Troubled Waters: Structural Inequalities, Structural Responses Union for Democratic Communications 2016 conference

Hosted by the Union for Democratic Communications at Wayne State University,  September 29 – October 1, 2016

Deadline for submissions: May 2, 2016

As global inequality reaches staggering levels and capitalism becomes increasingly unstable, people of color increasingly face disproportionate impacts of environmental degradation, pauperization, and state repression. Media and communications systems play an important role in enabling and resisting such phenomena across the globe, from Europe’s refugee crisis, to police violence in the U.S., to the illegal occupation of Palestine, to the displacement of people across the Global South due to climate change.

The global phenomenon of racialized inequality has poignantly played out  in Detroit, the site of this year’s conference. The city, once a symbol of the United States’ industrial dominance, has been reconstructed over the last 40 years as one of decay in the popular imaginary. From lead-tainted drinking water to crumbling schools, southeastern Michigan has felt the suffering that stems from the failures of the corporate state and institutionalized racism. Unfortunately, Detroit’s experience is not unique, but rather must be seen as part of a broader war on the working-class and people of color under neoliberalism, facilitated by utopian myths around digital technology and the post-industrial economy.

Though these problems are the result of varied historical and deep-seated racial and social injustices, their continued existence is not a foregone conclusion. This UDC conference will draw attention to the relationship between neoliberal culture and ideology and institutional racism, both domestically and internationally. Specifically, the conference organizers encourage submissions that examine how systematic, institutionalized racism shapes our physical, social, cultural, ecological, and mediated environments; we also encourage submissions that identify promising avenues of institutional and social transformation.

We invite abstract submissions to this year’s conference from new and emerging scholars, graduate students, artists, activists, and media practitioners. We welcome proposals for paper presentations, workshops, theme panels, film screenings, artistic interventions, and other formats.  Abstracts should be between 300-500 words.  Graduate students who want to be considered for the Brian Murphy Student Paper Award should submit a full paper along with their abstract.  All submissions are subject to double-blind review and can be submitted at via EasyChair.

Deadline:  May 2, 2016.

If you have questions about this process, please contact the Steering Committee.