Media | Arts | Politics

CFP4 Extention

by thenewobjective

The Deadline for submissions for our issue on Participation has been extended until June 25, 2014.  Please circulate widely.  We encourage academic papers, short polemics, criticism, works of art in any medium, and will consider less conventional proposals should they resonate well with the theme of the issue.

Read the entire Call here.


Remembering El Maestro

by thenewobjective

Issue Three’s guest editor, Ingrid Bejerman, remembers her time spent working with Gabriel García Márquez, who died recently.  Read the whole piece here.


I know this may sound absurd, but it’s nothing new to those of us who knew him: Gabriel García Márquez had the power to read minds.  Never in my life have I felt so vulnerable and transparent as in the moments I was fortunate enough to spend in his company.  I still haven’t grasped the full magnitude of his absence since his death one month ago, and so I appeal to a very basic Jewish principle: remembering a loved one as a way of keeping them alive.

GGM newspaperMy first words with El Maestro, as he is known across Latin America, were by telephone: a surprise job interview set up by Jaime Abello Banfi, who directs the Foundation for a New Ibero-American Journalism (FNPI), founded and chaired by Gabo to, as he put it, “take a break from academic training, and return to a primary system of practical workshops in small groups.”

Jaime had met me during one of these workshops, and wanted me to be his program coordinator at the Foundation’s headquarters in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.  He was very intrigued by my typically diasporic Jewish roots: Brazilian by way of Argentina (half Sephardic by way of Turkey, half Ashkenazi by way of Ukraine), and thought that my background would extend the reach of the Foundation and give it a fuller Latin American dimension.

I was a 23-year-old girl who had just been hired by the leading São Paulo daily O Estado, where I had just landed a job that felt very innovative and exciting: writing for NetEstado, which in those days was the ‘online supplement’ of the newspaper.  We were writing articles using non-linear narratives that were much more like the hopscotch of Cortázar than the linear grey prose that had come to characterize most newspapers.  For many journalists at the end of the twentieth century, this web news thing was not journalism; it was a fad.  But not for Gabo


by thenewobjective

Screenshot 2014-03-31 12.03.29

IN CIRCULATION Media | Arts | Politics
Department of Art History & Communication Studies, McGill University

Issue 4, Vol. 1: To Participate: Global and Spatial Perspectives

Call for Papers
and Artworks
Deadline for submission:

EXTENDED June 25, 2014

What is participation? Who can participate and who cannot? Why participate? What is the role and what are the limits of technologies and platforms to contemporary forms of participation? What strategies and forms of collaboration are deployed to draw attention to or trouble conventions of gender, race, or faith? These questions are increasingly profiled and addressed in academic fields, art production, popular culture, and the media.

The Participatory Condition, for instance, an international colloquium hosted by Media@McGill in November 2013, was devoted to discussing such questions, and included a Participatory, Open, Online Course (or POOC). This issue of In Circulation is intended as a reply to this colloquium, and will add to the discussions it featured.

Models of participation are particular to local contexts, but often have consequences that extend to the global. Recent events such as the Arab Spring, the Occupy movement, and the interventions of Anonymous give evidence of calls for participation, and also pose geopolitically specific questions about the nature of participation. In Quebec at the moment, the question of political participation seems especially fraught because of events like the provincial student strike of 2012, when thousands of students and other citizens gathered to speak out against proposed tuition increases. Students organized protests and gained leverage for the movement using social media, but also employed significantly lower- tech strategies of participation including marches during which protestors would bang on pots, pans and casseroles. This issue of In Circulation aims to analyze within –and propose beyond – these frameworks. We are especially interested in how social networks function in contexts such as Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

This interdisciplinary issue will focus on contributions from Art History and Communication Studies. It will give attention not only to objects of study that are participatory, but also to the range of participatory models active in research today – whether through interdisciplinarity or cross-cultural exchanges and collaborative research projects, particularly those engaging global perspectives.

Authors are encouraged to pursue the political climates, economic conditions, and understandings of community that have buttressed specific ways of participating, whether through media or artworks. Possible themes for papers could include the history of participation in art and communication and more recent trends such as social media, video games, interactive art, and issues of surveillance, politics and democracy. Other possible directions for contributions include the participatory impulse in relation to cyber-feminism, visual studies, and postcolonial theories in an effort to examine hegemonic flows of participation across nations, as well as within nations and communities and to move beyond dominant geographies of contemporary discussions of participation and seeking a broad ethnic diversity in contributors and frameworks.

There are contemporary forms of participation in art and media that seek to disrupt the participatory model by calling into question celebratory claims: in art history, participation has been approached as a strategy of the avant-garde used to disrupt complacency and work against the alienation apparent in modernity (Bourriaud) or to enact democracy and seemingly deeper forms of community (Bishop, Kester, Felshin, Lippard). Multisensory participatory experiences have also been theorized, putting stress on their political and cultural value, often to tease out their phenomenological workings (Drobnick, Fisher), their political and economic contexts (Canclini, Howes, Mosquera), and their orientation with respect to gender (Ahmed). Frameworks that trace the history of the very notion of participation and participatory cultures are also extensive (Carpentier, Delwiche, Henderson, Jenkins). Recent discussions have investigated the relations between participation, power, and democracy (Crawford, Barney), while others have questioned the assumption that participation is good in itself and have addressed issues of class, gender and race (Nakamura, Sterne). There are also formulations arguing for different forms of abstention or refusal to participate (Jurgenson, Portwood-Stacer).

Possible subjects for papers may include, but are not limited to:

–  modes of journalism and reportage, either via conventional formats such as newspapers, or the voluntary self exposure of blogging, tweeting, and Facebook; as well as the strategies of reality television that encourage popular voting, and the promise of celebrity for everyday people

–  curatorial and institutional approaches to commissioning temporary or public art projects from artists that instigate community engagement and collaboration

–  video games; massively multiplayer online gaming

–  geospatial focuses of global art histories; internationally oriented research networks that invite 
collaboration between scholars

–  methods of activism that adapt forms of theatre, art, and music and vice versa

–  institutional and governmental stewardship and funding of participatory practices

–  models of participatory pedagogy.


In an effort to continue and move beyond the discussion that took place in Montreal last November 2013, this special issue on Participation will have a section dealing with Media@McGill’s International Colloquium on The Participatory Condition. Collaborative papers in response to the different sessions and/or to the Participatory, Open, Online Course (POOC) component are also welcome. (See and
In Circulation is an interdisciplinary journal as such, we invite proposals from scholars, artists, researchers working in but not limited to: Communication Studies, Art History, Cultural Studies, English, Museum Studies, Library Sciences, History, and Philosophy.

Papers can be in English or French, and should include a 250-word abstract. Submissions should
be in Chicago Style, and be formatted for blind review. We will accept .docx, .doc, or .rtf only. We accept both short pieces and longer articles, not to exceed 6,000 words. We also encourage art, multimedia or opinion-based submissions. Authors are responsible for clearing all copyright.

Examples of media/formats include: audio and electronic art, bio art, digital storytelling, game art, net art, open source and community-based practices, radio art, video art, short film, documentation of public interventions, performance and interdisciplinary practices.

In Circulation Issue 4, Vol. 1: To Participate: Global and Spatial Perspectives will be launched at Studio XX in the Fall 2014 and it will be accompanied by an exhibition featuring selected artworks.

Please send your submissions as an e-mail attachment to by May 30, 2014.

Any questions or inquiries should be sent to:

Guest Editors:
Mark Clintberg:
Erandy Vergara:

Editorial Team:
Cheryl Thompson:
Joseph Sannicandro:


Issue 3: Journalism and Precarity, Fall 2013 / Winter 2014

by thenewobjective

incirculation3a cover

View Issue 3 (web)
Download (pdf)

In Circulation: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Media | Arts | Politics
Department of Art History & Communication Studies

Joseph Sannicandro & Cheryl Thompson

Dr. Ingrid Bejerman

Special thanks to the faculty and staff of the Department of Art History & Communication Studies at McGill University, and all our Peer Reviewers.

Cover Photograph:  Phil Carpenter
Layout: Joseph Sannicandro
Logo: Pia Ravi

Sunday Reflections On Journalism and Politics

by thenewobjective

Our Fall 2013 issue was held up and has now become our Winter 2014 issue.  Expect to see it posted here tomorrow, along with the CFP for Issue 4.

For now, we’d like to share the following “On Muckraking and Political Change,” recommended by the Hannah Arendt Center. (You can subscribe to the weekly Amor Mundi newsletter here. Every Sunday, this newsletter collects the Center’s favorite essays published throughout the week, to “help you comprehend the world. And learn to love it.”)

Considering the theme of our current issue, this excerpt from Dean Starkman’s new book seems particularly apt.  The Watchdog That Didn’t Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism catalogs the failure of the press to expose the wrongdoings that lead up to the financial crisis of 2008.

Read Dean Starkman’s “The Great Story”

The Hannah Arendt Center’s Roger Berkowitz reflects upon some of Starkman’s basic assumptions.  In his book, Starkman turns to Walter Lippman:

It’s not enough for reporters and editors to struggle against great odds as many of them have been doing. It’s time to take the public into our confidence. The news about the news needs to be told. It needs to be told because, in the run-up to the global financial crisis, the professional press let the public down.

However, Berkowitz points out that only two years later, in Public Opinion, Lippman recognized that improving bad reporting doesn’t address the deeper problem of how the public forms its opinion, without sufficient leisure time or expertise to properly contextualize and weigh arguments of such importance. Lippman sought to insulate “experts” from “the democratic tempest when making decisions.”  Which may very well be prudent advice.  Berkowitz notes that this side of Lippman flies in the face of the civic minded optimism on display in Starkman’s book.  He asks,  “If we want to revitalize democracy can a revitalized muckraking journalism lead the way?”

Read Berkowitz’s “On Civic Journalism”
We might add to that question: “Perhaps the time has come for industrialization (and automated labour) to make good on its promise of granting the masses leisure time.”  A true spirit of democratic engagement cannot occur without accessible mass education and a public with the leisure time to read and think critically about the issues of the day.


Call for Papers

by thenewobjective

Special Issue
Journalism: Professionalization and Precarity


Since the rise of citizen reporters, blogging, wikis, and pro-am newsroom collaborations, both the professional and academic spheres have come to contest the very definition of a journalist.  These analyses, however, often fail to consider the historical complexity of the processes of professionalization in journalism, its systematic institutionalization as an intellectual endeavor, and the fact that there is not – and never has been – a single unifying activity defined as journalism.  The lack of a consensual body of knowledge within journalism studies as a field of inquiry, and journalism’s problematic status as a discipline within the critical humanities and the social sciences in general, only exacerbate this state of affairs.


While Mark Deuze notes that “journalism is and has been theorized, researched, studied and criticized world-wide by people coming from a wide variety of disciplines,” journalism itself is an arguably indefinable, uncertain, transmuting, multifarious, and extremely intricate object of inquiry.   It is the definition of journalism itself which is rendered problematic, because ‘journalism’ – an ideology, a profession, a craft, a trade, the act of collecting/writing/editing/presenting of news or news articles, a style of writing, to name but a few – signifies multiple realities and representations, especially where differences from one national-cultural context to another are considered.


In their book Data Trash (1994), Arthur Kroker and Michael A. Weinstein write that in the field of digital acceleration, more information means less meaning. Drawing on their work, Franco “Bifo” Berardi points out that in “the sphere of the digital economy, the faster information circulates, the faster value is accumulated.  But meaning slows down this process, as meaning needs time to be produced and to be elaborated and understood.  So the acceleration of the info-flow implies an elimination of meaning.”  Kroker and Weinstein’s virtual class anticipated the growing precarity of the cognitariat.  Considering the historical role of the fourth estate, this virtualization of journalists should be cause for serious reflection.


Is journalism a profession?  According to Chris Anderson, to date, very little has been written about the problem of journalistic expertise in either the communications or sociological literature.  To further complicate matters, the little that has been written is marked by incongruity regarding concepts like profession, professionalism and professionalization, and what they mean in journalism.[1]


What is journalism?  How is it theorized?  Is there an object of study that can be called journalism?  Is there an academic field of inquiry that can be called Journalism Studies?  If so, what is its relationship to Communication Studies?  And to the Social Sciences in general?  What can a critique of the political economy of contemporary journalistic practices tell us?  This issue seeks to situate the question of professionalization in the tension between media conglomeration on the one hand and the increased precarity of journalists and “citizen journalism” on the other.


Papers may include but are not limited to the following:


  • the journalistic occupation within the system of professions, drawing on approaches from Sociology, Political Economy, Communications, and Journalism Studies


  • the question of journalistic expertise and knowledge jurisdiction drawing on the sociology of the professions, the sociology of knowledge, and more discursive perspectives


  • discussion of the problem of journalistic expertise, under concerted assault today, and the consequences of this assault for the normative values of democracy, public life, and social justice


  • the role of J-school and the emergence of “journalism” as a discipline in the decline of high quality journalism


  • the relationship between Journalism and Communication Studies



IN CIRCULATION is an interdisciplinary journal, and, as such, we invite proposals from scholars, artists, researchers working in but not limited to: Communication Studies, Art History, Cultural Studies, English, Museum Studies, Library Sciences, History, and Philosophy.


Papers can be in English or French, and should include a 250-word abstract. Submissions should be in Chicago Style, and be formatted for blind review. We will accept .docx, .doc, or .rtf only. We accept both short pieces and longer articles, not to exceed 6,000 words. We also encourage art, multi-media or opinion-based submissions. Authors are responsible for clearing all copyright.


The deadline for submissions is July 15, 2013.


Please send your submissions as an e-mail attachment to


Any questions or inquiries should be sent to:


Guest Editor:

Ingrid Bejerman:


Editorial Team:

Cheryl Thompson:

Joseph Sannicandro:

Alan Hui-Bon-Hoa:

[1] Randal Beam, “Journalism Professionalism as an Organizational-Level Concept,” Journalism Monographs 121 (June 1990), p. 1.

Issue 2: Archiving and Memory, Fall 2012

by thenewobjective

(click to enlarge)

View Issue 2 (web)
Download (pdf)

In Circulation: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Media | Arts | Politics
Department of Art History & Communication Studies

Joseph Sannicandro, Cheryl Thompson, Alan Hui-Bon Hoa

Mercelie Dionne-Petit, Anne Sophie Garcia, and Wendy Pringle


Special thanks to the faculty and staff of the Department of Art History & Communication Studies at McGill University.

Logo: Pia Ravi