FlowTV is a critical forum on television and media culture published biweekly by the Department of Radio, Television, and Film at the University of Texas at Austin.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Technologies of Transport and Communication (Panel #9)

Panel Columnist: James Hay (University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign)
Participants: Paul Stekler (University of Texas at Austin), Craig Robertson (Northeastern University), Jeremy Packer (North Carolina State), Sarah Sharma (University of North Carolina), Greg Siegel (University of California-Santa Barbara)
Moderator: Rebecca McInroy (University of Texas at Austin)

Question: How are technologies of transport designed and used as communication media/technology (and vice-versa), and how might this perspective pose a alternative set of questions to the one's posed by research focused strictly on "media"? As communication technologies become increasingly mobile, it is necessary to readdress the relationship between communication and transportation. The conceptual separation of communication and transportation (which James Carey discussed three decades ago) has contributed to a long-standing distinction between cultural studies and political economy prevalent in the field of communications. In contrast recognizing the intersection of communications and transportation offers a rich area for scholarship; an area that forces the field to take seriously issues of mobility and space, and to accept the fact that interdisciplinary work is necessary to make the study of communications relevant to the complexities of the contemporary world. This panel's focus on communication and transportation foregrounds communications as both a temporal and spatial problematic; communications seeks to solve the problems created by a need to facilitate the circulation and exchange of ideas, goods and people. Transportation and mobility are crucial to the overcoming of barriers in an attempt to create some larger spatial "good", be it the nation, a national economy or the "universal bonds of mankind".

3 Comments:

Blogger Loganpoppy said...

Here is my attempt to doc the discussion at the roundtable... click here!

1:07 PM

 
Anonymous Rebecca McInroy said...

Following the panel discussion I kept thinking about how the discourse of the wall along the Mexico/US boarder is being used politically to instigate a notion of safety by limiting the possibility of one groups physical transportation. For most of America the “boarder” is an imagined space and I think it would be interesting to discuss how these geographical spaces are framed and used to limit or delegate personal freedom.

By the way thank you for documenting the discussion!

4:02 PM

 
Blogger clark said...

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12:43 AM

 

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