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Knowing Mass Culture/Mediating Knowledge
Milwaukee, April/May 1999

Call for Papers Knowing Mass Culture/Mediating Knowledge a conference at the Center for Twentieth Century Studies University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee April 29 - May 1, 1999
This conference will focus on the production of knowledge within global media culture. It will consider not only how scholars have come to know media culture, but how media and mass cultural forms have themselves instituted various forms of knowledge. It will explore how print, film, television, and electronic cultures have generated particular ways of knowing, with their own epistemological and pedagogical practices, standards of evidence and authority, operations of perception and cognition, truths and blindspots. How have popular media forms and genres shaped our ways of thinking, including our ways of thinking about mass culture itself? To frame an encounter between academic knowledges of mass-mediated culture and media culture's own epistemological objects and procedures--to consider not just how we think about popular media but how we think through them--the conference will bring together those who study popular narratives and genres, film, television, and new technologies with media practitioners in those fields (film and video producers, interactive media artists, web and video game designers). Papers and presentations may consider such topics as: constructions of truth, identity, and experience within media and technological forms; the creation and documentation of various realisms and realities; mediated perceptions of space and time, history and community; relations between global and local knowledge; shifts in information access, storage, and circulation; changing literacies and new forms of "common sense"; encounters between media and academic genres; the use of popular forms as models for scholarly work; the implications of thinking through various genres (such as the documentary, the detective narrative, science fiction, melodrama, comedy) and voices (sensationalized, personalized, paranoid, networked); the drive toward and/or refusal of knowledge within mass cultural texts; the production (or over-production) of knowledge in such things as conspiracy and millennial theorizing; media pedagogies and philosophies. Invited speakers: Mark Amerika (novelist/digital artist, Boulder, CO) Susan Burgess (political science/women's studies, UW-Milwaukee) Lawrence Cohen (anthropology, UC, Berkeley) John DiStefano (film/video producer, School of the Art Institute of Chicago) Mary Ann Doane (film studies, Brown Univ.) Bernard Gendron (philosophy/music studies, UW-Milwaukee) Herman Gray (sociology/African-American studies/media studies, UC, Santa Cruz) Todd Haynes (filmmaker, New York City) Lynne Joyrich (film/television studies, UW-Milwaukee) Robert McChesney (media studies, UW-Madison) Patricia Mellencamp (film/television studies, UW-Milwaukee) Constance Penley (film/television studies, UC, Santa Barbara) Stephen Wilson (art/new technologies, San Francisco State Univ.) Mimi White (television studies, Northwestern Univ.) Mark Williams (film/television studies, Dartmouth) Deadline for Submissions: December 15, 1998 Please send proposals (no more than 3 pages) and vita to: Lynne Joyrich, Conference Organizer Center for Twentieth Century Studies P.O. Box 413 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Milwaukee, WI 53201 USA Phone: (414) 229-4141; Fax: (414) 229-5964; email:; Selected papers from the conference will be considered for inclusion in a book planned for publication in the Center series Theories of Contemporary Culture with Indiana University Press.