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SCMS Panel CFP: Media, Ecology, and New Materialism

2015 July 17
by smonani

DEADLINE: August 5th, 2015

Over the years, media archeology and new materialism have provided a useful counterbalance to some of the limitations encountered in the textual and cultural studies oriented approaches found in more traditional lines of cinema and media theory. More recently, as a growing body scholarship on media and the environment gets taken up, these archeological and materialist approaches have appealed to ecomedia and environmental humanities scholars as a means of thinking through the sustained ecological impact of media technology on the environment in less representational—and more ontological—terms.

However, at the same time as this blended theoretical approach appears complimentary, certain counterproductive tensions remain. The object-oriented tendencies of new materialism and the techno-centrism of media archeology also frequently subvert certain forms of political engagement within the wider critical spectrum of environmental media studies. For example, while the work of Seigfried Zielinksi and Jussi Parikka seem to offer useful ways of considering the “deep time” of media technology’s impact on environments by showing how geological time scales might be integrated seamlessly within the critical discourse of the anthropocene, these very same archeological and materialist traditions often marginalize the post-human, post-anthropocentric, and feminist critique of scholars like Donna Haraway and Rosi Braidotti. More generally, the overemphasis on object-oriented ontology within environmental media studies tends to prevent an adequate engagement with critical race and gender studies—as well as structural concerns facing the Global South (including media access, asymmetrical modernization, e-waste and media disposal, and socio-economic risk).

This panel is seeking papers that work through the uptake of archeological and materialist theory within environmental media studies, in relation to film, digital cinema, games, or video.

The following topics are of particular interest:

  • Animal and post-human studies
  • Capitalist excess, speculation, and precarity
  • “Deep time” and expansion of temporal scales (via media geology, the anthropocene, etc.)
  • Digital media, big data
  • Gender and feminisms
  • Globalization and post-colonialism
  • Intersections of ecological and technological networks
  • Management/disavowal of environmental risk
  • Materiality of media (light, petroleum, minerals, etc.)
  • Media ecology and capitalism
  • Media industries and (asymmetrical) modernity
  • Media waste, disposal, and recycling
  • Queer ecologies, ecofeminism, and environmental justice
  • Speculative genres (e.g. science fiction, cli-fi, cybernetics, apocalyptic or disaster narratives)

Please send abstract (max. 300 words) plus bibliography (3-5 entries) and author bio (50-100 words) to Rachel Webb Jekanowski at and Ken Rogers at by August 5, 2015. Please include “SCMS” in your subject-line.


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