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Message posted on 11/09/2020

CFP: Special issue on Geomedia Histories | New Media & Society

Dear colleagues,

Apologies for any double posting.

Please help circulate this Call for Papers. The special issue proposal
"Geomedia Histories" has been enthusiastically greeted by the editor of New
Media and Society. (Link to journal website:

New Media & Society
Special Issue
Geomedia Histories

Abstract Deadline: November 1st 2020.

Edited by: Karin Fast (Karlstad University) and Pablo Abend (University of

There has been an increased interest in the process of place-making by means
of technology. Spurred by the spatial turn in the humanities and social
sciences, and the appearance of new location-aware technologies, the nexus
between geography and media came into focus of media and communication
studies. While the majority of work within the field of geography and media
focus on contemporary developments, this volume wants to address the nexus of
geography and media from a historical perspective. Such a perspective serves
to counterbalance dominant discourses - produced not least by ICT companies
and policy makers but also by academics - about the "revolutionary" traits of
new location-aware media.
The objects of study are geomedia (e.g. Thielmann, 2010; Lapenta, 2011;
McQuire, 2016; Abend, 2017; Fast et al, 2018). The term is used for a wide
variety of phenomena in many contexts. In geography and adjacent fields, for
example, geomedia refers dominantly to visual media used to communicate
geographic knowledge about the earth like (digital) maps and globes. Within
media and communication studies a wider definition has been developed. Here,
geomedia qualifies as an umbrella term used for assemblages of technologies,
processes, operations and practices that socio-technologically reorganize our
encounter with space and place (Dring/Thielmann, 2009). This includes
localizing technologies, augmented-reality applications and data practices.
In addition, geomedia can be used as a concept for describing the state which
media is currently entering. Seen this way, geomedia is not referring to a
bundle of specific types of media, but rather serves as a label for the
particular condition(s) brought about by location-aware and location-based
technologies in interplay with wider social, economic, cultural or political
trends. Certain trajectories such as convergence, ubiquity,
location-awareness, and real-time feedback can be followed, with geomedia
sitting at the intersection of these developments (McQuire, 2016). Therefore,
the volume is interested in investigations into the starting points of these
With this in mind, geomedia can be understood in the double sense of media
that is situated - its use being bound to a specific place - and media that
situates - producing and altering space and place. In order to account for
this productive dimension of geomedia, one has to move away from the
representational qualities of media and attend to its placemaking powers.
Space gets continually socio-technically re-organized through processes of
mediatization. But this re-organization is not only the work of circulating
representations of space - e.g. in the sense of a power of maps. It is also,
and perhaps to an even greater extent, the result of our concrete interactions
with technology. Technology is not only a tool to discover and understand the
world, but also a productive force that is granted a certain agency in the
production of space and the making of place. Methodologically, this can be
translated into a call to de-center the media by looking at the practices and
operations surrounding geomedia technologies rather than concentrate on
representations, since representations are not the start but an intermediate
outcome of these processes. This poses additional challenges for historical

The volume welcomes research that engages in questions pertaining to geomedia
histories, such as, for example:
- What is the historical backdrop of today's place-aware geomedia
- What are the historical equivalents to contemporary geomedia affordances?
- Where can we look for the starting points of various socio-technological
trajectories that are constitutive of today's geomedia condition (e.g.
convergence, ubiquity, location-awareness, real-time feedback, etc.)?
- How can we trace past geomedia uses and practices?
- Who were the "early adopters" of geomedia?
- How can we account for past changes in power structures introduced or
sustained by geomedia?
- Who were the early geomedia producers, advocates or stakeholders? (e.g.
foundational industries, authorities, organizations, etc.).

If you have any other perspectives on geomedia histories, share them with us
in your paper proposal.

Abend, P. (2017). From map reading to geobrowsing: Methodological
reconsiderations for geomedia. In Felgenhauer, T. & Gbler, K. (Eds.).
Geographies of Digital Culture. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
Dring, J., Thielmann, T. (Eds.) (2009). Mediengeographie: Theorie - Analyse -
Diskussion. Bielefeld: transcript.
Fast, K., Jansson, A., Lindell, J., Bengtsson, L.R. & Tesfahuney, M. (Eds.)
(2018). Geomedia Studies: Spaces and Mobilities in Mediatized Worlds. London:
Lapenta, F. (2011). Geomedia: on location-based media, the changing status of
collective image production and the emergence of social navigation systems.
Visual Studies, 26(1), 14-24.
McQuire, S. (2016). Geomedia: Networked Cities and the Future of Public Space.
Cambridge, UK: Polity.
Thielmann, T. (2010). Locative media and mediated localities. Aether: The
Journal of Media Geography, 5(1), 1-17.
Research Areas

We welcome contributions by scholars of Science and Technology Studies, Media
and Communication Studies, History of Computing, Media History, Communication
Geography, Media Geography, Geomedia Studies, or from adjacent fields of

Deadlines and contact information
Please send your abstract (maximum 250 words) and a short biographical note
(maximum 50 words) to and until
November 1st, 2020. Based on the abstracts, the editors will pre-select
authors that will be invited to submit a full paper. The first drafts of the
full manuscripts are due on May 31st, 2021. All full papers will be
double-blind peer reviewed, which means that we cannot guarantee that your
paper gets accepted even if your abstract is.

Contact (corresponding editor)
Karin Fast (PhD)
Associate Professor in Media and Communication Studies
Department of Geography, Media and Communication
Karlstad University

Dr. Pablo Abend
Scientific Coordinator
Graduate School "Locating Media"
University of Siegen
room AE-B 201
+49 (0)271 740 2080

Co-Editor Journal Digital Culture & Society

[demime 1.01d removed an attachment of type application/pdf which had a name of Cfp Geomedia Histories FINAL.pdf]
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