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CFA: Theorising Media and Conflict workshop, Vienna, 23-24 Oct 2015

August 27, 2015
A Media Anthropology Network event
European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA)
Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology
University of Vienna, Austria
23-24 October 2015

** Financial assistance available, see below **

In a recent survey of the interdisciplinary literature on media and conflict, Schoemaker and Stremlau (2014) found that most existing studies display Western-centric biases, normative assumptions and unsubstantiated claims about the impact of media in conflict situations. With their ethnographic methods and ground-up theorising, anthropologists are therefore well placed to make a strong contribution to the advancement of this area of scholarship. Although a growing number of anthropologists have studied media in conflict and post-conflict contexts – working on diverse topics such as media representations, cyberwar, internet activism, social protest, video-making, or radio dramas – so far they have done so in relative isolation from one another. The result is a fragmentation of the field and a dissipation of efforts.

The aim of this workshop is to remedy this situation by bringing together media anthropologists and other media and communication scholars working on the complex relationship between media and conflict.

Having presented and discussed their own research (Day 1), workshop participants will then ask the following collective questions (Day 2):

  1. What is the present state of anthropological and interdisciplinary knowledge on media and conflict?
  2. What are the main questions in need of urgent research and writing?
  3. How can media anthropologists and others contribute to the interdisciplinary effort of theorising the elusive relationship between media and conflict?
  4. What topics and themes should an edited volume arising from the workshop focus on?

In addition to its networking function, the workshop will lead to an edited volume provisionally titled Theorising Media and Conflict. This will be the third in the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) Media Anthropology Network’s series of theoretical volumes published by Berghahn. The first volume came out in 2010 as Theorising Media and Practice (Bräuchler & Postill, eds), and the second volume, Theorising Media and Change (Postill, Ardevol & Tenhunen, eds) is forthcoming. The aim of the series is to place media anthropology at the forefront of theoretical advances in both anthropology and media and communication studies.

Please send your questions and abstracts (max. 300 words) by 20 September 2015 to John Postill (john.postill@rmit.edu.au) and Philipp Budka (philipp.budka@univie.ac.at).

N.B.There will be financial assistance with travel and accommodation expenses available to participants who require it. Please contact the organisers for further information if you require such assistance. The organisers are grateful to EASA, the Austrian Research Association (ÖFG), and the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna, for their generous support of this event.

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