Playing/ Watching/ Observing


  • Irina Gradinari,University of Hagen, Germany, irina.gradinari[at]
  • Sarah Elsuni, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Germany, elsuni.sarah[at]
  • Münevver Usta Lal, University of Göttingen, Germany,munevver.usta[at]

  • The conference raises the general question how feminist practices can confront hegemonies and mechanisms of dispossessions, and in which ways they sometimes also contribute to them and uphold them. This conference-stream focuses on exploring the triadic interconnections between playing, watching and observing, whereby all of them can also be analysed as separate topics. What they have in common is the idea that virtuality and mediality have exceeded the computer, and that televisuality has become entangled with reality itself. The stream therefore deals with the interfaces between ‘reality’, media technologies and (fictional and non-fictional) formats and asks for contributions which critically reflect, for example, on the development of new “augmented reality” computer games, new approaches in games studies or the implications of playing strategies and computer technologies for the military, politics or advertisings. Another focus lies on popular culture and visuality, on interconnections between identities and media genres, aesthetic traditions, structures of the gaze and affective processes caused by films and series, but also between different media. Furthermore, the stream deals with the increasingly ubiquitous securitization of society and, in this context, with the changing perception and representation of the self as well as of the other. Furthermore, we are interested in studies on everyday communication (chats, smartphones, social media etc.) and their influences on the formation of identities, new forms of sexuality and body culture and, in a broader sense, in research on media change and its implication for the construction of meaning and the conversion of social structures. How are societies and identities affected by global data communication? Is data processing gendered and racialized, or are we already cyborgs, as Donna Haraway tried to convince us in her earlier science visions? And if so, which new categories of differences may have emerged? Are new media technologies capable of modifying ‘classical’ forms of social differences? How can this media-technological expansion be theorized, and what does it mean for subjectivity, state forms and national politics?

    The Playing/Watching/Observing stream thus asks for papers that might engage with such broader topics.

    Proposals can be submitted on the following themes:
  • Game Studies: history, technological development, theories and their critical revision
  • Military and science technologies and feminist criticism
  • Security society, surveillance, and their influence on identities, bodies and social and symbolic differences
  • Feminist, gender and queer film studies
  • Studies on popular culture
  • New structures of the gaze
  • Sexuality, the body and digital media
  • Daily communication, virtualisation and politics of differences
  • Media technologies and national states, national identities, border politics.

  • Streams:

  • 1. Remembering/Representing/Signifying
  • 2. Destructing/Reconciling/Transforming
  • 3. Teaching/Learning/Facilitating
  • 4. Legislating/Politicising/Institutionalising
  • 5. Networking/Solidarising/Bridging
  • 6. Playing/Watching/Observing
  • 7. Embodying/Performing/Affecting
  • 8. Investigating/Analysing/Measuring
  • 9. Healing/Coping/Caring
  • 10. Believing/Moralising/Reasoning
  • 11. Working/Struggling/Organizing

  • Back to: Overview call for papers