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CFP: Geospatial Memory and the City

Media Theory Journal (

Call for Papers: Deadline (June 1, 2017)

Special Issue on Geospatial Memory and the City


Geospatial media has saturated cityscapes and inspired new perspectives on the social world. Beyond its undisputed global reach through popular applications like Google Earth, the geospatial web carries a cluster of implications for local commerce, governance, civic participation and activism that are still largely unspoken for. From dramatically re-evaluating the navigability of city streets to that of determining the shape of hidden infrastructures, the geospatial web galvanizes practitioners and researchers in the fields of architecture, cartography, geographic information systems design, social media and urban computing as well as theory. In fact, urban design’s absorption of geospatial media only solidifies its importance as a factor in both the quality and articulation of city life.


Despite the rapid immersion of geospatial media into the everyday, there exist relatively few attempts within critical media studies to investigate and evaluate its unique affordances, or even to express the broader aesthetic, political, historical and epistemic questions that it raises. There are even fewer attempts to connect critical perspectives on geospatial media with memory studies practices. However, memory studies research may prove to be useful here because of its explicit commitment to revealing how collective identity is formed and contested within technologized environments (whether through writing, cinema or digital media), and to considerations about the transfer of information across individuals and generations, including the latter’s impact on the social. Moreover, because geospatial media infrastructures deliver specific challenges to our collective orientation of place, the interdisciplinary work of memory studies acquires further significance as a particularly rich avenue for reframing our place-bound expectations within new media environments.


This special issue is devoted to considering the potential for collective memory practices to gain insight into the dimensions of geospatial media from north to south. We invite contributors to interrogate the existing paradigms of spatial media analysis, as well as both the practical and theoretical implications of developing methodologies that are germane to the mediated experience of cities. Above all, this issue is devoted to furthering the concept of geospatial memory within critical media studies broadly defined. By working though existing frameworks to re-examine the role of spatial environments for the imagination, we aim to develop tools that are commensurate with critical perspectives on geolocation and meaning-making in the digital episteme.


Suggested topics include


Cityness, architecture and digital sustainability


Geolocation, cultural meaning and urban planning


Online spatial environments, interfaces and the (post-)human condition


Navigability, spatial orientation and urban computing


Psychogeography, flânerie and everyday life


Spatial archives, digital preservation and critical heritage practices


Symbolic urban and media infrastructures


Transmedia narrative


Submission details


Deadline for proposals is June 1st, 2017. Proposals (300 words) may be for full-length articles or shorter pieces. Include a short (50-70 word) bio with your proposal.


Final submissions for peer review will be due September 1st, 2017.


Full instructions for authors, including citation guidelines, will be available soon at (


Submission, correspondence and questions about this call for papers can be directed to Joshua Synenko (