Archives par mot-clé : past

Call for papers : CFP Flashbacks – Nostalgic Media and mediated forms of nostalgia

Call for papers – International conference

Flashbacks – Nostalgic Media and mediated forms of nostalgia

13-14 September 2012

Institute of Communication, Media and Journalism studies

University of Geneva – Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences – Department of Sociology

Deadline for proposals: May 6, 2012

Send abstracts of max. 500 words, bibliography and biographical statement to:

Confirmed speakers: Prof. Daniel Dayan, Prof. Ute Holl, Prof. Andrew Hoskins

Media are time machines. They remember and forget. Media screen and record parts of memory and history as well as they maintain collective memories and contribute to historical narratives by (re)shaping events, happenings or other incidents. Media also tend to remind their own past by re-using archive-images in the present, for example. In this sense, media seem to be nostalgic of the past as well as of their own one. Nostalgiaas a concept, feeling or expression is not new. The notion has been introduced by a doctor in Switzerland (17th century) to describe the phenomenon of homesickness. Related to nostalgia is also the idea of melancholia or yearning. These days, there seems to be a BOOM of nostalgiaThe Artist (revival of the silent film) or television series like Mad Men – exploring aesthetics and social life of the sixties – are examples of what we could name nostalgic media (makers). Digital photography on cell phones gets a polaroid-touch; the retro design becomes digitized. Advertising for watches or cars is linked to nostalgic forms of family tradition. Fans of the fifties organise parties and fashion events to feel like being part of the past in the present. Being nostalgic and remembering pieces of the past also includes forgetting. What kind of memories are discriminated? Can media really be nostalgic? Which specific forms of nostalgia appear in contemporary society and why? Can people be nostalgic if they did not experience the past they pretend being nostalgic of? What kind of politics of nostalgia exist? What is the impact of nostalgia on the media market and its influence on economy? Finally, given the arbitrary (?) use of the past in all its imaginable variations and cultural systems, is it still possible to use the wordnostalgia or should there be a neologism describing the transformation of the past in(to) the digital era? Could it even be possible to be simply nostalgic of nostalgia; finally describing the eternal research for (lost) identity?

This international conference aims to explore nostalgia as a (mass) media phenomena and also seeks forcontributions that treat any other mediated forms of nostalgia.

Topics may include, but will not be limited to, the following:

nostalgia and (mass)media

  • publics, web- and fan-communities
  • audiovisual narratives, screening, recording
  • seriality, flashbacks and temporality
  • news, journalism, (printed) press
  • broadcast revivals, archive discoveries
  • political past, political systems, (n)ostalgia, institutions
  • special nostalgic broadcast (home country, culinary traditions etc.)
  • photography, comics, video games and new technologies

mediated forms of nostalgia

  • architecture, (product)-design and fashion
  • psychological aspects and history of nostalgia
  • migration, home-comers, homesickness
  • geographical maps, tourist attractions and villages
  • folklore, traditions, regional nostalgia
  • museums, exhibitions and contemporary art
  • flea markets, vintage stores and fairs, parties, concerts

economy, marketing and nostalgia

  • Vintage-retro branding
  • retro-design (cars, watches, furniture)
  • advertising, marketing and luxury products
  • music and arts business

theories and methodologies

  • nostalgic media studies and critical approaches
  • the come-back of philosophers and thinkers “of the past” in
  • science, arts and other research domains

Deadline for proposals: May 6, 2012

Send abstracts of max. 500 words, bibliography and biographical statement to:

Participants will have to cover their own travel and accommodation expenses. Travel information as well as a list of affordable hotels and other accommodations will be posted on the conference-website in June.

Participation fees will be announced but will not exceed 100 CHF (and less for students).

For any other inquiries feel free to contact Katharina Niemeyer ( /