Hosted by
Ryerson University (Canada),
The Glasgow School of Art (Scotland),
University of Sao Paulo (Brazil),
The University of Texas at Dallas (USA)

August 5-7, 2021

Abstracts deadline: April 12th, 2021

This virtual edition of the Interactive Film and Media conference on ‘new narratives, racialization, global crises, and social engagement’ is dedicated to the development, analysis, and research processing of the digital experience that is transforming our contemporary world vision through the immense range of storytelling practices, including visual arts, cinema, digital/graphic/interactive narratives, virtual reality, games, etc. The purpose of this conference is to bring together researchers and practitioners working in diverse disciplinary areas to establish an interdisciplinary framework for research on contemporary narratives, including case studies of the multimodal narratives across media and cultures. The conference will convene entirely online and will be hosted by several universities. The organizers believe that now is the right moment to evaluate the saturation and fragmentation of media during the pandemic experience of the last year, as well as to discuss new online media interactivities in a virtual environment.

In the wake of the death of George Floyd, the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter has gone viral across the world raising many concerns about the media’s role in our society. Today, it is not enough for the media to not be racist: it must actively be anti-racist. It would not be an overestimation to say that the participation of media in discourses other than those centered on racism is also paramount: it played a decisive role in many recent social and political events, including the pandemic crisis. Therefore, this conference is proposing to examine how media around the world are dealing with the aftermath of these developments. This conference also aims to discuss how the late proliferation of online social events and the increased fragmentation of the discourse via microblogging, hashtags, Instagram Stories, and the enhanced sharing of images through screenshots, selfies, and video calls have affected interactive narratives. The pandemic brought the world together to fight against one common enemy while transferring all social, political, educational, juridical, and professional relations into the virtual media environments. We realized that we were less virtualized than we had thought: the Internet system was swamped and unprepared. For a while, even though the country borders were closed and people’s transit and migration completely ceased, the world’s political divisions made less sense. How would it affect our geopolitical perception? How have the global media divide and exclusion been increased by the pandemic?

We are inviting interdisciplinary proposals reflecting on the recent changes to the mediascape and the closely related medium of interactive narrative, in its many forms and iterations. Submissions that consider the advantages and drawbacks of the current trends in film, media, and interactive narratives, will be of special value, as well as those that develop new approaches to the process of algorithmizing and hybridization between the information ecosystems dominated by tech enterprises and the mediasphere’s micro-level, where the instant-message apps transform our everyday lives by exposing polarized and contradictory messages, disseminating the misinformation. The organizers will consider unpublished works that present research results and/or theoretical reflections within the scope of Interactive Film and Media Studies, with a special focus on 'new narratives, racialization, global crises, and social engagement’.