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The University of Amsterdam, the Free University of Amsterdam and Utrecht University are happy to present: The NECS 2018 Conference Media Tactics and Engagement (27-29 June 2018), hosted by the University of Amsterdam and the Free University of Amsterdam; Pre-Conference Media in Transition (26 June 2018), hosted by Utrecht University; and the Post-Conference Open Access in Media Studies (30 June 2018), hosted by the Netherlands Institute of Sound and Vision.

Detail Summary
Start date 27 June 2018
End date 29 June 2018
Time 00:00

The changing media landscape requires continuous (re)invention of the ways in which photography, film, television, digital media, and the arts are produced, distributed, accessed, and consumed. Back in the past like today, the question of media tactics and engagement is crucial once more. Today the question seems even more urgent, since large corporations provide platforms and services that foster the desired behaviour of the average media viewer/user/consumer and produ(c/s)er; nevertheless, in previous decades, ways of planning long-term strategies, tactical reactions to unforeseen circumstances and engagement have determined media practices and discourses. The NECS 2018 conference will explore the various – both intended and/or subversive − ways in which media are currently developed, deployed and distorted.

The conference welcomes a wide range of approaches to thinking about the notions of tactics and engagement across all forms of media.

Firstly, this could include thinking of tactics as the means to an overarching strategic end. Thus the term can draw attention to larger trends within the media industries and its practices. Why and to what effect do film and media distributors order and/or produce original content? What are the aesthetic consequences of this, both for artistic content as well as for the audience experience? What roles do shifts in modes of address, distribution, and exhibition venues play? And what kind of opportunities and constraints for content producers arise from this?

Secondly, following Michel de Certeau, the political consequences of the relation between strategy and tactics can be investigated. Strategy as a long-term modus operandi of the prevalent political, economic and scientific rationality is opposed to tactics as the improvisational, context-specific techniques developed by individuals or collectives to better navigate strategically shaped spaces. Tactics in this sense oftentimes insert themselves into strategic environments without disrupting them - for instance when novelists develop new writing techniques in response to Amazon’s arguably exploitative pay-per-page model, or exiled filmmakers react to changed production constraints through what Hamid Naficy termed “accented cinema”. In fact, strategy and tactics deeply affect media practices as much as their aesthetics, and often result in consistent planning, or momentary options, which seem viable. How do these two terms interact, when it comes to aesthetics? Through this conceptual pair, one may thus ask to what different strategic and tactical uses various media enter political discourse, and again, what the consequences of this could be for industrial and artistic media practices.

The notion of engagement opens up a third and more general dimension of the conference theme, pointing towards the various ways in which viewers and users engage with the media of their choice, both in the past and today. How have individuals or collectives (tactically) engaged cinema, television, photography, radio, the arts, the archive, the news, the internet, and so on? And what kind of important changes can be scrutinized in such practices? Furthermore, we invite submissions that discuss forms of disengagement, such as “media fasting” or “going off the grid”.

The NECS 2018 conference will tackle the issue of media tactics and engagement while including the many different research perspectives pursued by the members of our community.


The 16th NECS Graduate Workshop

The NECS Graduate Workshop has been designed to give scholars at the beginning of their career a platform for networking with established European film and media scholars. The 16th NECS Graduate Workshop in Utrecht (25 June 2018, Utrecht University) is dedicated to the topic of 'To Prefer Not To: Media Inoperativities'.

You will find the CfP online at:

Organizers: Christian Sancto (Utrecht University), Alba Gimenez (University of South Wales) and Jiyu Zhang (Leiden University)

Pre-conference "Media in Transition"

Utrecht University hosts an one-day event with round-table discussions about "Media in Transition" that addresses the transformations of the highly dynamic field of the media industry. For more information about the programme and registration, please see

Organizers: Karin van Es, Judith Keilbach, Nina Köll, Hanna Surma, and Nanna Verhoeff

Post-conference workshop "Open Access in Media Studies"

A Post-conference Open Access workshop will be held at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, in cooperation with VIEW: Journal of European Television History and CultureNECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies, and Open Access in Media Studies website. For more information about the workshop and registration, please see

Organizers: Jaap Kooijman, Jeroen Sondervan, and Jefferson Pooley


NECS Steering Committee: Sophie Einwächter, Judith Keilbach, Skadi Loist, Michał Pabiś-Orzeszyna, Francesco Pitassio, Antonio Somaini, Alena Strohmaier

NECS Conference Committee: Marie Aude Baronian, Luca Barra, Sudeep Dasgupta, James Harvey-Davitt, Rahma Khazam, Daniel Kulle, Raphaëlle Moine, Michał Pabiś-Orzeszyna, Antonio Somaini, Jan Teurlings

Local organizing team: Marie Aude Baronian, Sudeep Dasgupta, Jaap Kooijman, Halbe Kuipers, Toni Pape, Patricia Pisters, Jan Teurlings, Maryn Wilkinson (UvA); Ivo Blom, Sebastian Scholz (VU), Laura Copier, Judith Keilbach, Anne Kustritz, Clara Pafort-Overduin, Christian Sancto, Hanna Surma, Marijke de Valck (UU)