Drugs as Media, Medium as Drug - call for book chapters
Call for Papers Date:
“Drug as Medium, Medium as Drug” call for book chapters.
Seeking several additional contributors for a book contracted for publication in 2011 with Continuum Press.
Especially interested in proposals from individuals with experience in the medical, pharmacological or clinical fields who bring an empirical perspective to the medium-as-drug/drug-medium idea.
Possible inclusion of a section on media addiction (several chapters).
See title, description and TOC (to date) below:
Drug as Medium, Medium as Drug: communication, consumption and consciousness (tentative title)
Humans live in both physical and symbolic spaces. This book is about how we live in media, how drugs are media, and how we “inhabit” both media and drugs as experiential systems that enable and constrain us in various ways.
Taking seriously the idea that media are environmental and therefore structure what people can see, say and do, we should also consider the ways we “inhabit” drugs, and the extent to which various pharmaceuticals function as constitutive environments for the people who use them. Like many communication media – indeed, as mediators of experience and perception – a host of recreational, ceremonial, and medical drugs (e.g., sexual dysfunction, attention deficit, anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drugs) prompt certain ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving.
Contributors to this volume consider how drugs function as communication technologies; literally media in and for the human sensorium. That is to say, drugs are considered communication media in a practical sense, not merely in the metaphorical way they tend to be discussed in the popular press.
Offering one early take on this, Lewis Mumford, a pioneer in Media Ecology, recognized a relationship between technology, chemicals and biology. Here Mumford foreshadows developments in pharmaceutical forms of birth control that had not yet come to pass:
Plainly, Marx was in error when he said that machines told more about the system of production that characterized an epoch than its utensils and utilities did: for it would be impossible to describe the neotechnic phase without taking into account various triumphs in chemistry and bacteriology in which machines played but a minor part. . . The movement of limbs is more obvious than the process of osmosis: but they are equally important in human life; and so too the relatively static operations of chemistry are as important to our technology as the more obvious engines of speed and movement. Today our industry owes a heavy debt to chemistry: tomorrow it may incur an even heavier debt to physiology and biology: already, in fact, it begins to be apparent (Mumford, 1934; p. 234).
Since media ecology is generally concerned with the constitution of human consciousness, this meta-discipline should broaden its scope and consider the impact of drugs upon the development and current constitution of human consciousness.
But how do various pharmaceuticals function as constitutive, experiential environments for those who use them? Extending McLuhan’s observations regarding the reflexive and constitutive functions of conventional communication media, what are some of the ways we use drugs, and by the same token, drugs use us? Contributors adopt a “field view” or system-theoretic approach to understanding our media use as a kind of drug use and drug use as form of media use. Media and drugs are thus conceived as communicative tools that enhance and/or inhibit physical, social and symbolic experience – our ways of seeing and being in the world.
TOC (to date)
On the Functional Similarities between Drugs and Media
Part 1: Psychopharmacological approaches to Media Use
Perceptual Amplifiers and Inhibitors: Considering a Psychopharmacological Approach to Media Use
Altered States, Altered Traits, Altered Fates: Toward a Media Ecological Psychopharmacology
(one more contributor from the scientific/clinical professions sought for a contribution here)
Part 2: Medical and Pharmaceutical Perspectives on the Medium-as-Drug Idea
Balance and Imbalance in our Drug/Media Use
(at least one more contributor from the scientific/clinical professions sought for a contribution here)
Part 3: The Environmental properties of Media and Drugs
Drugs as Environments: Being Inside What is Inside Us
Drugs: The Intensions of Man
Part 4: Relationship and Identity Maintenance
Sex, Drugs, and Media Ecology
Inhabiting Erectile Dysfunction Drugs
(at least one more contribution here that considers the role of communication media in relationship and identity maintenance)
Part 5: Advertising as Diagnostics and Dissemination: Selling Drugs, Pushing Media
Pediatric Bipolar and the Media of Madness
Viagara and All That: the social-reconstruction of the male heterosexual lifecycle.
Media Pharmacists, Peddlers and Pushers: A Consumption-Orientation Model of Mass Communication
Reconsidering some parallel functions and effects of media use and drug use: and a few new prescriptions on the horizon
The deadline for the penultimate draft of the book going to publisher for final edits is Dec 30, 2010. Given this, the plan is to finalize the planned content/layout by mid-August.
Send chapter drafts, outlines or proposals to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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