CFP: "Translating Media" 2009 USC Graduate Student Conference

A Graduate Student Conference co-hosted by the Department of Critical Studies and the Media Arts and Practice PhD (iMAP) Program
School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California
April 3-4, 2009
Keynote Speaker: Lisa Parks, Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies at UC Santa Barbara, author of Cultures in Orbit: Satellite and the Televisual and co-editor of Planet TV: A Global Television Reader and Undead TV: Essays on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She is also the producer and co-producer of an array of media arts projects such as Experiments in Satellite Media Arts (w/ Ursula Biemann), Loom (w/ Miha Vipotnik), Postwar Footprints and Roaming.
Artist?s Talk by: To Be Determined
graduate students in the Department of Critical Studies and the Media
Arts and Practice (iMAP) PhD program in the School of Cinematic Arts
seek conference papers and creative presentations from graduate
students addressing the theme of "Translating Media."
has gained a renewed valence within the fields of media study and arts
practice. As theoretical and creative inquiry shifts toward
transmedia, transnational and transdisciplinary approaches and
renderings of the current global audiovisual landscape, translation
means more than just a linguistic exercise. Rather, the term
increasingly lends itself as a productive conceptual lens and metaphor
for the interlaced and often contradictory set of transformative
processes at work when media objects, policies, and economies traffic
across geographic borders, cultural institutions, and technological
platforms. The widespread global, regional and local shifts in
cultural media practices that arise from these traversals undoubtedly
call for transdisciplinary methodologies. To address these issues,
Media Studies has sought to exchange and translate critical
vocabularies among Cultural Studies, Global Critical Race
Feminism/Critical Race Theory, Ethnic Studies, Queer Theory, History,
Art History, Mass Communications, American Studies, Post Colonial
Theory, and Visual and Performance Studies. And, as many media studies
scholars seek to produce more than just textual representations of
their research, the translation of theory into audiovisual practice has
more frequently become an alternative mode of scholarship. We thus
feel that translation is a critical keyword that speaks in diverse ways
to media cultures, Media Studies and a growing body of
scholar-practitioners who both thematize translation in their media art
and seek for new translative possibilities in their creative
processes. We have chosen ?Translating Media? as the title for the
conference to foreground media?s translation as an ongoing process.
And we believe the expansive deployment of the term will invite an
exciting array of creative interpretations and theoretical positions.
invite submissions for 20-minute papers, 20-minute creative project
presentations, or pre-constituted panels of no more than four
presenters that consider the stakes of ?translating media? from diverse
methodological, disciplinary and creative approaches. Panels that
include both critical and creative presentations or that enact a
productive dialogue of theory and practice are especially encouraged
Topics to explore may include, but are not restricted to:
  • the various implications of media and cultural convergence
  • how media policies translate into labor relations and practices
  • the problems that arise when incorporating media theory into media art
    practice, and translating a media art project into a gallery space,
    social space, institutional space, etc.
  • the rise of transmedia storytelling and media that are experienced on
    multiple platforms including mobile devices, urban screens, game
    environments, etc.
  • ongoing tensions around the status of narrative in linear vs.
    interactive media and the problems of translation between games and
  • ideological concerns around the rise of runaway productions, co- and
    omnibus productions, and transnational remakes within global film
  • the traffic of global television ?formats? and/or ?canned shows? across national borders and media systems
  • issues pertaining to linguistic translations through subtitling and dubbing
  • questions pertaining to the archive: how translation between film,
    analog, digital and textual media affect archival institutions; what
    kinds of issues do we still face with archival research, especially if
    that archive is in a different language?
  • the translation of programming languages and code into critical theories of media, and vice versa
    - the difficulties and possibilities presented when media scholarship travels and converses across the Humanities
Selected papers will be included in a special conference-themed issue of Spectator,
the University of Southern California's Journal of Film and Television
Criticism, and selected media projects may also be included on the
School of Cinematic Arts website.
individual submissions, please send abstracts or project descriptions
of 300 words or less and a brief biographical or artist statement.
Links to images or media files are encouraged but not required.
For panels, please submit a 300-word panel description and a 300-word abstract for each panelist's paper. Please
do not send large media files as e-mail attachments. Presentations
requiring special technological setup will be considered on a
case-by-case basis; these technological needs should be detailed in the
Send all submissions to
Deadline for submissions: January 9th, 2009.

Please feel free to address any questions or comments to Patty Ahn at


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