CFP: [20th] "Discursive Treatments of Media and Materiality" 4th Annual Digital Assembly Conference

full name / name of organization: 
Elise Takehana
contact email: 

The University of Florida's graduate student group, the Digital Assembly
( in the Department of English is hosting its 4th Annual
conference. Branching beyond game studies, we are looking to cross disciplinary lines
incorporating research and original works from various fields including English, Art and Art
History, and Visual Anthropology to name a few. We are particularly interested in discursive
practices and the role and implication of media conventions in the above fields especially given
the rising importance of materiality in criticism and analysis.

Attention to materiality for literary studies has entailed looking beyond the content of a work to
consider its form and how that affects its meaning, that being everything from its physical
appearance on the page, the blurred line between language and visual representation, and a
decreased emphasis on the author as creator but an assembler or collaborator with the audience.
The proposed ideas of where to place emphasis and what use genre and its limits and
conventions have varies from critic to critic but it has become the unavoidable question of any
method of discussing visual and now literary representation.

Materiality in anthropology is concerned with the transcendence of the usual dualism between
subjects and objects and focuses on how social relations are created through activities of
consumption, production, reproduction, destruction, construction, worship, dismissal, recycling,
dispense, ritual incorporation, etc. of the material object. How "culture" is expressed, embraced,
rejected, normalized, etc. through the interaction with physical things - including, but not
limited to, icons, visual images, films, symbolic materials, objects of "everyday" use, objects of
nature, etc. - is what the focus of materiality is concerned with.

Visual arts equally has a tangled history of what place and level of contemplation materiality
should hold particularly in the post-Greenberg era of installation based art, performance art, and
virtual and digital works that question the meaning of material structures and push the bounds
of materiality beyond the tangible, visible, or physical.

We encourage papers that discuss media studies and materiality as a discursive practice in
various disciplines as well as uses, implications, and needs for considering media and materiality
in analyzing specific media objects from more traditional works like print novels or ethnographic
film to more experimental projects in interactive fiction and performance. Topic can address (but
are not limited to):
*The implications of materiality for various disciplines including but not limited to English,
literary criticism/analysis, digital media, art, art history, art criticism, or anthropology
*Approaches to critiquing media in the academy considering its increased recognition as crucial
to meaning making
*Popular trends in media experimentation and implications
*The role and use of technology in new media projects, interactive media, virtual reality, and
video games
*The role of form in altering content, reception, and audience participation
*The autonomy of the image versus continued need for textual support in literary, artistic, and
anthropological disciplines
*Changes in meaning in using digital or analog media
*Problems of inscription or representing the unrepresentable in traditional and experimental
*The role of media analysis in various fields (literary, artistic, and anthropological) and its
relations to formalism
*Implications of non-linear concepts of time and montage, contemporary uses and the avant-
garde tradition
*Remediation and borrowing media conventions from other periods and media as well as
borrowing conventions from multiple disciplines
*History as not chronological or progressive but recursive or the arbitrary nature of periods and
movements (baroque, classicism, romanticism)

In addition to academic papers, a call for original film, visual and digital art, and literary works is
anticipated shortly. The conference will include several panels for papers, keynotes speakers (to
be announced as available), a filming of original works, and an exhibition.

Please email abstracts for papers between 200-250 words to Elise Takehana at by November 15, 2008.

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Received on Sun May 11 2008 - 00:05:09 EDT