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November 2015, Week 1


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Media Fields Journal <[log in to unmask]>
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 4 Nov 2015 14:55:18 -0800
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Please distribute widely

*Call for Papers: Media and MigrationMedia Fields JournalUniversity of
California, Santa Barbara*

*Submission Deadline: January **15, 2016*

            A recent *New York Times *article reporting on the Syrian
refugee crisis ranked smartphones on par with food and shelter as part of
the “21st Century migrant’s essentials.” Smartphones equipped with maps and
GPS allow displaced Syrians to navigate unknown territories. They also
allow access to crucial support and information provided by families and
migrant networks through messaging apps and social media sites. This report
exemplifies the complex interplay between media, migration, and the
construction of cultural and geopolitical space. Also indicative of these
complexities is Barack and Michelle Obama’s public tribute to Univision’s
*Sá**bado Gigante *and its host, Don Francisco*, *as the show ends its
53-year run on television. Originally produced in Chile in 1962, the *Sá**bado
Gigante *came to the United States in 1986 and has since become, as the
First Lady states, “a fixture in living rooms across America and an
important part of our cultural life.” The show thus has a migrant
experience of its own and indexes various historical shifts in the movement
of people and media between Latin America and the United States.

                        Recent studies demonstrate the need to reassess
longstanding assumptions about the connections between media and migration.
Carolyn Cartier, Manuel Castells, and Jack Linchuan Qiu challenge the
understanding of marginalized communities as “have-nots” who stand outside
the information society. Instead, they use the term “have-less” to indicate
migrants’ limited and precarious access to media technology. Given the
particular challenges to reaching and moving across space that migrants
experience, migrants are, as Karim H. Karim demonstrates, at the forefront
of technological adoption. In this context, the uprooted migrant has given
way to what Dana Diminescu calls the “connected migrant.”

            Taking stock of such intricacies, the Media Fields Collective
is excited to announce a new issue of *Media Fields Journal* exploring the
relationship between media, migration, and space. We invite manuscripts,
art projects, and interviews that explore the communicative ecology
experienced by migrants and the way that media informs movement of bodies,
information, and networks across space. Contributors may submit essays
(1500-2500 words), digital art projects, and audio or video interviews
exploring possible dynamics between media, migration, movement, and space.
Please include an abstract (150 words) and an author bio. We encourage
approaches to this topic from scholars in media studies, material arts,
anthropology, computer science, communication, art/art history, geography,
urban planning, sociology, global studies, and other fields.

            We propose the following questions as catalysts for these

•      How do physical media infrastructures condition movements of
information and people? Or even the movement of animals, water, or waste?

•      What economic, social, or legal frameworks regulate the movement of
information, spectrum allocation, information systems, and human migration?

•      How is GPS or other tracking technology being taken up by migrants
or their opponents?

•      How might thinking about physical or digital migration of
information, media devices, or technologies shed new light on how we
approach the movement of people across space?

•       Does the way information move within systems or across borders
provide a nuanced way to rethink human migration, immigration laws, and
border enforcement?

•      How does the migration of media and people influence ideas about the
global, national, and post-national?

•      How do media technologies influence the formation of transnational
communities, online communities, and networks for the marketing and
consumption of nostalgia?

•      How do media technologies and social media alter processes,
communication, and economic experiences of migration for migrants as well
as those “left behind”?

•      What role does media play for migrants resettling in a host nations
and navigating new cultural, political, and physical surroundings? How does
settlement in the host country affect migrants’ relationship to media?

•      Do gender, sexuality, race, and class differences influence
migrants’ access to media technologies? Or the way they use these
technologies? How might this contribute to diverging experiences of

•      What effects do media technologies have on the relationship between
migration and the gendered distribution of paid and unpaid care work?

•      What methodological questions or issues emerge in understanding this
moment of intensifying movement of both people and information across the
national borders and through media infrastructures?

For any inquiries, contact issue co-editors, Bianka Ballina (
[log in to unmask]) and Carlos Jimenez ([log in to unmask]). Email
submissions to [log in to unmask]

For more information and submission guidelines, please visit

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