Year: 2021

Sleep Salons – Fall 2021

Salon no. 1 : The Social Lives of Sleep How might we begin to think the sociability of sleep? Speakers: ✦ Matthew Wolf-Meyer (Anthropology, Binghamton University)✦ Carmela Alcántara (Social Work, Columbia University) Register on Eventbrite How and why should we conceive of sleep in social terms? Sleep appears to be a way that the body leaves behind the social world for an inner and highly individualized landscape. Yet much sleep research has also attended to the ways sleep reinforces the social, political, and environmental forces that govern our waking lives. Here we invite two distinguished researchers to share how their research approaches the social and collective dimensions of a seemingly singular experience. ✦ Matthew Wolf-Meyer is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Binghamton University. His book The Slumbering Masses: Sleep Medicine, and Modern American Life uses ethnographic and archival materials to explore the history of sleep and sleeplessness in 20th century American life against the backdrops of modern medicine and industrial capitalism. ✦ Carmela Alcántara is Associate Professor of Social Work and Associate Dean for Doctoral …

Paperology RAG

The Paperology Reading and Activity Group took place over Zoom during the 2020-2021 academic/pandemic year. I co-organized it with my colleauges Juliette De Maeyer and Ghislain Thibault, along with the infatiguable legwork of postdoc Alysse Kushinski. There is more info on the projects page, and the links below give a good sense of what we did and the amazing community that gathered around the material that is paper. Our monthly schedule Our DIY book, currently travelling the world Twitter: @paperologyRAG Much to our delight, three Paperologists decided to keep the group going with a 2nd edition in 2021-2022. Here is the site for Paperology 2.0! There are more Paperolology activities and publications still in the works, including a grad seminar, a publication or a few, a perhaps we’ll even meet in person one day? To be continued…

Mediating the Tree: Infrastructures of Pulp and Paper Modernity in the Bowater Papers

Article written with Rafico Ruiz based on a short-lived trade publication produced by the Bowater paper mill in 1950s Newfoundland. Excerpt from the introduction: Thinking of paper via the tree requires some new conceptualizations of environmental media theory. First, trees are a problematic model of an “extractive” logic, since they are not exactly extracted from the land but cleared, razed, felled, harvested, and exploited. This act of deforestation can—at least in theory—be fol- lowed by its opposite, reforestation: trees are an example of a resource that is not finite and that can be replaced. Second, paper provokes an expansion of what constitutes elemental media, broadening from the four elements (earth, water, fire, air) as used by John Durham Peters (2015), to include other primary matters, such as the tree.4 This might lead to the question: could there be a media philosophy of tree, or wood, or forest? Could we think of these together under a common rubric such as “xylomedia” (from the Greek “xylo” or “relating to wood”), and would such a material enfolding be …

Special issue: Materials and Media of Infrastructure

Edited collection with Rafico Ruiz, Canadian Journal of Communication. Vol. 46 No. 2 (2021) From our introduction: “As researchers, we are fortunate that, especially if studying the contemporary moment, the tangible materials of infrastructural architectures are available for analysis, starting with how they have been inscribed on the land. Infrastructure, capitalist extractivism, postcolonial space, and a damaged environment are bound together through a set of relationships that cohere in the project of settler infrastructure building. While infrastructures are invariably and most often extractive, drawing from the land in the sense of taking space and making use of materials and resources, one of the central aims of this special issue is to gesture toward how infrastructures are themselves forms of mediation that are shaped by their material constitution. The materials and media of infrastructures signal a broad set of evolving relationships between humans and the environments they colonize, and how they cohere in highly contingent and mutable entities known as “infrastructures.” This issue examines the range of infrastructure as a category, one that can contain material …

Call for Postdoctoral Fellow: The Sociability of Sleep

Call for Applications – Postdoctoral Fellowship “The Sociability of Sleep: Careful Design for Collective Conditions” Université de Montréal and McGill University, Montreal, Canada DEADLINE: June 15, 2021 We are seeking a postdoctoral fellow for a 10-month position to work on the new interdisciplinary research-creation project “The Sociability of Sleep.” The candidate will work directly with Professors Aleksandra Kaminska (Director of the Bricolab, Université de Montréal, Communications) and Alanna Thain (Director of the Moving Image Research Lab, McGill University, English) and have the opportunity to work with project collaborators. These include researchers and practitioners from communication and media studies, media arts, cinema and performance, psychiatry, psychology, and clinical medicine across Montreal’s universities. The Sociability of Sleep is funded through the Exploration program of the New Frontiers in Research Fund, a special initiative to support interdisciplinary, experimental, and intensive projects considered to be “high risk, high reward.” We explore exceptional and everyday experiences of sleep and its problems to generate new knowledge and empathies for sleep conditions, defined as a disordered and debilitating relation between sleep and …