Concordia University

Mediated Acts of Citizenship Workshop

This workshop invites interdisciplinary scholars from various fields to theorize the ways in which citizenship is imagined and enacted in and across media, cities, and nations from around the world. The focus is on public disputes over how social goods (services, security, governance, community aesthetics, and moral precepts) and identities (religious, ethnic, racial, gendered, class, national, cosmopolitan, local) are cultivated, encouraged, preserved, transformed, or abandoned within cities, nations and states. Mediating acts of citizenship concern the multiple ways in which actors participate and engage in disputes over the answerability toward public cultures that have been built over time against the background of specific philosophical, political and economic formations.

Media, cities, and nations are central objects of study in the social sciences and humanities, though they are generally studied separately within different disciplines and faculties. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, we wonder whether and to what extent the study of citizenship can be spatially released from its nation- and/or state-centered tendency and political inclination towards the legal status of rights and obligation, and the formal language of order, justice and membership.

By drawing attention to media, we are interested in how citizenship can articulate itself simultaneously in the abstract public sphere and the concrete sites in cities around which specific claims or counter-claims are made about rights, responsibilities, identity, recognition and redistribution. We would also like to know whether and how the media act as interlocutor in encouraging interaction across diversity, giving opportunities free from formal, institutional restraints and permitting experimentation with identities and belonging.

By considering cities as the crucial locale of citizenship in this workshop, it further opens up a possibility to theorize how citizenship is instantiated in everyday practices of city life. These practices may not be considered political, but their social, cultural, sexual or ethical collisions often embody and embed the political sense of inclusion and exclusion. We also wonder whether and how the uniqueness of city cultures transforms the enactment of citizenship by generating new meanings in social justice and order.

Program in pdf format.

Participants, abstracts and papers

International Participants

Canadian Participants
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