The Arts of Mediation - Lisbon 17-19 March 2010 (deadline 30 November 2009)

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CECC-Research Center for Communication and Culture (Catholic University of Portugal, Lisbon)
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Catholic University of Portugal, Lisbon
17-19 March 2010

Mediation is a pivotal keyword to understand the way humans make sense of the world, how they create knowledge, communicate and relate to each other. Considering that the subject's relation to reality is never naïve but rather, as Heidegger argues, a struggle and meaning the outcome of that complex relationship, the conference wishes to address the multiple ways in which this association/appropriation is enacted and the way it shapes and is shaped by modernity. Just as the ancient muses figured and organized the creative life of the ancient world, so do in our late modern age the arts of mediation (literature, journalism, art, dance, film and the creative media in general) by means of its different technological apparatuses (writing, film, painting or embodied performances) organize the ways in which cultures and individuals relate and come to terms with the world and events surrounding them.

Mediation may, in fact, be understood in two different assertions. One is social-cognitive and refers to fact that knowledge is not a pure appearance out of an essentialized origin, but rather requires tools, depends on subjects to emerge and is socially and culturally contingent. Mediation is thus a process that may make use of several media and technologies to uphold its purposes. It may hence be mediatized, i.e. promoted and broadcasted by means of the news or creative media, but it is not reduced to it. On the other hand, mediation is a cultural-political tool, as it refers to strategies of negotiation, conciliation and intervention to bring about a resolution of conflict. In a certain way, the arts of mediation subsume the two assertions as they seek to negotiate meaning amongst conflicting parties, the event and the subject, witness or conveyor of the story, or because meaning and representation, as Foucault argues, are warring procedures that require mediation to be reconciled. The arts of mediation then, both as social technologies and as cultural processes, are framed by power structures, shaped by technological developments, inspired by creative modes, thread with emotional strategies, and thorn with ethical conflict which reflect the very mode of modernity.

The conference wishes to bring together scholars in the humanities and media studies in order to discuss the structure and impact of mediation in the praxis of meaning making in the modern world. Papers are welcome on the topics listed below, amongst others:

-Keywords in media and culture: Mediation, Premediation and Remediation
-The technologies of mediation: from writing to the new media
-Memory and forms of mediation, representation, testimony
-The ethics of mediation
-Conflict and the art(s) of mediation
-Mediating and remediating identities in the global world
-Hybrid media and cultural hybridization
-Gender and the technologies of mediation
-Mediation in virtual spaces
-Mediation, immersion and simulation
-E-motion and mediation

Invited Speakers:
-Ansgar Nünning (GCSC – Giessen)
-Barbie Zelizer (Annenberg School of Comm., U. Pennsylvania)
-Michael Schudson (U. Columbia)
-Elisabeth Bronfen (U. Zurich)
-Gabriele Brandstetter (FU. Berlin)
-David Wellberry (U. Chicago)
-Richard Grusin (Wayne State U.)
Et alia

Submissions must be sent by November 30, 2009 to and should consist of title, 300 word abstract and a short biographical note.

CECC – Research Center for Communication and Culture
Universidade Católica Portuguesa
Palma de Cima
1649-023 LISBOA