SCMS 2015: From Historical to New Materialism? Deadline: August 6th

full name / name of organization: 
Brent Smith-Casanueva, Stony Brook University

From Historical to New Materialism? Late Capitalism, Media Technology, and the Ontological Turn

The increasing attention to ontology and digital materiality in media studies bespeaks the considerable influence of new materialist theories on the field. With some exceptions, this new materialist-inflected scholarship has explicitly distanced itself from Marxist historical materialism, choosing to focus its attention on the material existence and agency of media technologies rather than on the articulation of these technologies within the historical development of capitalism. In response to these developments, this panel aims to consider what insights might be gained by rethinking the apparent opposition between historical and new materialism. What are the political stakes involved in the disjuncture between the two approaches? Is there any potential for a productive dialog between them that might provide a more complex understanding of contemporary media technologies and their social context?

This panel invites papers from a wide range of fields and theoretical perspectives that address the relationship between historical and new materialism. Contributions might take the form of specific case studies or broader theoretical argumentation (or some combination of both). Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

• Philosophical links between new and historical materialism (e.g. Deleuze and Guattari)
• Materialist approaches to media history
• Queer and feminist new/historical materialisms
• The materiality of streaming video services
• Frankfurt School critical theory and contemporary media technologies
• Media archaeology and digital materiality
• The limits of ontology and/or materiality
• Quantum mechanics and digital media
• The materiality of non-screen media
• Global capitalism and uneven technological development
• Digital media and affective labor

Please submit a 250-300 word proposal along with a current CV and a 50-100 word bio to by August 6th, 2014. Submitters will be notified of the status of their proposals by August 12th.