Curation, Community, and Commodity: Media Collections and Playlists on screen and off.

full name / name of organization: 
University of California, Riverside

This panel seeks to investigate a particular casualty of the move away from brick-and-morter storefronts as distributors of media objects towards online vending (and piracy): the staff picks shelf. Whether the media in question is music, video, comics, print, how does the taste community generated around the curation of the staff within the local and particular physical and commercial space of the shop compare to the disembodied, dispersed access model of online reviews and "Best of" lists? How does the locality, particularity, and face-to-faceness of encountering register differences in the relations between curator, media object, and auditor in these situations?
Topics for papers include but are not limited to:
-How is curatorial authority claimed and maintained differently by specialty sales clerks, as opposed to the kinds of expertise and authority claimed by online reviewers and fan communities?
-When multiple "staff picks" are displayed together, what dynamics of individual taste are at play, and how do these dynamics compare to the simultaneity and diversity of curatorial expression on the Internet?
-How does a physical grouping of media objects affect their reception by potential auditors differently than their disembodied compilation in a list online?
-How might the segregation of a finite set of curated objects, physically displayed amid a larger finite set of available objects, differ from the separation of a curated set of links within the near-infinite media availability of the internet?
-How does the automated taste-recognition software of sites like Pandora and Netflix interact with user's self-understanding of their taste-culture affiliations? How might the automation of curation in these repositories affect human claims of curatorial authority and taste policing?

Abstracts of 250-300 words should be submitted at or mailed to no later than Feburary 11th, 2013.

This is a panel call for the 20th Annual (dis)junctions Humanities and Social Sciences Graduate Conference at the University of California, Riverside. This year's general theme "encountering with(in) texts," examines the impact of situatedness, unexpectedness, and/or unpreparedness on "face to text" encounters with media objects, embodied encounters negotiated through or overdetermined by texts, and representations of "encountering" within texts. Please visit for more information on this year's theme, our other subject and discipline specific panel calls, and our Keynote Speaker Dr. Nicholas Mirzeoff.