Call for Abstracts: Conference Panel ”The Marxist Critique of the
Political Economy of the Media” (2 sessions)
Part of the 2nd Marx Conference, Stockholm, Sweden. October 14-16, 2016.
Venue: ABF-huset, Sveavägen 41.
Convenors: Arwid Lund, Uppsala University, Sweden; Christian Fuchs,
University of Westminster, UK.
Supported by the open access journal tripleC: Communication, Capitalism &
Abstract submission: max. 250 words. Deadline January 31, 2016. Submission
Please indicate to which of the two sessions you submit (see below). Each
session will consist of a panel of four speakers, 15 min. for each
presentation, and half an hour for concluding questions and discussions.
In 2013, a very successful Marx conference was held in Stockholm, gathering
2000 activists and scholars, with keynote speakers such as Michael Heinrich
and Wolfgang Haug. The main topic of the conference was Marxist theory as a
tool for analysing contemporary society. 2016’s follow-up conference
(Marx2016) aims at political openings and potentials for a world beyond
capitalism based on a thorough analysis of contemporary society. The general
theme of the conference is To change a changed world.
The conference consists of four main tracks. One of the sub-tracks will
focuses on Marxist studies of media, communication and information
There will be two sessions based on the following questions and themes:
Theme 1: Digital labour, Marx and Dallas Smythe:
In 1977, almost 40 years ago, Dallas Smythe published his seminal article
“Communications: Blindspot of Western Marxism”, in which he introduced
the notions of audience labour and the audience commodity.
This session asks: What is the relevance of “audience labour” for the
political project of Marxism and the analysis of online participants and
user generated content in the age of commercial social media such as
Facebook, YouTube and Google? Does it matter for Marxism as a political
project if the analysis of digital capitalism is based on the concepts of
surplus-value or rent?
Theme 2: Exploitation 2.0: Class and Exploitation in the Digital Age:
Capitalism is a dynamic, dialectical system that changes in order to
maintain its fundamental structures of exploitation. The rise of the
computer, digitisation and the Internet’s role in the economy and society
has brought about changes of class structures.
This session asks: How have class and exploitation changed in the age of
digital media? How can we analyse unpaid activities on commercial platforms
with the help of class and other concepts such as the multitude and
exploitation? What is the role of conflicts and struggles between users and
the owners of corporate Internets platforms (such as Facebook, Google,
Twitter, LinkedIn, Weibo, Amazon, Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr, etc.). Can peer
production and non-commercial, alternative online media challenge
capitalism? What are the implications of digital Marxism and media Marxism
for Marxist theory and socialist politics?
The sub-theme of The Marxist Critique of the Political Economy of the Media
will be accompanied by one keynote talk in a general plenary session that
provides a general introduction to the Marxist political economy of media,
information and communication:
Christian Fuchs: “The Marxist Critique of the Political Economy of Media
in the Age of Digital Capitalism”.
tripleC : Communication, Capitalism & Critique | Open Access Journal for a
Global Sustainable Information Society | http://www.triple-c.at