CFP: The Spectacular/Ordinary/Contested Media City

CFP: The Spectacular/Ordinary/Contested Media City
Thursday, January 24, 2013 (All day)

CALL FOR PAPERS: The Spectacular/Ordinary/Contested Media City

May 15–-17, 2013

Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland


In contemporary cities, the effects of advanced telecommunications and commodified media exist everywhere around us. In both eye-catching and oblique ways, mass and personalised media forms reshape our spatial practices and perceptions of specific milieus and the city as a whole.

We invite presentations that deal particularly with the following issues:

  • role of media and surveillance technologies in the spectacularisation of urban public spaces and events
  • the ways in which media technologies and representations become part  of the taken-for-granted perceptions and routinised practices and rhythms of urban life
  • the actual and potential contributions of mass and personalised media forms to the contestation of economic, political and cultural hegemonies in cities

Throughout the interdisciplinary symposium, the spectacular, ordinary and contested aspects of the media city will be brainstormed through questions such as: What is the relationship of materiality of media and symbolic media representations in the construction of densely digitalised urban milieus? To what extent and how is media-saturation steering people’s urban activities towards automated and un-reflected modes? Or do the “urban media affordances” open room for creative place-making practices, new amalgamations of technology and corporeality, and even chances for alternative decoding and political resistance? In which ways do different forms of art and popular culture (cinema, literature, theatre, digital games etc.) articulate and intervene in the media city? What ethical and political issues lurk behind the pecuniary motifs of the ongoing mediatisation of space?


Invited keynote speakers:

  • Anne Cronin, Lancaster University, UK
  • Stephen Graham, Newcastle University, UK
  • Scott McQuire, Melbourne University, Australia
  • Shannon Mattern, The New School, USA

If you would like to present a paper at the Spectacular/Ordinary/Contested Media City symposium, please send an abstract (max. 300 words) to by 24 January 2013. A narrative bio (max. 100 words) describing the author’s background and research interests should also accompany the proposal.

For more information, visit:


The organising committee:

Jani Vuolteenaho & Outi Hakola, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies

Seija Ridell & Sami Kolamo, University of Tampere.


Contacts / conference secretary:

Kirsi L. Reyes-Anastacio / Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies



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