I just returned from the National Communication Association's (US) annual convention in Boston, Massachusetts. It consisted, as usual, of a wide range of work; most of it was uninteresting, though a few papers and sessions stood out. One panel to which I contributed was called, "Communication in a Deleuze-Guattarian Framework: Image-Event, Deterritorialization, Difference, Assemblage." My piece, "Difference & Repetition in Harry Potter," was on the popular book series' relationship to philosophy and intellectual property law, and is a much-distilled fragment of a chapter I'm working on for my book on book culture, "Equipment for Living." I was joined by co-panelists Gordon Coonfield (Villanova U), session organizer (thank you!) Mehdi Semati (Eastern Illinois U), Greg Wise (Arizona State U-West), and respondent Greg Seigworth (Millersville U).
I have a couple of things to say: first, our session was programmed opposite of Ernesto Laclau talking about Lacan, which meant that a lot of our potential audience (understandably) got siphoned off. On top of that, though, our session was located literally in the hinterlands of one of the conference hotels: at the very end of a long, dark, circuitous hallway near an emergency exit. Perhaps that tells us something about the discipline of communication's relationship to Deleuzoguattarian thought. Sigh.
I enjoyed my co-panelists' presentations immensely, and I'm especially taken with Greg Wise's suggestion that media researchers begin writing about media effects absent the language of cause and effect. I'm not sure what that means, exactly, but it's a provocative idea that I look forward to trying on. Perhaps others of you have thought through this idea a bit and would care to chime in as well.