Katalog der UB Siegen

Call for Papers

Media and Proximity

[German version]

Conference organised by the „Locating Media“ Graduate School
University of Siegen, Germany

22nd and 23rd April 2010

The inaugural conference of the „Locating Media“ Graduate School will investigate the topics of media and proximity and discuss the theme in an interdisciplinary setting.

Keynote Speaker: Heather Horst (University of California, Irvine)

Media are often considered as bridging spatial and social divides. Indeed the benefits and effects of new information and communication technologies are often conceived in terms of the manner in which they overcome spatial limitations. In this context proximity or closeness is seen as representing the realisation of the end of distance, whilst also underpinning the, for the most part, never questioned positive connotations of such a process; mediated communica-tions processes are seen as bringing together various actors and according to this utopian vision, simultaneously allowing for a better, more democratic society. Social and spatial proximity are therefore often considered as interchangeable.

The conference will explore the limits of this approach and consider the topic of proximity afresh. In the global village the shortest path is no longer considered only in terms of spatial concepts. Proximity needs to be understood as being defined by specific and heterogeneous situations and perspectives. It is defined by the individual in the context of their situated socio-cultural experiences and practices. It is dependent on the place and situation in which it is considered. It is a relational category, that describes the topological connection between two entities. In fact, the very concept of distance is inscribed in proximity. Proximity is some-thing that is produced and is always the result of a process of negotiation.

We therefore ask the following questions: what role does media play in this process of nego-tiation of proximity? To what extent is proximity developed and defined through a focus on either individuals, technology or media ? In what way does proximity produced through me-dia change current concepts of temporality and topology? How is the perception of distance altered by technology and media? What role does the concept of boundaries in the context of a delineation of the individual from their neighbours and online communities? Finally, which methodological approaches enable us to best characterise the concept of proximity?

Submission Format:

500 word abstract
CV and list of publications
Please send all submissions to: conference@locatingmedia.uni-siegen.de

Important Dates:

Submission deadline: 11 January 2010
Notification of Acceptance: 30th January 2010
Conference: 22nd-23rd April 2010


Selected papers from the conference will be published in a post-conference volume.

Conference Location:

Artur-Woll-Haus, University of Siegen, Germany (1 hour from Cologne, 2 hours from Frankfurt)


Locating Media Graduate School
University of Siegen, Faculty of Media, Unteres Schloss, 57072 Siegen, Germany
Tel.: 0049 – 271 – 740-3065

Call for papers pdf-file