Unfortunately, the ERMeCHS reseach seminar on Tuesday 7 November has been cancelled. For any questions, please contact Daniel Trottier (email@example.com).
Documenting the Politics of Media Scarce Communities
Greg Elmer and Stephen J. Neville
We propose to enter into dialogue with the political power of digital media through the lens of documentation, or rather the lack of media documents or objects. Set against theories of media “abundance’ and “overload” that seemingly overdetermine socio-political life (Andrejevic, Boczkowski 2021), we develop a theory of media scarcity in recognition of the mediatization of social and political life (Elmer 2020). While theories of media abundance highlight the disintegration of the public’s trust in journalism, politicians, experts and even facts, the media scarcity framework questions the political implications of having lost ones media documents and objects, be they family photos, diaries, letters, or videos.
Greg Elmer is Bell Media Research Chair and Professor of Communication & Culture, Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University). He has published a number of books on digital political communication, media surveillance, and media financialization. His most recent articles have appeared in Computational Culture, the Canadian Journal of Communication and Media, Culture and Society. Greg has produced & directed three award winning documentary films. His 2018 feature film The Canadian Delegation (2018) screened at film festivals around the world. He is currently writing a book on the history of new media financialization.
Stephen J. Neville is a PhD candidate in the joint program in Communication and Culture at York University and Toronto Metropolitan University in Toronto, Canada. Stephen is research associate at the Infoscape Lab and a member of the Institute for Research on Digital Literacies. His research concerning the intersection of media technology, sound, and surveillance has been published in Convergence, Surveillance & Society, Social Media & Society, Canadian Journal of Communication, and Journal of Sonic Studies. His dissertation explores how the equation of silence with death in biopolitical logics serves to normalize the contemporary proliferation of sonic forms of surveillance.
Greg and Steve were very well hosted visiting researchers at Erasmus University in the spring of 2018. Their book The Politics of Media Scarcity, forthcoming in 2024 from Routledge, was in part inspired by conversations and scholarly exchanges during their 2018 visiting fellowships at Erasmus University.