International Conference: Media Transatlantic IV – Traffic


March 29 31, 2012, University of Paderborn, Germany

Aiming to bring together media scholars from the United States, Canada, and Germany, the conference continues a series of symposia that began in 2007. After “Re-Reading McLuhan. An International Conference on Media and Culture in the 21st Century” (2007), “Media Theory on the Move. Transatlantic Perspectives on Media and Mediation” (2009) and “Media Theory in North America and German- Speaking Europe” (2010), the conference scheduled for 2012 focuses on “traffic”.

Media products and signs travel just like things and people; constantly flowing, they overcome space and time, partly on communal and partly on specific networks. Traffic is the sum of its parts, made up of an infinite number of acts of transport and transfer. It is, however, more than that, because traffic has its own logic and forms its own structures and rules. Scientists from different fields will follow the tracks of Harold Innis and discuss the media as a form of traffic.

Program: Thursday, March 29:

John Peters (University of Iowa, USA): Keynote: Media as Traffic between Nature and Culture.

Panel 1: Innis, McLuhan and Co.

Gabriele Schabacher (University of Siegen, Germany): Traffic as ‘Dirt Experience’. Harold Innis’ Tracing of Media.

Jana Mangold (University of Erfurt, Germany): McLuhan’s Comprehensive Traffic Science.

Menahem Blondheim (Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel), Elihu Katz (Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel): Traffic in an Ancient Empire: Time and Space According to the Biblical Book of Esther.

Friday, March 30:

Panel 2: Flows and Counterflows

Grant David Bollmer (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA): Vital Networks of Blood and Information: A Media Archaeology of Traffic and Flow.

Peter Bexte (Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln, Germany): Endless Traffic & Drowning Sons.

Richard Cavell (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada): Traffic as Taxonomy in Innis and McLuhan.

Greg Elmer (Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada), Ganaele Langlois (University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa, Canada): Networked Campaigns: Traffic Tags and Cross Platform Analysis on the Web.

Martina Leeker (Berlin / University of Köln, Germany), Michael Steppat (Beuth Hochschule Berlin, Germany): Data Traffic. Transformation as a Challenge.

Panel 3: Hold-ups

Wolf-Dieter Ernst (University of Bayreuth, Germany): Mobile Performance.

Peter Krapp (UC Irvine, CA, USA): Polar Media: The Invisible Axis

Saturday, March 31:

Panel 4: Traffic of Concepts

Norm Friesen (Thompson Rivers University, Canada): The Academy and the ‘Commerce of Mind’: Dewey and Educational Media.

Shannon Lowe (Institute for Cultural Research, Lancaster, UK): Trafficking in Media Methodology: Propositions for an Approach from Literature.

Wolfgang Sützl (Vienna/ University of Innsbruck, Austria): Street protests, electronic disturbance, smart mobs: dislocations of resistance

Andreas Ströhl (Goethe-Institut, München, Germany): From ‘Traffic’ to ‘Exchange’ to ‘Communication’ (and Back to ‘Traffic’ Again). On the Changes of a Modern Model of Thought.

Further information & detailed programme:

Program as PDF:

The Media Transatlantic IV Traffic conference is organized by the DFG Research Training Group “Automatisms” at the University of Paderborn, Germany. Participants / guests are asked to register until February 29th.

Please contact the organizers via: mail: ; Phone: +49 (0) 5251 603275 ;

Universitaet Paderborn

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