The Graduate program at Simon Fraser University School of Communication hosts an annual conference, CONDUITS, this year entitled Ex:tension.

The 2023 CONDUITS Conference will take place on Friday, May 12th, in-person at Simon Fraser University's Harbour Centre Campus in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Submissions are considered on a rolling basis, with April 7th as the final deadline. Submit here

Call for Proposals

The graduate program at Simon Fraser University’s School of Communication annual CONDUITS conference invites scholars to think through our 2023 theme of Ex:tension

Extension, the act of lengthening, is a dynamic movement, and Marshall McLuhan suggests that the use of media as a tool is a mutual shaping process: elongation shapes the direction and understanding of that medium, and in turn, the use of media to extend shapes how we make sense of the world.

Since its publication in 1964, McLuhan’s theory of extension has been subject to critique in both scholarly and non-scholarly work. Scholars have suggested such conceptualization as being too deterministic (Postman, 1985; Carey, 1989; Williams, 1990; Poster, 2010), limited in scope (Murray, 1997; Bolter and Grusin, 1999; Hayles, 1999), reductive (Williams, 1974; Debrays, 1996; boyd, 2014), insular and narrow-minded (Rushloff, 2013; Kittler, 2002), optimistic (Carr, 2010; Lanier, 2010), and inattentive to dimensions of power and control (Dean, 2010; Lovnik, 2011; Turkle, 2011; Noble, 2018).

More recent interventions have emphasized that McLuhanian extension is both singular and universalizing. It is not all bodies being extended, but rather one very specific body, resulting in a theory that doesn’t meaningfully consider the ways media and technology structure contemporary experiences of race, gender, sexuality, and class (Sharma, 2017; 2022). Rather than entirely disregard McLuhan, these interventions suggest that we instead think about his work as a springboard to explore the more generative dimensions and understandings woven into extension.

Drawing upon the idea that McLuhanian extension doesn’t account “for everything and everyone” and is “up for grabs” (Sharma, 2022, p. 180), the theme of Ex:tension encourages emergent and contemporary understandings, reworkings, expansions, complications, deepenings, remixes, resistances, and refusals of what technological and mediated extension is, was, and can be. We also invite work that considers the gaps, fractures, and slippages along extended lines, as well as explorations of liminal spaces that negotiate the boundaries of mediated and technological extension.

Submissions that engage with the theme of Ex:tension might include, but are not limited to the following:  

The CONDUITS organizing committee values the interdisciplinary nature of the graduate program at the School of Communication at SFU, and as such, we welcome submissions from a wide variety of academic backgrounds. Past presenters at CONDUITS have come from a wide range of different fields and disciplines, including media studies, film production, geography and urban studies, environmental sciences, computer sciences, anthropology, gender studies, sociology, and political science. 


Submission guidelines and additional details

Submission Guidelines: 

We welcome individual and co-authored proposals for paper presentations as well as artistic interventions: 

Accessibility Statement: 

The conference will have a hybrid format. We are committed to creating an accessible conference for everyone. For participants attending the conference in-person, we are pleased to welcome you at Simon Fraser University’s Vancouver Campus at the Harbour Centre. We will also facilitate Zoom panels, discussions, and presentations for those unable to make it to the SFU campus. If you have any questions or requests for accommodation, please reach out to us at