MOBILITIES, COMMUNICATION AND ASIA: POSTCOLONIAL FRAMEWORKS

Edited by Mohan J. Dutta & Raka Shome, National University of Singapore

International Journal of Communication

We are inviting high quality papers on mobilities and communication from interdisciplinary scholars working in the Asian context.

The global movement of capital, commodities, and labor is constituted amid political and economic structures that render salient certain meanings of mobility while at the same time erasing other possibilities for interpreting mobility. Further, the global movement of capital, while enabling and encouraging mobility for some, also render many others immobile, disconnected/erased from the possibilities of movement. To that extent, mobility and immobility are not binaries but are interrelated—an interrelation that expresses and captures the numerous desires and violences of globalization. The figure of the migrant and the various processes of migration make these relations visible while rendering invisible other imaginations of migrancy. Linked to this are mediated and communication practices—such as technology, films, music, social media, remittances, cultural commodities, and more—that play an intrinsic role in shaping and informing various types of migratory movements or lack therefor. Additionally, the transnational migration of communication practices themselves constitute new forms of mobilities and immobilities, agency and identity formations, imaginations and desires.

Communication is central to these above-mentioned processes. For example, technology firms are constantly developing new communication language through software that requires a constant flow of transnational expert workers who are often treated in problematic ways (in terms of cultural recognition and wages) in “host” nations. Similarly, finance capital globally circulates through communicative values and processes (including migrant remittances to their nation of “origin’—a process itself underwritten by non-western values of domesticity and familiality). Transnational movements of celebrities and popular culture (for instance, in Asia) serve diasporic populations in many parts of Asia that have implications for their migrant experience as well as the production of a transnational Asian identity. Disempowered and often stateless migrants (for instance migrant Bangladeshi workers in Asia) connect to or engage their music in their diasporic situations —to produce some sense of cultural security in an otherwise coercive exploitative condition (lacking decent food, shelter, wages and more).

Relations of gender, sexuality, religion, class and nationality are central considerations in these phenomena since migration itself is often wrought with gender and religious violences, discrimination and exploration of poor laborers, and the devaluing of peoples of particular nations in global migratory practices (for instance, White Europeans or Americans are usually seen as “expatriates” while the word migration is reserved for mobilities of non-western peoples even within non-western ‘host’ nations).

Communication Studies as a formal field has hardly paid attention these issues—issues that require urgent exploration from a communication perspective. Such an exploration will further move the field of Communication Studies into considerations of the many dilemmas and challenges of the 21st century that are grounded in the politics of migration.

This edited Special Section seeks to comprehend such phenomena, with specific attention to Asia. It will examine the interplay of communication (broadly considered)—particularly mediated practices—and im/mobilities, attending to how the intersection between the two illustrate the movement of people, labor, representations, commodities, technology and more, across global circuits of culture, economy, and geopolitics.

Submissions will be limited to 6000 words, all-inclusive.

We first solicit detailed abstracts of approximate 500-600 words.

Due: April 31, 2017. Please send abstract to Mohan Dutta at cnmmohan@nus.edu.sg

Authors of selected abstracts will be notified by May 31, 2017.

Final papers due: July 31, 2017. Please submit to Mohan Dutta at cnmmohan@nus.edu.sg

Please follow the author guidelines at http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/about/submissions#authorGuidelines

 

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