CfP – Media Building: New Perspectives on Journalism, Mass Communication, and the Built Environment

Editors: Will Mari, LSU; Carole O’Reilly, Salford; E. James West, Northampton

This collection builds on the success of MEDIA BUILDING, an international conference hosted by Northumbria University and the University of Salford in 2021. It brings together leading scholars to interrogate the enduring and evolving relationship between journalism, mass communications, and the built environment. From the emergence of the first newspapers, media creators have intuitively understood the importance of connecting place and content. This has centered on the media building – most powerfully rendered through iconic headquarters such as the Tribune tower in Chicago and the Daily Express building in London. 

These and other sites provided media producers and consumers with a definable shape; “a hook on which to hang some news about the media itself.” Both individually and together, media buildings served as key nodes in the urban geography of communications, complementing editorial efforts to make and remake the modern metropolis.

At the same time, the changing form and function of media buildings has both reflected and reified transformations in modern journalism and mass communication. What would press barons such as Joseph Pulitzer, who saw their buildings as “the central and highest point(s) of New World Civilization,” have made of Facebook’s Menlo Park Campus; a radically different, if similarly impressive, vision of media power? How have media buildings – both real and imagined – informed and given form to a range of sociopolitical, cultural and ideological constructs, becoming a “delivery mechanism” for ideas about objectivity, authority and identity? What can the past and futures of media buildings tell us about the changing nature of media production, distribution, and consumption in the twenty-first century?

We invite chapters that interrogate the concept of the media building from a variety of perspectives and disciplinary backgrounds. Potential topics include:

•     Media power and the modern skyscraper (e.g. China Media Group HQ, Beijing; the New York Times building, ‎Manhattan)

•     Media buildings and media(ted) cities (e.g. New York’s “newspaper row”; Facebook Menlo Park Campus, Silicon Valley; Media City Park, Dubai)

•     Media buildings in popular culture (e.g. Superman and the Daily Planet)

•     The pasts and futures of media buildings (e.g. redevelopment and building conversion; demolition; public memory).

•     Architecture, labor and media technologies (e.g. air conditioning; digitization and the newsroom; spatial politics and media workers)

•     Identity, community, and media buildings (e.g. minority media and the built environment; race, gender and sexuality in the modern newsroom)

•     Media buildings and the end of empire (e.g. the Times of India building, Mumbai; National Media Group, Nairobi; Broadcasting House, London)

•     The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on media buildings and their employees (e.g. the transition away from 24/7 newsrooms, working from home)

Abstracts of 350-500 words, alongside a short position statement explaining how you envision your chapter contributing to the collection as a whole, to be submitted by January 10, 2023.

Accepted chapters of 5,000-to-7,000 words to be submitted August 15, 2023.

Direct queries and submissions to: mediabuildingconference@gmail.com

Special issue of TMG Journal for Media History on broadcast archives in Europe and launch event “On the Record? New Approaches to the History of Radio Archives”

We’re pleased to announce the release of our new special issue of TMG Journal for Media History (open access), which takes up critical historical perspectives on broadcast archives in Europe: 

www.tmgonline.nl/56/volume/25/issue/2/

Next week we’ll host a launch event at SPUI25 in Amsterdam (see details below), and further info about the TRACE research project can be found on our new website: https://trace.humanities.uva.nl.

Best wishes,

Carolyn Birdsall and Erica Harrison

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On the Record? New Approaches to the History of Radio Archives

SPUI25 – Wednesday 19 October, 17:00-18:30

What voices from the past are preserved in Europe’s radio archives, and whose stories are excluded? A panel of academics and archival practitioners will discuss new scholarly work on the critical study of radio archives, examining how such work can inform our understandings of Europe’s past and present.

From efforts to protect historical records in Ukraine from military attack through to recent seizures of White House records by the US National Archives and Records Association, the politics of archives remains a timely and urgent matter. So far, however, in the growing critical attention to the study of archives, there has been little attention paid to the records of broadcasting institutions.

As the dominant means of mass communication for decades, what can the study of radio archives tell us about the institutions and societies which created them? How were radio archives and their collections formed and how did major events such as the Second World War affect them? How has our understanding of recent European history been shaped by what has been kept (or omitted) from the radio archive?

This afternoon, we will celebrate the release of “Historical Traces of European Radio Archives, 1930-1960” (in TMG Journal for Media History). This special issue showcases perspectives from scholars and archival practitioners, and seeks to facilitate an interdisciplinary conversation at the intersection of media history, radio studies, and critical archival studies.

About the speakers

Carolyn Birdsall is Associate Professor of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam, where she is affiliated with the Television and Cross-Media team and leads the NWO-funded project TRACE (Tracking Radio Archival Collections in Europe, 1930-1960).

Erica Harrison is a post-doctoral researcher on the TRACE project at the University of Amsterdam, focusing on radio archive history in Czechoslovakia and East Germany, 1930–1960. 

Vincent Kuitenbrouwer works as a senior lecturer in the History of International Relations at the University of Amsterdam and coordinates a project on Dutch media during the Second World War for the Netherlands Institute for Sound & Vision in Hilversum (Mediaoorlog).

Pekka Salosaari has been working for the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle Archives for more than twenty years and is currently Audio Collections Manager. 

For more information and registration: https://spui25.nl/programma/on-the-record

CfP: FUTURE [of] ARCHIVES (IAMHIST) Montréal, June 2022

International Association for Media and History Conference 2023

Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada 20-22 June (in-person)

Link IAMHIST-website: Call for Papers: IAMHIST Conference 2023 |

Deadline for submissions (20-minute presentations, panels of three 20-minute papers, or practice-based research/workshops): 16 January 2023

IAMHIST is the International Association for Media and History, an organization of scholars, filmmakers, broadcasters and archivists dedicated to historical enquiry into film, radio, TV and other media. 

Archives have always played a considerable role for research and creation, especially in film and media studies. By virtue of their form and content, archives put at the forefront questions of possible and alternative historiographies and the shaping of memories and invites reflection on forgetting. Ranging from censorship to emancipation, archives are often source and reason for debate, powerplays and struggles as they can be object of censorship, but also ways of emancipation. They are not only sites of memory, but also sites and signs of social and cultural change. There has been an increased scholarly interest in archives since the arrival of digital tools and the Web, and the concept of the archive itself has been questioned, discussed, and redefined.

This conference aims to revisit these archival transformations by bringing into focus archives’ neglected spots, notably in relation to their accessibility and ecological dimensions. How do existing archival institutions, associations or private collectors and archivists address technology and media transformations? What are the current and future challenges of archival research? What type of ‘new’ archives can be imagined and created in relation to technology and media transformations? 

The IAMHIST Conference will be particularly interested in proposals dealing with media archives (film, radio, video, television, Web, photographs, etc.) but also warmly welcomes archives that use media and technology institutionally (museums, associations, vernacular archives etc.).

We invite scholars, archivists, practitioners, and artists to send a proposal that concerns one or more of the following topics:

  • Archives and accessibility
  • Archives, restitution, and memory
  • Archives and social justice
  • Archives and ecology / sustainable archives
  • Archives and decolonization
  • Case studies of archival use in media history research
  • Archives and (media-) storage
  • Reuse of archives in research, artistic projects, and practice
  • Archival material in film and arts
  • Reflections on how to archive research/scholarly activities
  • Vernacular, private, and institutional archives
  • History of media archives
  • Financing and funding of archives
  • Internationalization of archives
  • Local and regional archives
  • Archives, memory, and nostalgia
  • Archives and emotion

The deadline for submissions is 16 January 2023. You can submit proposals here*: iamhistconference2023@gmail.com

Individual paper proposals should consist of a title, an abstract of 200 to 300 words and a short biography. We especially welcome proposals from early career researchers and practitioners. Panel proposals (of three papers) are welcome; they need to be registered by one individual presenter of the panel who must include the title of the panel and all paper abstracts and short bios. We also appreciate proposals for archival, artistic or multimedia/practice-based projects or workshops. You are welcome to discuss their suitability with the conference organizers in advance of the deadline.

Notifications of decisions will be sent alongside additional information on travel and accommodation by early February 2023; registration will be open by that day. Registration fees will be kept as low as possible and depend on several funding opportunities that the organizers are currently seeking. Conference attendees are expected to be members of IAMHIST – there will be an opportunity to join at the time of registration. Information about IAMHIST membership can be found here: http://iamhist.net/membership/.

*If you identify as a person with a disability and need support (for printed documents in another format, for American Sign Language or Langue des signes québecoise, access to remote locations, etc.), please express/communicate your needs to the organizers prior to the beginning of the congress via this address: iamhistconference2023@gmail.com

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