Posting – 2021

ZdC and the First Forum organizing committee invite you to our upcoming graduate student conference: POSTING.

For information and registration, please visit the first forum website here.

Keynote Speaker:

Bo Ruberg is an associate professor in the Department of Film and Media Studies and an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine. Their research explores gender and sexuality in digital media and digital cultures with a focus on queerness and video games. They are the author of The Queer Games Avant-Garde: How LGBTQ Game Makers Are Reimagining the Medium of Video Games (2020, Duke University Press) and Video Games Have Always Been Queer (2019, New York University Press) and the co-editor of Queer Game Studies (2017, University of Minnesota Press). Ruberg received their Ph.D. in Comparative Literature with certification in New Media and Gender and Sexuality Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and served as a Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Interactive Media and Games Division at the University of Southern California.

Roundtable Speakers:

Erin Y. Huang is Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies and Comparative Literature at Princeton University. She is an interdisciplinary scholar and comparatist specializing in Marxist geography, postcolonial theory, feminist theory, cinema and media studies, and Sinophone Asia. She is the author of Urban Horror: Neoliberal Post-Socialism and the Limits of Visibility (Duke University Press, 2020). Her new book project, tentatively titled Islands of Capital: The Aesthetic Life of Zones in Sino-Capitalism, explores the technologies of the ocean, artificial islanding, special economic zones and military bases, conflict shorelines, archipelagic critique, and island philosophy. Her most recent publication, “Ocean Media: Digital South China Sea and Gilles Deleuze’s Desert Islands,” is a study of Chinese artificial islands, U.S. remote sensing surveillance, empire expansions, and media haunting.

Camilla Fojas is Foundation Professor and Director of the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University. Her research explores mediated cultures of the Americas and the Pacific through the axes of empire, security, and race with a specific focus on the U.S.-Mexico border within the context of the expanding borders the United States. She has published or co-edited nine books on these topics, most recently Border Optics: Surveillance Cultures on the US-Mexico Frontier (NYU Press, 2021).

Ayesha Omer‘s research examines how infrastructure technologies mediate sociopolitical life. Her scholarship combines multimodal ethnographic, archival methods to offer a situated, feminist analysis of the political and ecological effects of global media and communication technologies. Her book project, Networks of Dust: Media, Infrastructure, and Ecology along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, explores issues of technological mediation, environmental relations, and political sovereignty with respect to Chinese infrastructure in the indigenous borderlands of the Pakistani state, as part of China’s global Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). She completed her Ph.D. from the department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University in 2020, and in 2020-21 held a postdoctoral fellowship with the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at the University of Southern California. She is currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Center for Advanced Reserch in Global Communication in the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. She has a background in mix-media, public performance art and her creative and academic work has appeared in ArtNow, Cityscapes, Tanqeed, and Cultural Studies.

Call for papers


OCTOBER 21, 22, 28, & 29


We’re posting through it. All of it. 

  • posting on social media
  • trolling and shit-posting
  • post-theoretical paradigms and movements
  • digital labor, content moderation and algorithms
  • the postal service and infrastructure
  • fans and celebrities
  • posters and physical media
  • going postal
  • doomscrolling and attention economies
  • the post-network TV era
  • post-Covid-19
  • bots and computation
  • publics and publicity
  • signposting and speech acts
  • Postmates and gig economies
  • outposts, fence posts, and borders
  • post-production
  • posting through it
  • job posts and impostor syndrome

Our Call for Posts — The organizing committee of the 2021 First Forum Graduate Student Conference invites our fellow graduate student scholars to submit abstracts that explore the wide range of meanings suggested by the word “posting” as it relates to the fields of cinema and media studies, communication, gender and sexuality studies, ethnic studies, and science and technology studies. 

While posting might immediately refer to the work of participating in digital networks and the increasingly visible labor, affect, and resources that participation demands, we invite submissions that touch upon a range of mediums, methodologies, and approaches, from post-production to the postal service. “Post-“ might suggest the numerous post-intellectual moments scholars speculate we have been entering and exiting since the 1970s. Yet, even the formation of these post-modern, feminist, racial, historical moments themselves have been called into question, leading some to ask if we are now in the post-post-modern, the post-post-feminist era or if there was anything “new” about these moments in the first place. Meanwhile, many of us try to imagine a post-Covid era as old and new social arrangements struggle to emerge. The tireless Twitter troll and commenter on the human condition @Dril asks us to consider “posting ethically, within reason,” a position the organizing committee asks applicants to take seriously as they reflect on the multivalent meanings of “posting.” Clearly, the novel social, historical, and political arrangements that make posting and the “post-” meaningful are being reevaluated by people across a wide range of contexts that invite scholarly attention and interrogation. 

In order to encourage attendance, reduce burnout, and ensure the health and safety of participants, students, and the broader Los Angeles community, First Forum 2021 will be a virtual conference, with panels and events held over two weeks on October 21, 22, 28, and 29. 

Submissions should include an abstract (-300 words) and a short biography (-150 words). Conference presentations will be 15-20 minutes. Applicants must submit their materials by June 23, 2021 to Please include “Name + First Forum 2021 Submission” in the subject line. We warmly welcome non-traditional projects, including but not limited to, video essays and art exhibitions alongside traditional academic papers.