What is media praxis? Integrating theory, politics and practice

Alex Juhasz, the keynote speaker of the workshop Queer, Feminist and Social media praxis (University of Sussex, 17 May 2013) has an ongoing project called Media Praxis. The About page states:

MEDIA PRAXIS takes these truths as self-evident:

1. When used within a project of world or self-changing, media production benefits from conversation with media history and theory.

2. Theories of political media gain from a close interaction with media production.

3. The history, aesthetics and theories of media have been led by practices, analyses, and actions focused on social change; we have much to learn from this history.

For the site Alex Juhasz writes:

MEDIA PRAXIS theorizes and makes media towards stated projects of world and self-changing. This ongoing project, as old as cinema itself, links culture, theory, and politics, in the 20th century, through mediation technologies and indebted to Marxist theories. While I name this a radical web-site in that it directly refers to what Marx, in Theses on Feuerbach calls “revolutionary practice,” a project of interpreting and changing the world, this site is equally radical in that it presumes that we are all participants in making history. It asks you to both study and join the tradition of Media Praxis.

The site is organised around ten chronological histories of media praxis – where media is theorized, by someone who is making it, and as a vital component of political struggle. The site archives theoretical writing, video clips, and related web-based activity from ten periods in media history, commencing with the years surrounding the Russian revolution, then moving to the Popular Front in France, Germany and the US in the 1930s, to the beatniks and underground denizens of American bohemia in the New American Cinema of the 40s and 50s, and then to the cinema connected to the decolonization of the third world in the 60s, and in France and the UK in and after 1968, then to feminism and the black Atlantic of the 70s and 80s, AIDS and ethnographic film in the 1980s and 90s, and concluding with media organizing that occurs in and about cyberspace in our time.

For other explorations in media praxis see here and the Media Commons Digital scholarly project here.


2nd Annual IFjP Conference (Im)possibly Queer International Feminisms

 We are pleased to announce that the workshop Queer, feminist and social media praxis is linked to the 2nd Annual IFjP Conference (May 17-19, 2013
University of Sussex, Brighton, UK) (Im)possibly Queer International Feminisms. The General Keynote of the conference will be Lisa Duggan, American Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, NYU and there will be a screening of the film Circumstance (2011)
(introduced by Director Maryam Keshavarz) after our workshop on Friday

Please note that the IFjP event requires separate registration and payment. Any inquiries about this should be addressed to the conference coordinator, Joanna Wood, at cait@sussex.ac.uk

The CFP can be found here.

An SCCS panel stream entitled Global Feminisms will be featured at the conference. If you wish to submit a panel for consideration by the SCCS stream, please make sure you specify this on your submission form to the IFjP conference.

Keynote profile: Dr Alexandra Juhasz

We are pleased to confirm the keynote speaker for the workshop Queer, feminist and social media, Dr Alexandra Juhasz, Professor of Media Studies, Pitzer College. Dr. Juhasz has written multiple articles on feminist, fake, and AIDS documentary. Her current work is on and about YouTube, and other more radical uses of digital media. She has produced the feature films, The Owls, and The Watermelon Woman, as well as nearly fifteen educational documentaries on feminist issues like teenage sexuality, AIDS, and sex education.

Her first book, AIDS TV: Identity, Community and Alternative Video (Duke University Press, 1996) is about the contributions of low-end video production to political organizing and individual and community growth. Her second book is comprised of transcribed interviews from her documentary about feminist film history, Women of Vision, with accompanying introductions (Minnesota University Press). Her third book, F is for Phony: Fake Documentary and Truth’s Undoing,edited with Jesse Lerner, is recently out from University of MN Press.

Dr. Juhasz’s innovative “video-book,” Learning from YouTube (2011), is recently published by the MIT Press. Her earlier digital effort is Media Praxis: A Radical Web-Site Integrating Theory, Practice and Politics. She blogs on this and other projects at www.aljean.wordpress.com.

CFP Queer, Feminist and social media praxis Workshop, 17 May 2013

The Sussex Centre for Cultural Studies

announces the

Queer, Feminist and social media praxis Workshop

17 May 2013 – University of Sussex, Brighton

Keynote speaker: Prof Alex Juhasz (Pitzer College US, Fembot)

Conference Directors: Dr Aristea Fotopoulou, Professor Sally R Munt

Call for papers

How do social media enable queer and feminist activism?

How does imagining queer & feminist futures link with social media?

How can we understand the interconnections between radical art practices and cyberfeminisms?

What role does science and technology play in shaping social practices and cultural identities?

Feminism, queer activism and queer studies have engaged with questions of technology, computing, and social media. In this workshop we are interested in exploring a range of themes around mediation and gender/sexuality activism – and particularly how digital technologies, art and social media can present possibilities or impossibilities for social equality.

The aim of the workshop is to enable a productive dialogue between different researchers, activists, artists and dimensions of community. We hope that this will lead to new forms of engagement and new collaborations between communities and academics. The workshop is linked to the second annual conference of the International Feminist Journal of Politics, (Im)possibly Queer International Feminisms, between May 17-19, 2013. We are inviting local activist groups to participate.

Alongside traditional academic formats (panels, papers), we are interested in critical interventions that open up spaces for conversation and collaboration, such as creative work, workshops or other formats that cut across these practices.

Sub-themes include, but are not limited to:

  • Digital storytelling, sexuality & gender
  • Transnational feminist/queer networks & mapping
  • LGBTQ Youth & social media
  • Trans identity online
  • Blogging, micro-blogging, video-blogging and activism
  • Cyberfeminism/artistic practices
  • Memory & digital archives

We invite submissions for individual papers, panels, workshops and/or creative work on any of the above themes or related themes.

Abstracts of 250 words should be submitted to r.tavernor[at]sussex.ac.uk by January 31, 2013.

Co-organisers:  Rachel Tavernor, Tanya Kant