ANN: Seminar, Media, Telecommunications, and Empire: Analytics of Power—Old and New—in an Interdisciplinary Field

Sarah Nelson Discussion

The Jefferson Scholars Foundation invites you to take part in the 2021 spring seminar series, "Media, Telecommunications, and Empire: Analytics of Power-- old and new-- in an Interdisciplinary Field," sponsored by the Forum for Interdisciplinary Dialogue, the Columbia Center for Comparative Media, and Vanderbilt University's Comparative Media Analysis and Practice program. Designed and organized by Sarah Nelson, the current Ambrose Monell Foundation National Fellow in Technology and Democracy, the four-part series features 12 leading scholars, journalists, public policy experts, communications specialists, and historians from around the world.

In each themed panel, an interdisciplinary group of scholars and practitioners will reflect on how the analytic of "empire" has animated diverse fields of scholarship on media and communications in the past and in the present. In so doing, we seek to reveal what kinds of inquiry the imperial frame has enabled and/or occluded, and reappraise how empire might be used as an integrative and integrating framework for future interdisciplinary work on media and communications— both within the academy and beyond it. 

All panels will meet on Zoom. Our conversation will be based around presenters' pre-circulated papers; we will begin with comments from each of our discussants, and then open the floor for questions and discussion with registered attendees. To access pre-circulated papers and register for the Zoom webinar, please register at the JSF portal here.


“Media, Telecommunications, and Empire:

Analytics of Power—old and new—in an Interdisciplinary Field”


Panel 1 -- News: Empire and the Making of Global Information Industries

Tuesday, February 16, 12:00 p.m. ET/UTC-5


Presenter: Dr. Oliver Boyd-Barrett (Emeritus Professor, Bowling Green State University)

Discussant: Dr. Arthur Asseraf (Lecturer, University of Cambridge)

Discussant: Dr. Heidi Tworek (Associate Professor, UBC Vancouver)


Panel 2 – Telecommunications: Infrastructure, Capitalism, and Empire

Tuesday, March 9, 12:00 p.m. ET/UTC-5


Presenter: Dr. Paula Chakravartty (Associate Professor, NYU)

Presenter: Dr. Lisa Parks (Distinguished Professor, UCSB)

Discussant: Dr. Dan Schiller (Emeritus Professor, University of Illinois-Champaign)


Panel 3 – Global Governance: Regulating International Communications in Decolonization and Globalization

Tuesday, March 23, 12:00 p.m. ET/UTC-4


Presenter: Dr. Cees Hamelink (Emeritus Professor, University of Amsterdam)

Discussant: Dr. Gabriele Balbi (Associate Professor, Università della Svizzera Italiana)

Discussant: Sarah Nelson (PhD Candidate, Vanderbilt University & Ambrose Monell Fellow, JSF)


Panel 4 – Knowledge Regimes: the Past, Present, and Future of Communications for Decolonization and Development

Tuesday, April 13, 8:00 a.m. ET/UTC-4


Presenter: Alfonso Gumucio Dagron (Journalist, filmmaker, writer, communications for development specialist)

Discussant: Dr. Linje Manyozo (Senior Lecturer, RMIT)

Discussant: Dr. Chandrika Kaul (Reader, University of St. Andrews, Scotland)


With any questions or concerns, contact Sarah Nelson at sarah.nelson at