[Extended until April 15] CFP: Mediating the Real International Conference

Ryan Tippet's picture
Call for Papers
April 15, 2016
New Zealand
Subject Fields: 
Communication, Digital Humanities, Film and Film History, Popular Culture Studies, Theatre & Performance History / Studies

CFP: Mediating the Real

An international conference hosted by the ‘Performance of the Real Research Theme’ at the University of Otago

August 31st – September 2nd 2016


Keynote speakers: Misha Kavka (The University of Auckland); Allen Meek (Massey University) & Agon Hamza (Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts)


This conference addresses what the ‘Real’ might mean in contemporary media studies. Moving beyond common-sense understandings of ‘realness’ as an objective ‘Truth’, Mediating the Real specifically applies psychoanalytic and Lacanian understandings of the Real to mediated cultures. The conference takes its motivation from currents in critical Lacanian thought which interrogate the political dimensions of the Real’s irruptions into, and intersections with, contemporary culture. In particular, this event calls for papers that engage with mediated cultural formations. Here, we consider the Real across Lacan’s work to include the Real as an anchor / point of return; and, the Real as more than / beyond the Symbolic, and troubling to the Imaginary.

Alongside psychoanalytic approaches, we also encourage submissions from scholars more broadly concerned with media* and constitutions of ‘reality’. This speaks to ‘Performance of the Real Research Theme’ imperatives, which address how cultural forms represent, critique and stage ‘reality’ and the ethical and political issues involved in such acts.


Mediating the Real takes a necessarily broad approach to ‘media*’ including papers relating to:

·       televisual and cinematic representations

·       ‘the voice’

·       music and sound

·       art and / or design

·       written forms

·       digital media


Questions that accepted papers might address (though are not limited to) include:

·       How does the Real function in contemporary media cultures?

·       How do questions of sexuation and gender figure in terms of intersections of the Real and media?

·       How do appeals to, and representations of, ‘reality’ in news the media (the news or reality TV, for example), temper or impact on the Real?

·       What of the mediated subject? In particular, the politics of the logged in, digitally mediated Self.

·       What is the role of psychoanalysis in contemporary media studies – especially considering the emphasis on empiricism in institutional contexts that value quantified, ‘objective’ outputs?


Paper abstracts (no more than 250 words) and bios (100 words) should be sent to conference convener Rosemary Overell:rosemary.overell@otago.ac.nz by 15th April 2016.


Registration (includes cocktail function, lunches, morning and afternoon teas): postgraduate / casual rate: $60; waged / academic rate: $160

Keynote workshops: TBA

Dunedin is a beautiful small city, located in the South Island of New Zealand. A true ‘university town’, it buzzes with student life and academic activity. It hosts a number of independent art galleries, bookshops and radical institutions. Alongside these cultural sites, Dunedin offers stunning opportunities for nature tourism and is a perfect taste of New Zealand’s natural beauty. Tramping (hiking) tracks are within easy distance of the town, as is the striking Otago Peninsula, home to albatross colonies and rare penguin breeds.

Contact Info: 

Check out our website: http://www.otago.ac.nz/performance-of-the-real/index.html facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/performanceofthereal/ and twitterhttps://twitter.com/performingreal

Performance of the Real Research Theme Steering Committee: Suzanne Little; Hilary Halba; Rosemary Overell; Yuko Shibata; Hazel Tucker and Jennifer Cattermole