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NECS 2018 Conference: Media Tactics and Engagement

June 27 - June 29

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The University of Amsterdam, the Free University of Amsterdam and Utrecht University
are happy to present

The NECS 2018 Conference
Media Tactics and Engagement
27-29 June 2018
Hosted by the University of Amsterdam and the Free University of Amsterdam

Media in Transition
26 June 2018
Hosted by Utrecht University

Open Access in Media Studies
30 June 2018
Hosted by the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision

Deadline for submissions: 31st of January 2018

Please note that the membership fee must be paid before submission (see www.necs.org/faq for more details, please check this info early enough to guarantee payment on time).
Pay the fee in January to get access for the full calendar year.

Please submit all proposals using the submission form available at: http://necs.org/conference/proposal-submission-form/

The changing media landscape requires continuous (re)invention of the ways in which photography, film, television, digital media, and the arts are produced, distributed, accessed, and consumed. Back in the past like today, the question of media tactics and engagement is crucial once more. Today the question seems even more urgent, since large corporations provide platforms and services that foster the desired behaviour of the average media viewer/user/consumer and produ(c/s)er; nevertheless, in previous decades, ways of planning long-term strategies, tactical reactions to unforeseen circumstances and engagement have determined media practices and discourses. The NECS 2018 conference will explore the various – both intended and/or subversive − ways in which media are currently developed, deployed and distorted.

The conference welcomes a wide range of approaches to thinking about the notions of tactics and engagement across all forms of media.
Firstly, this could include thinking of tactics as the means to an overarching strategic end. Thus the term can draw attention to larger trends within the media industries and its practices. Why and to what effect do film and media distributors order and/or produce original content? What are the aesthetic consequences of this, both for artistic content as well as for the audience experience? What roles do shifts in modes of address, distribution, and exhibition venues play? And what kind of opportunities and constraints for content producers arise from this?
Secondly, following Michel de Certeau, the political consequences of the relation between strategy and tactics can be investigated. Strategy as a long-term modus operandi of the prevalent political, economic and scientific rationality is opposed to tactics as the improvisational, context-specific techniques developed by individuals or collectives to better navigate strategically shaped spaces. Tactics in this sense oftentimes insert themselves into strategic environments without disrupting them – for instance when novelists develop new writing techniques in response to Amazon’s arguably exploitative pay-per-page model, or exiled filmmakers react to changed production constraints through what Hamid Naficy termed “accented cinema”. In fact, strategy and tactics deeply affect media practices as much as their aesthetics, and often result in consistent planning, or momentary options, which seem viable. How do these two terms interact, when it comes to aesthetics? Through this conceptual pair, one may thus ask to what different strategic and tactical uses various media enter political discourse, and again, what the consequences of this could be for industrial and artistic media practices.

The notion of engagement opens up a third and more general dimension of the conference theme, pointing towards the various ways in which viewers and users engage with the media of their choice, both in the past and today. How have individuals or collectives (tactically) engaged cinema, television, photography, radio, the arts, the archive, the news, the internet, and so on? And what kind of important changes can be scrutinized in such practices? Furthermore, we invite submissions that discuss forms of disengagement, such as “media fasting” or “going off the grid”.

The NECS 2018 conference will tackle the issue of media tactics and engagement while including the many different research perspectives pursued by the members of our community.

Submissions may include but are not limited to the following topics:

• New and old media industry practices
• Histories of media tactics and engagement
• Activist media and media activism (including politics and celebrity)
• Studies of subversive narratives in film and cross-media
• Political cinema, documentary, art and television
• Avant-garde and new wave tactics
• Ecocritical media and the Anthropocene
• Infrastructures of engagement (collective venues, networks, institutional policies etc.)
• Articulations of identity politics or power dynamics through media
• Self-performance: strategy, tactics, engagement
• Materialities of media engagement
• Culture jamming, remixing, mashing, and other transformative and fan practices (from cosplay to conventions)
• Strategic aesthetic practices (e.g. satire, horror, melodrama, tragicomedy)
• Bottom-up funding initiatives (collective production, political cinema, media activism, crow-funding practices)
• (New) Sound and music tactics and engagement
• Distribution models, between strategy and tactics, from early media to contemporaneity
• Strategy and tactics in a post-truth world
• Economies and ecologies of attention, including slacktivism, boredom and various forms of disengagement such as “media fasting” or “going off the grid”
• Viral or spreadable media, as well as hacking tactics
• Curatorial engagement and programming practices
• Transmedia practices
• Academic engagement
• Teaching and research as media tactics
• Media-archaeological media tactics engaging with analogue media

Scholars from all areas of cinema and media studies, whether previously affiliated with NECS or new to the network, are invited to submit proposals, but NECS membership is a requirement.

Please note that individuals may submit only one paper proposal, either as individual presenters or as part of a pre-constituted panel or workshop.

Individual papers
Individual presenters wishing to submit a proposal for a paper presentation of max. 20 minutes are required to provide their name, email address, the title of the paper, an abstract, key biographical references, and a short bio of the speaker.

Pre-constituted panels
We support the submission of proposals for pre-constituted panels with 3 or 4 papers (3 papers only if there is a respondent) in order to strengthen the thematic coherence of panels. Furthermore, several thematically related panels may form larger clusters. We would like to strongly encourage members of the NECS workgroups to put together pre-constituted panels, but we also welcome submissions from academic research project teams, museums, archives, and other institutions. We highly recommend no more than two speakers from the same institution with a maximum of 20 minutes speaking time each. Panel organizers are asked to submit panel proposals that include a panel title, a short description of the panel and information on all of the individual papers of the panel,


June 27
June 29


University of Amsterdam and Free University of Amsterdam
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