Monday, May 5, 2014

CFP: “Networking East and West: Communications, Commerce, Culture”

For many centuries, the East and the West have been entangled in dense networks of communications and commerce. Yet only in our current age of globalization, influenced by a generation of media theorists shaped by the emergence since the 1970s of digital media, has it become customary to interpret these networks as a distinctive social relationship with a pervasive and enduring influence on culture, economics, politics, and international relations. For these theorists, media is more than a representation: in addition, and more fundamentally, it is an institutional practice laden with cultural meaning.
     Media scholars in Asia, Europe, Australia, and North America from disciplines that include but are not confined to history, sociology, political science, literature, anthropology, geography, and media studies share a commitment to increasing our understanding of these networks so as to enhance mutual understanding, foster a common research agenda, and nurture an academic community that lowers cultural barriers. To promote this goal, a conference on the theme of “Networking East and West: Communications, Commerce, Culture” will be convened in Renmin University, Beijing, China, on July 11-12, 2014. The hosts are the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) and the Confucius Institute at Columbia University; the conference organizers are the School of Journalism and Communication, Renmin University, China, Columbia Journalism School, and Fudan Journalism School.
    The papers in this conference will explore the conflicts, commonalities, and contrasts that have shaped communications networks linking East and West, with a focus on China, the Pacific Rim, and the United States in the period between the mid-nineteenth century and the Second World War.  This call for papers is intended to encourage submissions on a broad range of topics from various disciplinary perspectives. Possible topics include: journalistic ethics, technology transfer, telegraphy, print culture, and media theory.  Papers need not be explicitly comparative, though all should address the conference theme.
    Participants should send the texts of their proposed papers (in Microsoft Word .doc/.docx) by June 1, 2014, to the organizing committee at In preparing their texts, proposers should pay particular attention to the conference agenda available from the link below. Successful proposals will be announced on June 15. Participants will be responsible for their own transportation and accommodation expenses.
    For additional information, please see the complete announcement. Those wishing to attend should register no later than July 10.