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CFP: DIRT: Intersectional Approaches to Messiness Toronto Symposium


2nd Annual Activist Media Archives Symposium

*DIRT: Intersectional Approaches to Messiness *

November 10 & 11, 2017

Ryerson University

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The Studio for Media Activism & Critical Thought at Ryerson University, Toronto, is seeking abstracts and proposals for a two-day symposium on the media activist archive. Deadline for submission of abstracts & proposals is September 15, 2017.

Archives are dirty. Though scholars have critiqued the idea of an archive as dusty and disorganized, their contents often challenge the very boundaries that try to contain them. The 2017 Activist Media Archives Symposium will interrogate the idea of DIRT by “departing from the planned coherent borders of the ‘archival’” and refocusing our attention to the “trashy, dirty, disgusting, and untidy disorganization of bodies, things, and emotions” (Manalansan 2014: 94).  This symposium hopes to highlight these kinds of messy, dirty, and alternatively-organized archival practices.

*DIRT *will bring together artistic, scholarly, and activist communities that consider colonialist occupations, dirty work, complexities in oral traditions, dystopian futures and ecological crisis, themes of resilience and reparation, dirty archives, naughty/defiant objects, archives and shame, ugly feminism, the pornographic archive.

This conference is open to both scholarly and artistic presentations (or a combination of both). Presentations should be no longer than 20 minutes.

Possible topics for papers include but are not limited to:

Unofficial archives and histories

Shameful archives

Dirty pictures and the pornographic archive

Migration and labour

Sexist, racist erasure of history

Circulation of everyday material objects, once thought of as trash or dirt, taken up as vibrant political spaces

Affective relics of modernity, including environments, landscapes, subjectivities, and/or memories, and their reproduction through and across media

Detritus that marks landscapes, people, and memories

Dirt and Indigeneity

Disability and dirt

Abstracts and proposals should be no longer than 400 words.

Please send abstracts and a short bio to: <>

Deadline: September 15, 2017.