Environments, Spaces and Transformations

Call for papers
Environments, Spaces and Transformations
5-6 June 2014
Inaugural MFCO Early Career-Graduate Conference
Department of Media, Film and Communication
University of Otago, New Zealand

Keynote speakers: Dr Fiona Allon, University of Sydney & Associate Professor Vijay Devadas, University of Otago

Conference organisers: Maud Ceuterick and Alex Thong

This interdisciplinary conference invites papers addressing the shifting relations between environments, spaces and their transformations.

Environment and space are critically contested concepts for understanding contemporary societies, locally and globally, and scholars have assigned ever-shifting meanings and significations to them. Environments evolve and transform, but what impact do they have on societies and cultures? Similarly, spaces continuously change, but how do they generate new identities and different relations between people and their socio-politico and economic environments? Additionally, transformations might refer to the production of space for inducing change, changing socio-cultural and economic practices, technological interventions in various environments, or progressive politics re-orienting deep-rooted social stratifications. In fact, recently emergent formations such as the green economy, spatial thinking, critical environmentalism, and new materialism, to name a few, continue to give rise to multi-faceted debates around environments, spaces and notions of transformation.

We invite post-graduates and early career scholars to explore how interrelations between environments, spaces and transformations open toward a multitude of sites for dialogue across disciplines and practices.

Possible areas of inquiry include:

· Mediated environments
· Environments, space and politics
· Citizenship, space and environment(s)
· Filmic narratives of environment, space and transformation
· Transformations in cinematic spaces
· Space, place and gender
· Spaces, transformations and their implications for mobility and gender
· Environment and space in the archives
· Philosophical approaches to space
· Digital environments
· Implications of biotechnology
· Neoliberal spaces
· Representations of environments
· Transforming ethics and value
· Science, ethics and politics
· Travel, tourism and the environment
· Socio-cultural impacts of landscape and spatial modifications

Deadline for abstracts: 20 February 2014

Responses will be given by 28 February 2014.

We invite abstracts of 250-350 words along with a short (100-word) author bio, from areas of study such as anthropology, geography, media, film studies, communications, biology, science communication, history, sociology, gender studies, political science, philosophy, art history, physics, climate sciences, phenomenology, law, architecture, tourism, postcolonial and indigenous studies.

Registration: Free. Tea and coffee provided. There will be a conference dinner on Thursday 5 June at the cost of $25 NZ/person payable in cash on the opening day. We will contact you regarding registration and dinner attendance.

Publication: Selected papers will be offered for publication in the refereed Working Paper Series of the Department of Media, Film and Communication.

Papers will take the form of a 20-minute presentation and 10-minute question and answer session. Panel suggestions are welcome. Please send abstracts to Maud Ceuterick and Alex Thong at mfco_ecg@otago.ac.nz

Masterclass: Postgraduates will also be invited to attend a Masterclass with Dr. Fiona Allon on Wednesday 4 June 2014. Indicate if you wish to participate. Those attending the masterclass will be asked to submit a research proposal and short biography.