chains, or any number of other possible areas of inquiry. Please send 250-word abstracts and CVs to pbenzon@temple.edu by March 15 (general inquiries are also welcome at this address).