Monday, 1 June 2009

CFP: Viral Ports, Virtual Currents: Interconnections of Media, the Arts and the Everyday in Southeast Asia and its Diasporas (Riverside)

2 - 4 OCTOBER 2009

Sponsored by SEATRiP (Southeast Asian Studies) group
Keynote speaker: Rolando Tolentino

Media use has escalated greatly throughout the world, leading to more extensive and varied visibility of the arts. Using metaphors of the ocean in cooperation with the viral and the virtual ties popular imaginaries of Southeast Asia with the ability of media to spread and replicate "virally".

As Jean Burgess uses Henry Jenkins' argument about the "spreadability" of values within the dynamic relationship between media and cultural production/consumption, "Through reuse, reworking and redistribution, spreadable media content 'gains greater resonance in the culture, taking on new meanings, finding new audiences, attracting new markets, and generating new values'" (Burgess 2008, 3). Media outputs then become ports of contact and inspiration for other members of the social network. In this fascinating process, the arts are inevitably expanding and evolving into an outlet or carrier for (re)thinking identities in relation to socio-political and economic issues, discussed and solved in what Ien Ang calls the "field of culture" (2000). This field contains uneven complexities, contradictory approaches, avoidances, identifications, disidentifications, collusion and conflict that form, articulate, and contest hybrid identities "in and through artistic expression, media representation, popular culture consumption, cultural criticism and intellectual reflection" (Ang et. al., 2000:xxx).

The emphasis on the arts and media in this conference should open more comprehensive ways of thinking about Southeast Asia and its diasporas as a whole. This conference reflects on Arjun Appadurai's call for a "new architecture of area studies" which is driven by the concept of process geographies-areas are spaces of action, interaction, and motion (Burgess 2004: 127). The theme of 'arts and media in everyday life' engages with these geographies in motion by highlighting the dynamic, multidirectional networks of culture within Southeast Asia and through its diasporic communities throughout the world in addition to addressing complexities that make a contribution to developing new approaches of thinking.

We define media broadly to include (but is not limited to) genres of film, TV, radio, Internet, digital games. Media connects with various forms of the arts such as dance, music, and theatre that bind and detach Southeast Asia and its diasporas. We invite graduate students, artists, scholars, and community/cultural workers to submit work based on the theme.

Viral Video Festival: Please read more about viral video upload instructions after sample topics.
Topics might include, but are not limited to:
*Reality Bites: Southeast Asian youth culture, viral videos and the influence of transnational television programming.
*Herzfeld's Arenas of Agency: Sensing the feel and sound of Southeast Asian diasporas.
*"Bebot, Ikaw Ang Aking ." Pop Music Links to Philippine Transnational Ethnic Identities
* Everyday Nationalism in the Arts: Artists joining together in national expression from the ground up.
*Capital Movements: Revitalizing classical Cambodian dance through tourism, globalization, and political policy.
*Upload/Download: Internet ties and communicating community through cyberspace.
*Screening SEADs: ecological filmic representations of performing Southeast Asian diasporic subjects.
*Scoring High Karma: the Ethics (Video) Game sharing Thai Buddhist morals around the world.
*Indonesian Pop Divas negotiating Islam and Sex for the record.
*The Culture Show Wars: Fighting for community and identity in southern California college Vietnamese culture shows.
*Media fiksi, Mekanis berharap: Nationalism, science fiction, and media imagery in modern Indonesian graphic novels.
*TRANS-itions in Sound, Venus Fly Trap: music video vixens engendering space and feminine bodies for multisensory consumption.

Call for VIRAL VIDEO Uploads based on the conference theme! 
We invite submissions of viral videos of no more than 5:00 minutes from all over the world exploring our conference theme. Share your stories and issues about Southeast Asia and its diasporas! Please upload your video to and send us your YouTube screenname and email address. You may also send us a hard copy of your video on CD through snail mail. Please make sure videos are saved with extensions that can be read in both MAC and PC format (e.g. avi, mov, mpg, wmv). Early submissions are encouraged. 
Deadline for submission is September 4, 2009. You may send hard copies to:

c/o 2009 Conference
3149 Interdisciplinary Building
University of California, Riverside
900 University Avenue
Riverside, CA 92521

Papers may be submitted individually or as part of organized panels. Creative panel formats that encourage discussion and exchange are especially welcomed.

INDIVIDUAL PAPER proposals should include the full title and a brief abstract of the paper (250 words or less). Individual papers will be assigned to a panel according to topic and should be short enough to present in 15 minutes.

A SELF- ORGANIZED PANEL consists of 3 or 4 papers organized around a common topic or theme, and a chair (who may also be one of the panelists). All panel proposals should include: a title and brief abstract of the panel (250 words or less) along with a title and brief abstract for each paper (250 words or less). Panels will run for an hour and a half, and papers should be short enough to allow for questions and discussion.

All panel and paper proposals must include the name and full contact information of all participants, and can be submitted through email to

Please address all inquiries to the email address shown above. Submissions are due no later than June 15, 2009. Notification of acceptance: July 6, 2009.

Ang, Ian, et al. Alter/Asians: Asian Australians in Art, Media and Popular Culture Sydney: Pluto Press, 2000.

Burgess, Chris. "The Asian studies 'crisis': Putting cultural studies into Asian studies and Asia into cultural studies," in International Journal of Asian Studies 1.1 (2004) 121-136.

Burgess, Jean. "'ALL YOUR CHOCOLATE RAIN ARE BELONG TO US'? Viral Video, YouTube and the Dynamics of Participatory Culture," in Video Vortex Reader: Responses to YouTube, Geert Lovink and Sabine Niederer (eds.), (Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, 2008) 101-109.

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