Thursday, October 11, 2007

Workshop on Qualitative Research, University of Stirling

Following on from the success of February's workshop, the Scottish Media and Communication Association (SMCA) postgraduate committee are pleased to announce the next one-day workshop in the series. This semester's topic will be 'Methods and Methodologies: the Challenge of Qualitative Research' and will take place at:

Venue: University of Stirling, Department of Film and Media Studies

Date: Wednesday, 28th November 2007

Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm

A number of research methods will be covered across the day and the focus will be on sharing best practice for current research and discussion about how these methods may be applied in future research. Confirmed speakers include Dr Peter Hughes (La Trobe University, Australia) on audience research techniques, Dr Stephanie Marriott
(University of Stirling) will discuss ''Grounded Theory and the Analysis of Discourse'', and Dr Mark Brownrigg (University of Stirling) will consider the value of textual analysis. The day will also include practical sessions giving students the opportunity to think about the theoretical concepts covered in relation to their own work.

Places for this event are limited to twenty and will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis. This event is open to all postgraduates in universities across Scotland who are conducting research into the film, television, the press, online media and the cultural industries.

Like the previous workshop on 'Philosophies of Research', travel expenses will be reimbursed to students by the SMCA.

If you are interested in attending, please send your name, institution, area of research and year of study to Caitriona at by the 9th November.

This workshop provides an excellent opportunity for postgraduate students across Scotland to meet and develop their skills in a friendly atmosphere.

The themes covered throughout the day are central to academic research and each of the speakers has used the methods discussed to conduct thought-provoking and important research.

We look forward to seeing you in Stirling!

Kind regards

Caitriona Noonan

(On behalf of the SMCA PG Committee)

The Long History of New Media: Contemporary and Future Developments Contextualized - Call for Papers

Call for papers:

The Long History of New Media: Contemporary and Future Developments Contextualized

International Communication Association Communication History Interest Group Pre-conference Workshop Montreal, 21 May 2008

This ICA pre-conference explores the historical dimension of new media with regard to theoretical foundations, methodological approaches, and contemporary developments. The historical dimension of these facets of new media scholarship is all too often inadequately addressed. The purpose of this pre-conference, then, is to bring together scholars with a common interest in exploring the historical contextualization of new media. This purpose is situated within a wider celebration of the 10th anniversary of New Media & Society as a leading journal for scholarly exploration of new forms of mediated communication. This anniversary will culminate in a special issue of the journal drawing from papers submitted to this pre-conference.

We welcome papers on a wide array of historically-grounded themes. The following illustrations of topics suggest - but are not intended to limit - topics suitable for paper submissions:

* Theoretical constructs such as 'interactivity' and 'digital divide' as applied to computer-mediated communication as well as mass media within different historical contexts;

* Contemporary 'promises' of the Internet (e.g., facilitation of political discourse and engagement) compared with the promises of other media (e.g., radio, television) in previous historical periods;

* Ethical considerations in conducting online ethnography as compared to such considerations during early anthropological studies;

* Aspects of Web survey methods (e.g., sampling, instrument design and deployment) compared to social survey research initiatives in the 1940s-50s;

* Comparison of Internet Studies, Cyberinfrastructure, and e-Science developments from an history of science perspective;

* Examination of the purposes of social networking sites (e.g. Friendster, MySpace) for youth as compared to social activities of young people prior to the 'Internet era';

* The Web browser 'wars' compared to the tumultuous introduction of other communication technologies.

* Issues relating to the methodology of the history of new media.

Abstracts of ca. 300 words should be submitted no later than 1 November.
Send abstracts to: David Park, Chair of the ICA Communication History Interest Group, at

Authors will be informed whether abstracts have been accepted by 21 November 2007.
Papers will be due by May 1, 2008.
The program for this pre-conference will take place in the afternoon of Wednesday 21 May 2008, the date established for ICA pre-conferences.
The available time allows for three consecutive blocks of short presentations and roundtable-style discussions.

The pre-conference is a joint initiative by the Communication History Interest Group of the ICA and New Media & Society. The pre-conference will be held at McGill University, which is walking distance from the ICA conference venue.

Organized by
* David W. Park, Chair of ICA Communication History Interest Group,
* Nicholas Jankowski and Steve Jones, co-editors New Media & Society,

Radiohead Tells Fans: Pay What You Want

Radiohead Tells Fans: Pay What You Want!: Radiohead releases their new album, 'In Rainbows,' through their web site, letting fans choose the price they wish to pay. The AP's Alicia Quarles talks about the possible impact on the recording industry.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Blinkx Offers Video Ad Overlays for the Masses


Video search engine blinkx, which recently introduced a contextual ad matching service for video content called AdHoc, has expanded that offering to allow anyone to make money from text overlay ads inserted into clips.
Dubbed AdHoc Widget, the product lets any publisher -- be they Web site owner, blogger or social net junkie -- combine embed codes for videos hosted by YouTube, MySpace Videos and similar services with the blinkx ad matching and insertion technology. Blinkx spits out a new bit of code that, when pasted onto a Web page, serves text-based overlay ads on that video clip wherever it's syndicated.

Those ads will come from third party networks such as those operated by MIVA, Yahoo and Microsoft. After the networks take their cut, Blinkx will split ad sales revenue 50/50 with end users, distributing payments via PayPal.

There is potential for abuse with such a system, as pointed out by search experts, and acknowledged by blinkx. For instance, AdHoc's amateur publisher partners could run ads against copyrighted content on their Web pages, disrupting existing relationships between content owners and video platforms. Or they could create "made for AdSense" video sites with low-quality content that exist solely to generate click revenue.

Blinkx CEO Suranga Chandratillake said the text ad networks it plans to use will prevent such abuse. "We've avoided the [networks] that tend to be more full of click fraud," he said. "Those networks are very cheap. They don't pay well."

Chandratillake argued the more reputable ad networks police the use of their syndicated listings and "have mechanisms in place to trap that kind of activity." Though some may argue relying on large text-based ad networks to police abuse enabled by its own technology may seem a risky and irresponsible strategy for blinkx, he maintains AdHoc Widget users should be held individually accountable. "Once somebody picks up video and puts it on their site, it's up to them how to monetize."

AdHoc Widget users will be able to choose from two ad formats. The first is a small text box that appears above the player, outside the video frame. The other is an overlay, displaying on top of the video itself. The ad unit works by sending a request for relevant ads whenever anyone views a video that's been spliced -- hence indexed and ad enabled -- with blinkx's own code. Chandratillake said the product will allow advertisers that may not be able to afford to produce their own video spots to advertise in video nonetheless.

"It's great if you are a big company with a large marketing budget and a great agency," he said. "If you're a smaller company, it's hard to do that right now. We're hoping this will build a marketplace that will make this possible."

Google is also hoping to extend its already massive marketplace through the introduction of a video content network supported by AdSense text and display ads, announced yesterday.

Why work with multiple ad networks, rather than a single partner? By comparing them, blinkx hopes to gauge their relative performance and compatibility with the everyman video monetization scheme. "They all have self-service feeds," Chandratillake said. "It's about trying to figure out which have the best ads for our particular context."

RIAA Convinces Jury to Impose Fines for File Sharing

via EFFector:

Four years after it began, the Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA) campaign to intimidate music fans by randomly singling out individuals for lawsuits has, for the first time, made it to a jury trial. Despite the RIAA's previous claim that defendants have no right to a jury trial, Jammie Thomas had her day in court in front of a jury sworn to examine the evidence in a fair, impartial manner. The verdict is now in: Thomas was found guilty and is liable for $220,000 in penalties -- $9250 per song.

But despite the verdict, tens of millions of Americans will continue sharing billions of songs, just as they have since Napster let the P2P genie out of the bottle nearly eight years ago. Every lawsuit makes the recording industry look more and more like King Canute, vainly trying to hold back the tide. As for EFF, we continue to believe there is a better way forward.

Read the highlights from Capitol Records v. Thomas in our complete post:

For the Ars Technica article, "RIAA anti-P2P campaign a real money pit, according to testimony":

For more background on the RIAA's litigation campaign, download EFF's: "RIAA v. the People: Four Years Later report":

Read EFF's white paper, " A Better Way Forward: Voluntary Collective Licensing of Music File Sharing":

See EFF's file sharing page: Let the Music Play:

Location-Based Mobile Games (edited book) - Call for Papers

CALL FOR PAPERS for Edited Book

Hybrid Reality Games:
Reconfiguring social and urban networks via locative media

Edited by:
Adriana de Souza e Silva, Ph.D. (Communication, North Carolina State University)

Daniel Sutko (Communication, North Carolina State University)

Games are pervasive activities in human culture. The strong success of video and computer games during the last 20 years can make us forget that the physical environment has always been the primary playful space. But if computers helped take games to digital spaces, the popularity of mobile technologies takes them back to the physical. The pervasiveness of mobile phones, which allow us to walk around urban spaces connected to the Internet and each other, encourages the creation of a new type of game arena that takes place simultaneously in physical and digital spaces. In these games,communication, collaboration, and interaction occur in a combination of the physical and the digital—in hybrid spaces. In such games the players’ mobility and position in space indeed matter. Hybrid Reality and Location-based games transform the players’ perception of urban spaces, as well as the intrinsic definition of game space.

This edited book invites essays that critically investigate the inter-relations among mobile technologies, location-based activities, and playful / social spaces, with the ultimate goal of finding interconnections between games and social networks. Submitted essays should focus on three main areas:

(1) The history of games as social environments, with particular emphasis on MUDs and RPGs, as predecessors of hybrid reality/location-based gaming.
Essays in this part of the book are encouraged to explore how game communities are formed, how players in these types of games contribute to the creation of the game space, game content, and the social relationships inside and outside the game.

(2) Theoretical papers about location aware games, differentiating these types of activities from previous game theories on video games.
Besides theoretical papers, we also welcome case studies on current location-based, hybrid reality games, urban games, and pervasive games. In summary, we look for defining an overarching concept for the different types of multiuser games that employ mobile technologies as interfaces.

(3) Essays that investigate games beyond the pure entertainment approach, including articles that explore uses of hybrid reality, location aware and pervasive activities in educational contexts, media arts, training, corporate environments, and other similar activities.
Essays might draw connections among gaming, education, art, and other location-based activities.

These are suggested research themes, but similar topics will also be considered.

The book will be directed at academic readers, but should be attractive to the gaming community and industry insiders, as well. Abstracts of 500/700 words describing the proposed papers are due by December 15th, 2007 with those accepted due in final form by June 15th, 2008. Submissions may be in the form of empirical research studies or theory-building papers and should be 5000/7000 words (in English). Abstracts must include a brief biography of the author(s). Proposals and inquiries should be sent electronically to .

Paper abstracts: December 15th 2007(500/700 words)
Notification of accepted abstracts: January 15th 2008
Full papers: June 15th 2008 (5000/7000 words)

About the editors:
Adriana de Souza e Silva is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Communication at North Carolina State University (NCSU), and the director of the Mobile Gaming Research Lab ( She is also a faculty member of the Science, Technology and Society Program at NCSU. In 2004/2005, Dr. de Souza e Silva was a Senior Researcher at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies (GSE&IS) at CRESST (Center for
the Study of Evaluation). She holds a Ph.D. on Communication and Culture at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. From 2001 to 2004 Dr. de Souza e Silva was a visiting scholar at the UCLA Department of Design Media Arts. Her research focuses on how new media (mobile) interfaces reconfigure our relationship to space and create new social environments via media art and hybrid reality games games. She holds a Masters degree in Communication and Image Technology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Daniel Sutko is a second-year Master’s student in the Department of Communication at North Carolina State University. He teaches public speaking and is the research assistant for the Mobile Gaming Research Lab at NCSU. His research centers on the relationship between media and social/ spatial practices, with a particular focus on new media literacy.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

UN.OCCUPIED SPACES - Artivistic Montreal

25 to 27 October 2007 :: Montreal

Artivistic is an international transdisciplinary three-day gathering on the interPlay between art, information and activism. Artivistic emerges out of the proposition that not only artists talk about art, academics about theory, and activists about activism. Founded in 2004, the event aims to promote transdisciplinary and intercultural dialogue on activist art beyond critique,
to create and facilitate a human network of diverse peoples, and to inspire, proliferate, activate.

For the third edition of Artivistic, the expression [ un.occupied spaces ] was chosen to stimulate new ideas in response to the hidden confusions caused by the infinite networks of 21C globalization and neo-liberalism. [ un.occupied spaces ] dares to link the charged issues of environmentalism, indigenous and migrant struggles, and urban practices together through the angle of occupation. In an interconnected world, critical thought and action cannot but
become flexible and uncompromising at once. To think with occupation consequently becomes a strategy for approaching these issues in a way that will reveal their interdependence, and fuel creative and tactical collaborative actions between “co-artists” (artists and non-artists). Built around three interrelated questions, the event consists of roundtables, workshops,
interventions, exhibitions, performances, and screenings at our temporary headquarters at 5455 av. de Gaspé, #701, and in different venues and spaces of Montreal.

The very use of the term “indigenous” presupposes a claim to the existence of certain rights. The right to traditional uses of territory. The right to live on the land from which one has been displaced. The right to status. The right to self-determination. The right to a life with dignity. In what context does indigenous mean something and how is it represented today? What is the
relationship between identity based on place, the land and/or territories and the right to resources? What is indigenous in the context of globalisation, migrations and mobility?

The environment is in a pretty bad shape. Yet, does not typical environmentalism often propose “solutions” which alienate the very people that could make a difference by using a false dichotomy (natural/artificial, nature/culture) and by perpetuating the myth of a pristine nature? Current strategies often make use of fear and guilt to provoke action, yet will we not
be helping our environment in a more efficient way once we let go of our arrogance as humans and start living with and in the world rather than of, and alienated from, the world?

The term “occupation” often inspires images of invasion, enclosure and rape.
How are spaces and bodies ruled over? What is public space, ultimately? Why do reserves exist? To ask what is occupation is in fact to ask what is left to occupy for occupation is more pervasive than it first appears. At the same time, occupation echoes resistance when it comes to certain forms of appropriation. How does one occupy appropriation or how can one appropriate

The Autonomous Conference >> Artivistic also includes an open-source component.
Participants will be able to sign up on the day-of to hold an ad-hoc session that is not in the official program but is fully part of the event. You can prepare in advance, but you don’t need to submit anything.

Our events are free admission, with a suggested donation of $10 for waged participants.

Please register to secure a place:

For updates / more information:


25 au 27 octobre 2007 :: Montréal

Artivistic est une rencontre transdisciplinaire internationale de trois jours sur l’interAction entre art, information et activisme. Artivistic émerge de la proposition selon laquelle les artistes ne sont pas les seul(e)s à parler de l’art, les académiques de la théorie, et les activistes de l’activisme. Fondé en 2004, l’évènement a comme objectif de promouvoir un dialogue
transdisciplinaire et interculturel sur l’art activiste au-delà de la critique, de créer et de faciliter un réseau humain d’individus divers, et d’inspirer, proliférer, activer.

Pour la troisième édition d'Artivistic, l’expression [ espaces in.occupés ] a été choisie afin de développer de nouvelles idées relatives aux diverses définitions et confusions provoquées par les réseaux infinis composant la réalité néo-libérale du XXIe siècle. [ espaces in.occupés ] se donne le défi de rassembler des questions portant sur l'environnement, les luttes des
autochtones et des immigrants ainsi que les pratiques urbaines tout en les abordant sous l’angle de l’occupation. Dans un monde interconnecté, la pensée et l'action critiques se doivent de devenir à la fois flexibles et intransigeantes. Penser en termes d’occupation devient par conséquent une stratégie pour souligner l’interdépendance de ces questions et permet des
actions de collaboration créatrices et tactiques entre "co-artistes" (artistes et non-artistes). L'événement est construit autour de trois questions interreliées et se compose de tables-rondes, d’ateliers, d’interventions, d’expositions, de performances et de projections qui auront lieu à notre quartier général temporaire au 5455 av. de Gaspé, #701, et dans divers autres
endroits à Montréal.

L’utilisation du terme présuppose une revendication quant à l’existence de certains droits. Le droit aux usages traditionnels du territoire. Le droit de retour à l’endroit d’où l’on a été déplacé. Le droit au statut. Le droit à l’auto-détermination. Le droit à une vie avec dignité. Dans quel contexte le mot "autochtone" prend t-il une signification et comment est-il représenté de
nos jours? Quelle est la relation entre une identité ancrée dans le lieu, la terre et/ou le territoire et le droit aux ressources? Que veut dire autochtone dans un contexte de mondialisation, de migrations, et de mobilité?

< (espace) naturel comment? >
L’environnement est dans un triste état. Cependant, les « solutions » proposées par les environnementalistes n'aliènent-elles pas bien souvent les personnes qui pourraient faire une différence en faisant usage de dualités ancrées dans une pensée dualiste (naturel/artificiel, nature/culture) et en perpétuant le mythe d’une nature vierge? Les stratégies courantes ont souvent recours à la culpabilité et à la peur pour inciter à l’action, mais ne serions-nous pas plus
en mesure d’aider notre environnement une fois que nous aurons cédé à notre arrogance comme êtres humains et lorsque nous commencerons à vivre avec et dans le monde et non pas de, et aliénés de, celui-ci?

Le terme « occupation » inspire souvent des images d’invasion, d’enclos et de viol. Comment les corps et les espaces sont-ils conquis? Qu’est-ce ultimement qu’un espace public? À quoi servent les réserves? S’interroger sur la notion d’occupation nous mène à nous demander ce qu’il reste à occuper puisque l’occupation est plus répandue qu’elle ne paraît. En même temps, l’occupation
fait écho à la résistance quand il est question de certaines formes d’appropriation. Comment peut-on occuper l’appropriation ou alors s’approprier l’occupation?

La Conférence Autonome >> Artivistic comprend aussi un volet source-contenu libre (”open-source”). Les participant(e)s seront en mesure de s’inscrire le jour même pour tenir des sessions ad hoc qui ne figureront pas dans le programme officiel, mais néanmoins feront partie intégrante de l’évènement. Vous pouvez vous préparer d’avance, mais vous ne devez pas soumettre quoi que ce soit.

L’entrée est libre, avec une contribution volontaire de 10$ suggérée aux participant(e)s salarié(e)s.

Veuillez vous inscrire pour vous assurer une place :

Pour mises à jour / informations complémentaires :

Rhapsody Service Available on TiVo

Rhapsody Service Available on TiVo: Rob Glaser, Ceo of RealNetworks, discusses the company's deal in which Rhapsody Digital Music Service will be available to TiVo subscribers allowing them to download music through their televisions. Kelsey Hubbard reports.

Sony's New Game: In-Game Ad Biz

Console manufacturers act as gatekeepers for dynamic in-game advertising on the current generation of game systems. To facilitate advertising opportunities on the PlayStation 3, Sony Computer Entertainment America on Monday established an in-game advertising business unit.

The unit will handle advertising and brand placements across the PlayStation platforms including the PlayStation Network. The network includes first- and third-party games published for the PlayStation 3, as well as PlayStation Home, a 3D community gathering place for PlayStation 3 owners. Since the system's launch last holiday season, advertisers were able to reach gamers only through product integration and branding deals that remained static throughout the game's shelf life. Dynamic in-game advertising had been closed off to advertisers for games played across the PlayStation Network.

"It makes sense. It's a revenue stream they have to take advantage of," said Billy Pidgeon, program manager of games at IDC. "I believe they want to make it open to existing networks, but of course they want to levy a fee there." Pidgeon identified additional revenue streams created by consoles connected to the Internet in the report "Worldwide Connected Console 2007 - 2011 Forecast: Downloads for Dollars." Sony has opportunities both in games, and in the online community supporting the PlayStation 3.

Microsoft has sold ads both in-game, managed by the acquired in-game ad network Massive, and on its Xbox Live online platform. "Xbox Live has been running since the previous version of the Xbox, they had a network in place much longer."

At Sony, Darlene Kindler was network advertising director to head up the new unit. Kindler was most recently VP of publishing at Adscape Media, acquired by Google in March. Kindler's previous experience includes stints at Nintendo of America, IREM America Corp, Data East, and video card manufacturer 3dfx.

It remains to be seen whether Sony will work directly with game publishers and advertisers, or work with both parties through in-game advertising networks such as Double Fusion or IGA Worldwide. The former could potentially fragment the media-buying process and discourage media buyers as well as video game publishers. Sony was unavailable to answer questions on when in-game advertising will be made available on the PlayStation 3, or how inventory will be sold.

In-game advertising on the Xbox 360 platform is already available through Massive. "Right now the Xbox 360 has momentum, and they have an online audience. Sony has to catch up. Then there's the PC, which has a larger audience," Pidgeon said. "If brand owners have to go across platforms to go to Microsoft or Sony separately, [it] may be a disadvantage in the long term."

Data to entice advertisers, as well as publishers, will be available through a partnership between Sony and Nielsen Media Research established in July.

A recent move on the advertising front made by another Sony Unit was the creation of Imageworks Interactive, a full-service interactive agency spun off from Sony Pictures Entertainment.


Social Web: Towards Networked Protest Politics?

Call for Papers:

Social Web – Towards Networked Protest Politics?

7-8 November 2008
University of Siegen, Artur-Woll-Haus, Am Eichenhang 50, D-57076 Siegen.

Organised by the Research Project ‘Changing Protest and Media Cultures’.
Funded by the German Research Foundation.

Theorists drawing on different concepts of democracy such as associative, deliberative or participatory democracy perceive the internet as providing new opportunities to revitalise classical notions of democracy through widening the scope for active public debates.

Civil society actors are attributed a crucial role in new notions of web based public spheres. Social movements, it is argued, benefit more than established political actors from online media since their social network structure corresponds well with the technological structure of the internet. The internet provides new opportunities to intensify as well as territorially expand social networks and enables the formation of public sphere(s) beyond the borders of the nation states. Connected to the communicative dimension of democracy some authors even see the possibility of a global “community of communication” (Delanty).

The conference addresses issues of online communication of political protest actors by particularly focussing on the so-called social web, ‘Web 2.0’ as it is called after Tim O’Reilly, and its impact on political campaigning, community formation, transnationalising politics, and overall on the contribution of virtualised protest politics on the formation of a transnational ‘public of publics’ (Bohman).

The analysis of the interrelation between campaigning and networking deals with new forms of political mobilisation and highlights options and problems of online-offline-connectivities by giving particular relevance to mass media resonance. Apart from that questions of internal organisation and communication among protest actors and groups come into foreground. As protest networks and campaigns play important functions within new governance structures questions of democratic legitimacy of political protest actors in general as well as aspects of internal democratic decision making in particular have to be discussed.

Looking inside virtualised networks of social movements also raises questions of community building and collective identity. While some studies question the potential of internet technologies to provide a platform for the emergence of (online) collective identities and put emphasis on common experiences in physical social space, the proliferation of social techniques and their use on the net raises questions of an appropriation of these techniques by civil society actors for identity-building practices.

In early stages of internet research many scholars assumed that the new network technology would be able to decrease social inequalities but current studies of network research show that well-established social structures continue to exist on the net. For instance, the centre-periphery paradigm seems to persist within transnational online networks with regard to the gap between North and South.

Furthermore, transnational protest actors tend to use the net rather for framing processes than for public interaction and exchange between individual protest actors and other relevant groups.

Overall, the conference aims at shedding some light on the interrelations of social movements and digital networks. It will address such questions as:

Panel #1: Virtualised Networks & Campaigns

· Which aspects of internal communication, decision making, organisation, and coordination of protest actions are facilitated within virtualised networks?

· With regard to external communication how do campaigns organised by virtualised networks and coalitions manage to speak with ‘one voice’?

· Are network technologies changing campaign strategies of establishing public spheres?

Panel #2: Virtualised Networks & Community

· To what extent do civil society actors use technologies of Web 2.0 in order to build up social relationships and to foster or anticipate processes of community building and collective identity?
· Do Web 2.0 technologies form another milestone on the way towards a ‘networked individualism’ (Wellman)?

· How are cognitive and affective elements connected within virtualized communities?

· May we characterise them as social networks, as issue networks, or as ‘epistemic communities’?

Panel #3: Virtualised Networks & Transnationalism

· How are claims of virtualised networks asserted across boarders?

· To what extent and how does virtualised protest bridge the North-South gap?

· Do social network techniques generally enable mobilisation of spatially separated supporters and thus contribute to the development of a ‘global civil society’?

Panel #4: Virtualised Networks & Democracy

· How can we conceptualise public sphere(s) in the age of network communication on the internet beyond the nation state?

· May Web 2.0 be regarded as ‘magic formula’ for online deliberation, participation and direct democracy?

· What conclusions may be drawn for conceptions like ‘transnational democracy’ or ‘global governance’?

Keynote speakers include:
Panel #1:Dieter Rucht, Social Science Research Center Berlin, D
Panel #2: Richard Rogers, University of Amsterdam, NL
Panel #3: Peter J. Smith/Elizabeth Smythe, Athabasca University /University College of Alberta, CDN
Panel #4: James Bohman, Saint Louis University, USA

Theoretical and empirical works focusing on political and sociological aspects of online communication of political protest networks actors such as participation, mobilisation, organisation, identity, transnationalism, public sphere(s), global governance, and democracy are welcome. The deadline for receipt of the abstracts is 14 April 2008.

Abstracts, between 500-1000 words, together with an author biography, must be sent electronically to Johanna Niesyto (

Video: Lawrence Lessig on Corruption

Here's a fascinating interview with Lawrence Lessig where he discusses his new cause, devoting the next ten years to ending government corruption and how internet as a tool of participatory democracy and the advent of the 'global commons' could be the decisive weapons in this struggle.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Accio 2008, a UK Harry Potter Conference - Call for Papers


Accio 2008, a UK Harry Potter Conference

"From Quidditch Flyers to Dreaming Spires: Exploring the Worldwide Influence of the Harry Potter Novels"

Magdalen College, Oxford
25 – 27 July 2008

Accio 2008 will bring together academics and adult fans to discuss the Harry Potter series in the Hogwarts-like setting of the University of Oxford, with the goal of enhancing the appreciation of J.K. Rowling's novels as works of literature in her home country. The conference will be held at the beautiful Magdalen College, which still preserves its 15th century pronunciation of 'Maudele'n' and which boasts such alumni as C.S. Lewis and Oscar Wilde.

During the last ten years, the Harry Potter novels have made many changes to our world, including increasing reading (particularly among boys), creating a much larger interest in fan sites and fan fiction, adding words (such as "Muggle") to the dictionary and increasing interest in science that looks like magic.

The Programming Committee is inviting proposals for paper presentations, roundtables, moderated panels, debates and workshops to evoke a lively, interesting and thoughtful discussion on the changes the Harry Potter novels have already made to our world, and on the potential for the novels to have a lasting influence.

Suggested Topics

Presentations on any topic relating to the Harry Potter phenomenon are welcome and topics may include, but are certainly not limited to:

Computer Science
the Fandom

Programming Schedule and Time Blocks

Three concurrent tracks of programming sessions will be held on the afternoon of Friday, 25 July; all day on Saturday, 26 July and the morning of Sunday, 27 July. Time blocks in multiples of 30 minutes will be available.

Printed Proceedings

Conference papers and summaries of other presentation forms will be published in the Conference Proceedings, which will appear in print form and be available at the Conference.
All material will be properly and academically edited for content, rigour, and format. The Conference Proceedings will be made available for sale to non-attendees after the conclusion of the conference.

Other Publications

We have had a statement of interest from a UK publisher in a modest collection of academic essays based on those submitted to this conference. Such essays would be considerably longer than the presented essays and would be suitable for academic use at the senior undergraduate or postgraduate level. Should you be interested in contributing to such a collection, please say so on your proposal.

Proposal Submissions – Deadline: 4 January 2008

Proposals should be formatted as follows:

Name of Presenter(s) (individuals presenting jointly should submit a single proposal)
E-Mail Address and Phone Number of Presenter(s)
Name of Presentation
Type of Presentation (e.g., paper presentation, roundtable, moderated
panel, debate or workshop; please note that lively presentations are encouraged)
Amount of Time Required (in multiples of 30 minutes, including an indication of how much of that time will be made available for audience discussion/question and answer session)
Abstract (500 words maximum)
Audio-Visual Requirements (e.g., projector, screen, whiteboard)
Biography of Presenter(s) (100 words maximum)
Presentation Summary for Conference Programme (100 words maximum)
Interested in Contributing to Collection of Academic Essays? Yes/No

Please send proposals to the following address, with "Accio 2008 Proposal
Submission" noted in the subject line: We are accepting e-mail submissions only, and any attachments must be in Microsoft Word. Proposals must be received by 4 January 2008 to be considered.

Proposal Evaluation

Proposals will be evaluated based on an assessment of the level of interest conference participants will have in the topic area and the originality of the ideas presented.

Notification, Confirmation and Registration Requirements

Selected presenters will be notified by week ending 1 February 2008. We regret that, in order to keep conference fees as low as possible, we are unable to fund presenters' registration, hotel and/or travel costs, or provide any other form of remuneration. Presenters must confirm that they will present by 22 February 2008, at which point they will need to register for the conference at their own expense.

Submission of Final Papers – Deadline: 16 May 2008

Presenters are expected to submit a conference paper for publication in the printed proceedings by 16 May 2008. This paper should be no greater than 4,000 words, and must be written in compliance with the Accio Style Guide (which may be found at The Programming Committee reserves the right to reject papers that exceed 4,000 words in length, do not comply with the established style guidelines or are not submitted by the required deadline. Papers must be presented at the conference to be published in the proceedings.


As Accio is an adults-only event, all presenters and participants must be at least 18 years of age at the time of the conference.


The Accio 2008 conference is an unofficial event and is not endorsed, sanctioned or in any other way supported, directly or indirectly, by Warner Bros. Entertainment, the Harry Potter book publishers, or J.K. Rowling and her representatives.

Currents in Electronic Literacy: The Creative Commons - CFP


The editors of Currents in Electronic Literacy (an MLA-indexed, peer-reviewed, e-journal) seek manuscripts that address the role or the relevance of the cultural commons for those working, teaching, or living in a mediated age.

The term itself has received attention from those on the far left, such as Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, to those defending free-market economics, such as Lawrence Lessig.

As new media enable us to collaborate, share information, disseminate texts, and pull from the collective and creative resources that the humanities have traditionally celebrated, we face new challenges on a variety of fronts.

What are the legal implications of sharing copyrighted (or copylefted texts)? What constitutes "fair use" in an age when most cultural artifacts can quickly be scanned and posted for public consumption? (How) are we ethically and scholastically obligated to evaluate or cite sources that have been read and reviewed by a worldwide community of arguably critical and invested readers? (How) do profit (or exploitation) work when users determine content willfully and energetically?

We encourage submission of scholarly articles and review essays (including reviews of books, software, websites, and conferences) that relate any of the above questions or others not mentioned to the task of teaching and studying literacy.

Submissions for reviews should be approximately 1500 words for individual reviews and 2500 for omnibus reviews of multiple texts or applications and 5000 words for scholarly articles. Submission deadline is December 15, 2007. For questions or to submit reviews email

Currents in Electronic Literacy is an online publication of the Computer Writing and Research Laboratory at the University of Texas, Austin.

Currents strives to provide a forum for the scholarly discussion of issues pertaining to electronic literacy, widely construed.

In general, Currents publishes work addressing the use of electronic texts and technologies for reading, writing, teaching, and learning in fields including but not restricted to the following: literature (in English and in other languages), rhetoric and composition, languages (English, foreign, and ESL), communications, media studies, and education.

Currents in Electronic Literacy (ISSN 1524-6493) is indexed in the MLA International Bibliography and EBSCO.

Miss America Launches Kid-safe Web Browser

Miss America Launches Kid-safe Web Browser: Seven years before Lauren Nelson was crowned Miss America, an online predator e-mailed one of her friends lurid photos. Today, Nelson is the centerpiece of a new kid-friendly Internet browser.

Oh Noes! Record Companies Win Downloading Lawsuit

Record Companies Win Downloading Lawsuit: The recording industry hopes $222,000 will be enough to dissuade music lovers from downloading songs from the Internet without paying for them now that a federal jury ordered a Minnesota woman to pay for sharing copyrighted music online.