Keynote Lectures 2015


J.A. De Sève Cinema, McConnell Library Building, LB-125
1400 Maisonneuve Blvd. W.
15 May 2015
4:00-6:30 PM

LAIKWAN PANG (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
The Social, the Private, and the Political: The Use of Social Media in Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement

This presentation begins with the way Hannah Arendt theorizes the terms the “social,” the “private,” and the “political,” and it proceeds by juxtaposing Arendt’s political theory with the specific happenings in Hong Kong’s 2014 Umbrella Movement. The aim of this paper is to understand the interaction between the private and the political in spontaneous political movements such as the Umbrella Movement, and the focus on social media sheds lights on the movement as a process instead of a product, as a temporary port instead of the final destination. It also helps us understand the movement beyond a narrowly defined campaign for universal suffrage, but it is also a gala for a new generation to make themselves seen and heard against the status quo.

THOMAS LAMARRE (McGill University)
Everyday Media Comportment: Living Between Infrastructure
This presentation proposes to explore the relations between three distinct yet overlapping infrastructures in contemporary Tokyo: broadcast television, mobile phones or keitai, and the commuter train network. The basic aim is to how consider the lived experience of polarized medial tendencies between and across these infrastructures. Building on recent studies that explore the continuity (rather than rupture) between broadcast media and mobile social media, I will focus on a basic polarization of tendencies within and across such media — between a one-to-many unidirectional tendency (commonly associated with broadcast) and a point-to-point environmental tendency (usually related to mobile networking) — in order to explore different ways of assembling or “comporting” these tendencies. How are medial tendencies “carried together” in everyday comportments?
While a variety of everyday comportments have arisen between broadcast television and keitai, there are sites and moments where comportment seems to reach a limit, and life across polarized tendencies feel impossible, unworkable. Commuting time in particular is often articulated as the site of such a limit-experience, where comportment is at once all the more necessary due to its apparent impossibility. Considering media comportment in commuter trains also invites a tentative thesis about what is happening in the everyday experiences happening across infrastructures in Tokyo: not the destruction of everyday life but its ongoing transformation into anti-production.

Porting Media is a conference and workshop that draws on the nuances of the word “port” to investigate the transportation, translation, and reconfiguration of media within particular sites. Porting is a concept and metaphor useful for rethinking discussions of circulation and infrastructure; media transposition (or transmedia); game and cell phone cultures of portability; media archaeological … Continue reading