Presentation Submission Procedures Registration Speakers Committees Contacts PT 2017 ×

University of Beira Interior, along with SOPCOM’s Political Communication Working Group, hosts the 2nd Conferences on Pathologies and Dysfunctions of Democracy in Media Context, between November 12th and 14h 2018, choosing as this edition’s subtopic 21th Century’s New Dystopian Imaginary. From George Orwell to Black Mirror. From Big Brother to Big Data. The scientific Commite has decided to expand the deadline: Abstracts and synopses must be submitted - both in English and in the original language of the selected works, until July, 20, at 6:00 p.m., to the email pddemocracy2018@labcom.ubi.pt. Author's acceptance notification will be announced by the end of July. Non-selected proposals will not receive any notification.

20th Century's dystopian predictions have become object of a recent revisitation. Donald Trump's election in the United States of America, the several xenophobic and ultra-nationalist threats emerging in different geographical and political contexts, populism phenomena, as well as excessive surveillance, counter-information, and the so-called "fake news" have drawn attention to some dystopian portrays conceived in the 20th Century which are now being considered an appropriate depiction of democracy and political communication's new pathologies.

The Huffington Post has published a text by Christian Fuchs examining Donald Trump's leadership style from the perspective of Theodor Adorno's worldview on authoritarian personality. The Guardian has turned to the Frankfurt School to analyze the now famous "alt-right" connected with Steve Bannon’s name. Neil Postman's essays have been recurrently referred around and about surveillance studies. The New York Review of Books has included essays speculating on which book best-anticipated new forms of political intervention within media context, after phenomena such as fake news and the infamous post-truth: would it be George Orwell's 1984 or Aldous Huxley's Brave New World? These two classics registered substantial increases in sales and popularity. The George Orwell essays on language were mentioned, in traditional press, following the phenomena of media manipulation. Cinephile memory was evoked alluding to films such as King Vidor's The Crowd. Finally, televised fiction itself has inaugurated a string of quality series pointing to a dystopian depiction of contemporary political communication, having Mr. Robot and Black Mirror as two of the most manifest examples.

In this Conference, participants are asked to privilege contemporary or classical sources with dystopian perspectives related to social mediatisation processes which are still currently able to translate a certain degree of topicality regarding contemporary phenomena.

Examples of such sources and references include:
- Social Science’s classical works; dystopian or critical approaches, such as Orwell's essays on literature and the writings of Canetti, Freud, Bakhtin, Adorno, Marcuse, Postman, among several other pertinent authors.
- Classical Dystopian Literature: from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to Robert L. Stevenson’s Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hide, paradigmatic from the first reactions to scientific research and technological progress, other significant works have befallen, such as George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm, Aldous Huxley's Island or Brave New World, Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids, Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange, J.G. Ballard’s The Drowned World, Stephen King’s pseudonym Richard Bachman’s The Running Man, William Gibson’s Neuromancer, not forgetting the works from Doctorow, Kurt Vonnegut and Philip K. Dick (the significant Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep), nor more recent novels such as Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid's Tale and Oryx and Crake, Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl, and Kristen Simmons´s Article 5. Among us, resorting to fantastic fiction has been employed to criticize consumption capitalism with José Saramago's Essay on Blindness.

Visual arts and some utterly diverse fictional perspectives include shows like Black Mirror, Mr. Robot, The Man on the High Castle, Altered Carbon or The Handmaid’s tale), films such as Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, Lars von Trier's Dogville, Fritz Lang's Metropolis, or King Vidor's The Crowd, comics like the unique works of Moebius or Enki Bilal, among many others, design (Dunne & Raby, Metahaven), and also other contemporary artistic forms with a deeply interventional and critical character.

Therefore, we aim to mobilize a wide diversity of classical and contemporary contributions which, departing from the perspectives of Communication Sciences, Critical Theory, Film Studies, Arts and Literary Studies, may allow us to approach elements of the new contemporary political landscape defined, among other social phenomena, by the presence of digital media.

Following the 1st Symposium on Pathologies and Dysfunctions of Democracy in Media Context, this second edition will also be structured after three thematic axes, useful to focus our attention on a few chosen phenomena.

1. Hyper-surveillance, and control mechanisms:
Within digital social networks and infotainment, invisibility, the right to forget and be forgotten, and the reserve of a private life acquire an almost subversive nature in an age defined by hyper-communication.

2. Leadership, transgression, and manipulation: "scandalogy" as a new science of communication?
The media staging of power mobilizes protagonists to a reality in which rationality and public responsibility are confronted with multiple risks of scandal arising from a permanent state of collective scrutiny. "Scandalogy" is a concept already used to project the study of image crisis’ phenomena, increasingly emerging due to the opportunities of political exposure.
On the other hand, opportunities to mobilize data in order to reinforce manifestations of panic or alarm are becoming more evident. Concepts such as "information", "agenda-setting " and "participation" are being challenged today by a an almost belligerent mobilization of media resources.

3. Identities and policies of life in a hyper-mediated society
Recent developments on the recognition of women’s rights and promotion of new affirmative policies intended to improve gender equality coincide with an ever-increasing controversy around the concept of "political correctness".
At the same time, while affirmations concerning human dignity appear to be progressively incorporated in political discourse, phenomena such as xenophobia, misogyny, racism, cultural, racial and ethnic confrontation, and, at the limit, the proliferation of genocides, rise to a previously unimaginable proportion and extent.

Submission Procedures


Considering this context,

A) Labcom.IFP and the Organizing Committee invite all researchers, artists, performers, and activists interested in examining such issues (as much from classical as from contemporary references) to present an expanded abstract of 600 words in which social-scientific approaches, fictional topics, or their multiple possible combinations are to be discussed. If the presentation consists in a documentary, short film or animation, the author(s) must submit both a synopsis and a 2,5 minutes sample of the proposal.

B) After the blind peer reviewing process, 45 submissions will be selected. Those submissions may assume the form of Case Studies, Empirical Observations, Literature Reviews, Essays, Documentaries, Short films and Animations.

C) Essays and Scientific papers should not exceed 10 pages, intended to a fifteen-minute presentation. Documentaries, short films, and animations are to be presented in digital format and have a maximum duration of 10 minutes, since their full presentation must also not exceed fifteen minutes.
Each of these three axes will include a plenary panel, with national and international guest keynote speakers. Each plenary panel will then be followed by three parallel thematic sessions, each of them containing five of the selected presentations, to a total of 45 peer reviewed participations.

D) Abstracts and synopses must be submitted - both in English and in the original language of the selected works, until June 15 July 20, at 6:00 p.m. Author's acceptance notification will be announced by the end of the first week of July. Non-selected proposals will not receive any notification.

E) The written submissions will be published, either in a scientific journal or in the Conference's Proceedings, with ISBN.

F) The audiovisual and / or non-written submissions will be displayed in a proper digital platform.

G) All the authors with accepted proposals must formalize and pay their registration.

Registration


The registration process includes the payment of a fee, as stated in the information found below to the effect. The authors must also formalize it, sending an e-mail to pddemocracy2018@labcom.ubi.pt with the following information:
Full name of the author(s)
Affiliation and category (or any suitable information regarding the author's academic or professional situation)
Contact e-mail
Contact address (for accounting purposes, regarding the payment's invoice)
NIF / Number of Fiscal Identification / Passport number in cases of international participants (for accounting purposes, regarding the payment's invoice)
Identification of the submitted proposal (title)
In attachment to the e-mail, the participant(s) must send a copy of the payment receipt, as well as evidence from his/her/their status as student or research fellow from a Higher Education institution, or professional situation (check the typology Others below)

Registration Fees

1st phase - until July 29th (early bird registration)
1 - Professors from Higher Education institutions: 100 euros
2 - Students and research fellows from Higher Education institutions: 60 euros
3 - Others (such as NGOs, collectives of human rights, artistic collectives, and similar): 80 euros.

2nd phase - between July 29th and September 15th
1 - Professors from Higher Education institutions: 150 euros
2 - Students and research fellows from Higher Education institutions: 110 euros
3- Others (such as NGOs, collectives of human rights, arts collectives, and similar): 120 euros.

Exemptions from Registration Fee

Professors, researchers and students from University of Beira Interior, as well as any member of the Scientific Committee with an accepted proposal are exempt from payment, but must still formalize their registration, sending the required information.

Payment Procedures

Bank transfer to Universidade da Beira Interior
BANK: Santander
NIB: 0018 0003 2322 0304 0208 9
IBAN: PT50 0018 0003 2322 0304 0208 9
SWIFT-CODE: TOTAPTPL

Speakers


Jorge Palinhos

Jorge Palinhos born in Leiria, collaborated with magazines such as the Jornal Universitário do Porto, 365, aguasfurtadas and Drama. Author of several plays, and winner of INATEL - Miguel Rovisco Prize and the Manuel Deniz-Jacinto Prize (both in 2004). He has also written screenplays for animated and real-life short films and two series for the internet and participated in the anthologies More Tales of Terror, published in the United States by Pagan Publishing, Almanaque do Dr. Thackery T. Lambshead de Doenças Excêntricas e Desacreditadas published in Lisbon in the Year 2000, by Saída de Emergência. Several of his plays have already been presented and/or published in Portugal, Brazil, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and Serbia.
He is a dramaturgist at the Stand-up Tall Company and a guest lecturer at the Dona Maria II National Theater Dramaturgy course. He made the adaptation of Al Berto's novel Lunário, published by the Instituto Politécnico do Porto. He also translated the plays Dublin Carol by Conor McPherson, Cosmos by Lautaro Vilo and Wastwater by Simon Stephens. He is the editor of Drama, journal from the Portuguese Association of Scriptwriters and Playwrights. He is finishing a Ph.D. thesis on Power and Action in the Contemporary Drama.


Nelson Zagalo

Nelson Zagalo is associate professor at University of Aveiro, Portugal. Has created the scientific laboratory EngageLab; and founded the Portuguese Society for Videogames Sciences, and is now the coordinator of the research group Games and Transmedia at Digimedia/UA. He has more than one hundred peer-reviewed publications in the fields of narrative, games and creativity. He is the editor of the blog Virtual Illusion, and has published the books Interactive Emotions, from Film to Videogames (2009), Videogames in Portugal: History, Technology and Art (2013), and Creativity in the Digital Age (2015).


Andrew M. Butler

Andrew M. Butler is a British academic who teaches film, media, cultural studies and communications at Canterbury Christ Church University. He is Managing Editor of Extrapolation, having previously edited Vector, the Critical Journal of the British Science Fiction Association. He is a director of the Serendip Foundation which administers the Arthur C. Clarke Award, acting as nonvoting chair of judges.
He has published widely on science fiction and, less often, fantasy, in journals such as Foundation, Science Fiction Studies, Vector and The Lion and the Unicorn. His interests include Philip K. Dick, Terry Pratchett (Terry Pratchett: Guilty of Literature, co-edited with Edward James and Farah Mendlesohn was nominated for a Hugo Award), Jeff Noon, Iain M. Banks, Ken MacLeod, Christopher Priest, Philip Pullman, Queer YA and science fiction film. His article for Science Fiction Studies, "Thirteen ways of looking at the British Boom", on the British science fiction boom won the Science Fiction Research Association Pioneer Award in 2004. Publications include Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Solar Flares: Science Fiction in the 1970s, and the Pocket Essential Cyberpunk, Terry Pratchett, Film Studies and Postmodernism (with Bob Ford).
He is editor of An Unofficial Companion to the Novels of Terry Pratchett, Westport, Ct. and Oxford: Greenwood Press and Christopher Priest: The Interaction, and co-editor of A Celebration of British Science Fiction (with Andy Sawyer and Farah Mendlesohn), Terry Pratchett: Guilty of Literature (with Edward James and Farah Mendlesohn), Fifty Key Figures in Science Fiction (with Mark Bould, Adam Roberts and Sherryl Vint) and The Routledge Companion to Science Fiction (Mark Bould, Adam Roberts and Sherryl Vint). In his spare time he collects shiny trousers.His blog is andrewmbutler.blog


Ana-Karina Schneider

Ana-Karina Schneider is Associate Professor of English Literature at Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Romania, holding a PhD in critical theory and Faulkner studies from Lucian Blaga University (2005), and a Diploma in American Studies from Smith College, USA (2004). Her publications include the monographs Critical Perspectives in the Late Twentieth Century. William Faulkner: A Case Study (2006), and Studies in the Rhetoric of Fiction (2015), as well as textbooks and study guides for classroom use. She has also published articles on the contemporary British novel, the critical reception of various British and American writers in Romania, literary translation, reading practices, and English Studies in the Romanian higher education. Her recent work has been in the field of women’s writing, with an interest in dystopia studies, cultural and film studies. Dr Schneider is Editor-in-Chief of American, British and Canadian Studies and Secretary of the Academic Anglophone Society of Romania.


Mark Bould

Mark Bould is a Reader in Film and Literature at the University of the West of England, and the recipient of the 2016 SFRA Pilgrim Lifetime Achievement Award for Critical Contributions to the Study of Science Fiction and Fantasy. He is a founding editor of the journal Science Fiction Film and Television and the book series Studies in Global Science Fiction (Palgrave Macmillan).
He is the author of Solaris (2014), Science Fiction: The Routledge Film Guidebook (2012), The Cinema of John Sayles: Lone Star (2009) and Film Noir: From Berlin to Sin City (2005), and co-author of The Routledge Concise History of Science Fiction (2011).
He has edited or co-edited M. John Harrison: Critical Essays (forthcoming), Paradoxa 26: SF Now (2014), Paradoxa 25: Africa SF (2013), Neo-noir (2009), The Routledge Companion to Science Fiction (2009), Red Planets: Marxism and Science Fiction (2009), Fifty Key Figures in Science Fiction (2009) and Parietal Games: Critical Writings By and On M John Harrison (2005).
His current work is focused on the Anthropocene unconscious, African speculative fiction, Afrofuturism, and cinematic representations/mediations of the 2007–8 global financial crash.

Committees


Scientific Committe


Anabela Gradim
Ana Catarina Pereira
André Barata
António Bento
Catarina Moura
Eduardo Camilo
Filipa Subtil
Francisco Merino
Francisco Paiva
Gil Ferreira
Hélder Prior
Herlander Elias
João Pissarra
João Palinhos
José António Domingues
José Ricardo Carvalheiro
José Luís Garcia
Luís Nogueira
Nelson Zagalo
Paulo Serra
Paula Espírito Santo
Sara Velez

Organizing Committe


João Carlos Correia
Anabela Gradim
Ana Catarina Pereira
Francisco Merino
Hélder Prior
Luís Nogueira
Ricardo Morais
Sara Velez

Contacts


About submissions, acceptance, presentations and general doubts:
pddemocracy2018@labcom.ubi.pt

For and about registration:
pddemocracy2018@labcom.ubi.pt

Localização

Universidade da Beira Interior
Faculdade de Artes e Letras
Departamento de Comunicação e Artes
Rua Marquês D'Ávila e Bolama
6201-001 Covilhã, Portugal

Telefone
(+351) 275 242 023 / ext. 1201