cfp till Dec 1, 2014: The Union for Democratic Communications 2015 conference May 1-3, 2015, at UToronto


Contemporary communication practices are marked by struggle.

On the one hand, we live amid neoliberalism and austerity and the challenges these structures impose on democratic life, including precarity, debt, and enclosure. Capitalism has integrated communicative activity and digital technologies into a logic of accumulation that exploits all forms of the commons: the environment, languages, affects, information, and knowledge. Technological innovation makes possible new forms of surveillance and corporate control over these resources.

On the other hand, this integration is incomplete. Individuals, organizations, and collectives are using these same technologies to fight back. Struggles for higher wages, less work, social justice, and a better quality of life are occurring worldwide. Those who struggle against domination are communicating across new channels in innovative and creative ways.

In this context, the 2015 conference organizers ask participants to engage in conversation about the nature of contemporary media, communication, and technological struggle, and the possibilities for transforming the contemporary neoliberal order. We welcome proposals from

  • emerging and established scholars,
  • graduate students,
  • activists,
  • media makers,
  • workers, and
  • artists

for presentations that speak to the theme or related issues in democratic communications, including

  • new media and technologies,
  • media and tech activism,
  • policy,
  • histories,
  • gender and race,
  • work and labour,
  • social justice, and
  • organizing and resistance.

We welcome proposals for

  • paper presentations,
  • workshops,
  • theme panels,
  • film screenings,
  • artistic interventions, and
  • other formats.

By December 1, 2014

Submission guidelines:

Please submit a 300-500 word abstract or presentation description to

For theme panels, please submit a short description of the panel and 300-500 word abstract for each presentation. Graduate students who want to be considered for the Brian Murphy Student Paper Award should submit a full paper along with their abstract.

Astra Taylor
Keynote Speaker

We are excited to announce that Astra Taylor will be the keynote speaker
at UDC’s 2015 conference.

Astra Taylor is a filmmaker, writer, and activist. Her films include  Zizek!, a feature documentary about the world’s most outrageous  philosopher, and Examined Life, a series of excursions with contemporary  thinkers including Slavoj Zizek, Judith Butler, Cornel West, Peter  Singer and others. Taylor’s essays and criticism have been published  widely and she is the editor of Examined Life, a companion volume to the
film, and coeditor of Occupy!: Scenes from Occupied America. Taylor also  helped launch the Occupy offshoot Strike Debt and its Rolling Jubilee  campaign. Her latest book is The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age. She is currently working on a  documentary about democracy.

We look forward to seeing you in Toronto in 2015!


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