2024 CFP


October/November 2024 | Hybrid Conference, New York and Online

Keynote: Noura Erakat, Rutgers University

“Dispatch: to send off to a destination for a purpose; to deal with quickly and efficiently; to kill”

Messages, people, weapons come from places – they are sent and transported. 

In modern war (and in much scholarship), there are distances to be reconciled. These distances separate places of safety and places of precarity – how do we communicate across these experiences, divides and environments? The notion of the dispatch reminds us of the uncertainty of arrival and of the violent and uneven conditions underlying contemporary communication and connectivity. Where can messages be sent from and received? What information is vital and what do we do with it? 

In the last few months, we have witnessed the ongoing destruction of Gaza and the murder and displacement of tens of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland. We have received direct calls for boycotts and mobilizations and watched monstrous images of death, while trying to assimilate the reality of censorship and the fragility of communication infrastructure in war. How can media studies account for the violent reality of settler colonialism? How do digital technologies perpetrate or resist these claims to sovereignty (or counter-sovereignty) over land? How is the contested idea of a “homeland” mediated? How might we hold our technologies and media forms accountable to their places of origin and the local structures of power they enact and participate in? What is the role of the university and academic scholarship in these projects of conquest and dispossession? What solidarities and potential futures are enabled and foreclosed by the controlled global circulation of ideas, commodities, and people?

For the 2024 Neil Postman Graduate conference, we invite paper presentations or shorter “dispatches” – in the form of less formal writing, drawings, maps, videos, code projects, or other creative multimedia – that engage the role of media and technology in the advancement of and resistance to settler colonial violence. Early-stage projects are welcome. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • Militarism and technology
  • Questions of language, translation, circulation, and reception
  • The relationship between the university and “the field[s]”
  • Place and community-based media
  • Communication infrastructure as a target of violence
  • Censorship and the bounds of discourse
  • Transnational and diasporic activism

Submission Guidelines

Please submit a 300-350 word abstract (PDF only) and any supporting media via this application form along with your bio (max. 100 words – to be filled out in the form directly) by May 31, 2024. 

The conference will be a hybrid event with an in-person component at NYU and support for remote attendance and presentations. Please indicate your preferred mode in the application form.

Feel free to reach out with any questions to postman.nyu@gmail.com and follow @postmanconf for updates.