REGION AS FRAME:
POLITICS, PRESENCE, PRACTICE
The breaking down of some the world’s walls has created an uncertainty about the geographies and substantive nature of the regions they had once defined. This includes physical boundaries such as the Berlin wall, ideological ones such as those in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, economic ones such as those that had once separated India and other socialist economies from the capitalist West, and cultural ones such as those that had hidden the lives of people in the Middle Eastern and Soviet bloc.
Mobility, migration and disembodied interactions by cyberspace further complicate the notion of region as a conceptual and experiential category. New regional hierarchies, such as the economic power of emerging economies (BRICS) are taking shape, serving to decentre traditional loci of power, while different forms of identity politics are creating fissures in the modern nation state. Corporations have acquired the power to dictate politics through their ownership of forms and channels of expression, and this has created a new urgency to re-think old political economy arguments around media control and dispersal in a regional rather than global framework.
The conference theme seeks to explore the dynamics of media systems, communication patterns and organizational relationships within this new “framing” of region as a physical and conceptual category. The theme thus lends itself to panels and papers dealing with a wide range of specific sub-themes and topics. These may include:
• What are the politics that drive media discourse, organization and economics?
• What kind of presence is at all possible in this redefined regional space, and how does region become a real and imagined construct across new media presences?
• What sorts of practices then become key to media and communication spaces enclosed in or defined by this new frame?