Call if You Can
The focus of this talk is a critical investigation of the relationship between marginalization and technologies of emergency notification. Examples include 20th century LifeAlert systems, governmental emergency alerts, text-to-911 and COVID maps and tracking apps. In each case, emergency media are based around deviations from “normal” life experiences. With such foundations, emergency media can fail to recognize pressing needs and lead to failures of outreach and response.
This talk concludes with consideration of the normalization of “long COVID.” Dr. Ellcessor argues that emergency media are a point of connection between people and varied forms of intervention. As such, we can reconsider how that connection operates and move towards more equitable and responsive forms of intervention, mutual aid, and mediation that go beyond the call-and-response of existing emergency media to prioritize ongoing commitments of care.
Doing Disability Media Studies
This will be an interactive presentation focused on what it means to conduct critical disability studies research within media studies or communication, how to teach disability-related material in media studies courses and how to use concepts from critical disability studies to reshape our regular scholarly practices.
About the speaker
Elizabeth Ellcessor is an associate professor of media studies at the University of Virginia and a senior faculty fellow at the Miller Center for Public Affairs. Her research focuses on media access as a variable and uneven phenomenon that advantages some and marginalizes others. She is the author of In Case of Emergency: How Technologies Mediate Crisis and Normalize Inequality and Restricted Access: Media, Disability, and the Politics of Participation. Beginning in 2023, she will be the co-editor in chief of JCMS: Journal of Cinema and Media Studies.