|This special issue of Canadian Journal of Sociology on “Mediated Environments” will bring together current scholarship that interrogates the relationships among the environment, media, and concepts of mediation. The issue will include various theoretical, methodological, and empirical approaches and will be organized as an encounter between the following two major axes of scholarship and their productive cross-pollinations: 1) the understanding of nature and the environment through mass media, new media, and/or independent or activist-produced media and 2) the understanding of “nature” and the “environment” as themselves forms of mediation.
Media representations of nature, whether they appear in advertising, news stories, nature documentaries, Hollywood blockbusters, or eco-blogs, contribute to cultural conceptions of the environment. It is through media that most of us gain an understanding of environmental problems beyond our everyday experience. Media platforms are also key sites for environmental movements to reach potential supporters, to engage governments and opponents in public debate, and to shift public values and attitudes. This issue invites empirical or theoretical work that analyzes the varied ways media affect environment-society interaction. Papers might focus on media texts or imagery, environmental activists’ media productions, the social production of environmental media, how audiences make sense of environment-related media, or how shifts towards digital media are reconfiguring relationships between people and their environments.
Recent approaches in the social sciences that can broadly be termed “new materialist” or “post-humanist” are developing more “ecological” ways of understanding social relations and understand human and nonhuman interaction in terms of “mediation.” This issue also invites proposals that probe the possibilities of new materialist and posthumanist understandings of “mediation” for conceiving the connections among media, environment, and social assemblages. In what ways do the concepts introduced by social theorists such as Deleuze and Guattari, Bruno Latour, and Michel Serres, science and technology studies scholars such as Donna Haraway, Myra Hird, and Karen Barad, human geographers such as Nigel Thrift, Bruce Braun, and Sarah Whatmore, social anthropologists such as Timothy Ingold, political theorists such as Jane Bennett and William Connolly, and communication and media studies scholars such as Jussi Parikka contribute to new insights in Canadian environmental sociology? How do these approaches advance scholarship on environmental issues in the Canadian context? And importantly, how do these theories of “mediation” inform empirical work that interrogates the relations, tensions, and conflicts among media and environment in Canada – and beyond – today?
The co-editors invite paper proposals that link concepts of “mediation” with media and environmental practices and make critical connections among various forms of media and urgent ecological issues such as energy, climate change, consumption, and waste in the Canadian context.
Please indicate interest in contributing to this special issue by sending a paper proposal by November 15th 2012.
Proposals should include your contact information and an abstract of no more than 300 words, and may be submitted to co-editors Petra Hroch (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mark Stoddart (email@example.com).
Completed papers will be due May 31st, 2013.