Friday, October 19, 2007

ECREA Digital Culture & Communication Workshop

ECREA Digital Culture & Communication (DCC) Section Workshop

1.-3. November 2007 @ University of Sussex
Supported by the Centre for Material Digital Culture, University of Sussex

All welcome to attend. Please register with Vanessa Sammut for full programme.

Charges: £35 to cover refreshments, coffee and reception. £10 for one day.


Thursday, 1st of November


Caroline Bassett, University of Sussex, UK
After Convergence?: What Connects?

Session 1: Methodologies
(Chair/discussant Irmi Karl, University of Brighton, UK)

Maren Hartmann, University of the Arts Berlin, Germany
Ethnographies as dangerous tools

Adolfo Estalella, Elisenda Ardèvol, Edgar Gómez, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain
Media as practice: Introducing symmetry in Internet ethnographies

Friday, 2nd of November

Session 2: Sounds & Senses
(Chair: Kate Lacey, University of Sussex, UK)

Frauke Behrendt, University of Sussex, UK
Mobile Sonic Experience: Methodological Concerns

Holger Schulze, University of the Arts Berlin, Germany
Experiencing Medialised Senses: On the Tectonics of Media (Title TBC)

Session 3: Policy Issues
(Chair: Bridgette Wessels)

Maria Sourbati, University of Brighton, UK
Europe's digital media policy discourses and the problem of the user

Session 4: Theoretical frameworks
(Chair/discussant: David Berry, University of Wales Swansea, UK)

Panagiota Alevizou, LSE, UK
Collective intelligence and the cult of open production: critical reflections on theory and methodology

Bridgette Wessels, University of Sheffield, UK On digital cultures as cultural forms: participation, narrative and infrastructures in achieving digital cultural engagement

Saturday 3rd of November

Theorizing (digital) TV
(Chair: Frauke Berendt)

Fonta Group, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
The theory of swarms in the models of organization of the audio-visual companies of digital television

Emma Hemmingway, Nottingham Trent University, UK
Actor Network Theory and Media: A new approach to theorising media practice

Panel: The Disappearance of the Digital Distinction?
Panelists: Holger Schulze, Kate O'Riordan, University of Sussex, UK, TBA.

for further information on the programme please email
Hartmann Maren
Bassett Caroline
O'Riordan Kate

Second Life Architecture Awards

Second Life Architecture Awards

The constructed architectural spaces of Second Life share a commonality with the exotic invisible cities of Italo Calvino. They are at once familiar yet completely otherworldly: inverted, fantastical, corrupted, baroque and barren, unexpected, startling and compellingly seductive. They are both our present and our future.

In September this year Dr Melinda Rackham, ANAT's Director and 3D world author and theorist, was invited to join a 6 member international Jury assessing the Annual Second Life Architecture & Design Competition, a first of its kind, held at the 2007 Ars Electronica Festival in Austria.

The jury deliberated over the 126 submissions before a live audience at the Architekturforum Linz, while being simultaneously streamed into Second Life. Four outstanding projects, that took advantage of both the artistic and technical possibilities afforded by Second Life were selected as finalists:

· Berliner Tanja Meyle's "Living Cloud", is a semitransparent cloud that travels with her and provides privacy and sanctuary, a consistent need for an avatar in Second Life. The cloud surrounding her avatar Creatina Ferraris is not only a transportable house; its variability brings in an association with the idea that the house is just an extension of the body of the person who inhabits it.

· From San Francisco, DC Spensley creates "Full Immersion Hyperformalism" an usual and innovative user interface, constructed to allow an avatar to view a fine art exhibition. This structure is defined as "less a building than a spatial interface containing numerous abstracted and interactive possibilities".

· Adam Nash's "17 Unsung Songs" allows avatars to be physically immersed in interactive sound scapes, constructions that create a tension within their Australian parkland environment. Here audiovisual elements undergo spatial modification via avatar interaction giving rise to a new aesthetic and sensory spatial construct.

· Conceptually and technically innovative is "White Noise", a work from Vienna based Max Moswitzer. This experiment in non-human architecture utilises the detritus of Second Life, freebie objects such as teddy bears and discarded skateboards, to construct a dazzling white snow-palace. This mishmashed building enfolds on multiple levels of detail and evokes the perfect domicile for the realm of Second Life.

The selected projects are presented online ( where the public are invited to vote for their favourite project. The winner receives a 1,000-euro grand prize, which will be awarded on 25 October 2007 at the prize ceremony, which includes discussions and a party at Zollverein, Essen, the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.

Dr Melinda Rackham comments, "ANAT is committed to enabling artists to work critically with emerging forms of practice, and the virtual terrains of Second Life are indicative of trends that will become important in future virtual 3D platforms".

For more information visit

At Google, It Pays to be Pregnant

At Google, It Pays to be Pregnant: At Google, new parents get a $500 stipend for take out, while expectant moms get red-carpet treatment ahead of the baby's birth. Stacey Delo from the Wall Street Journal reports.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Invisible Culture - Call for Papers

Call for Papers: Invisible Culture

Invisible Culture, Issue 12, The Archive of the Future/The Future of the Archive: Spring 2008

Guest Editors: Aubrey Anable, Aviva Dove-Viebahn and April Miller

Deadline for completed papers and manuscripts: December 1, 2007

Submissions and inquiries should be sent, via email, to ivcarchiveissue_at_gmail_dot_com.

The archive as a place, a collection, a history, a concept, and a practice has always been unstable and replete with cultural meaning. In his essay “Valery Proust Museum,” Theodor Adorno associates museums with death rationalized, pointing to how the modern form—the physical space, technology, and ideology—forces a chronological order onto its objects.

In the digital age, however, archives no longer need necessarily be housed physically, nor must they abide by chronological schema. In The Language of New Media, Lev Manovich describes the database—a sort of digital archive—as too much information with “too few narratives that can tie it all together.” Do future manifestations of the archive inevitably negate those traits we have come to associate with archives in the past or present? Does the digitization of the
archive give us an opportunity to rethink the archival project in terms of how the archive, its access and selection, affects knowledge, authority, and subjectivities? What might the archive of the future look like or accomplish? What does it mean to question the future of the archive?

Coming out of an interdisciplinary graduate conference on the same topic held at the University of Rochester in the Spring of 2007, the peer-reviewed, electronic journal Invisible Culture invites papers and projects that explore the shifting space, practice, and cultural meaning of the archive. Submissions in the form of 2,500-6,000 word papers from all disciplines, as well as digital projects (i.e. virtual archives or explorations of the same) are welcome.

Areas of inquiry for submissions may include, but are not limited to, the following topics and questions:

• What are the effects of the digital/technological broadening of access on the research of primary materials in literature, film, and art history?

• How might access to a wide range of historically related—but physically separated—texts change the parameters of analysis and methodologies?

• Legality, authority, or dissemination of archives

• Digitization and the dynamics of globalization, imperialism, colonial and post-colonial discourse(s)

• Distinctions between public and private spaces

• Anonymity, erotics of encounter, role playing, and new or temporary subjectivities formed in contributing to or observing digital archives

• Archived memory in life-writing (autobiography, letters, journals, blogs, etc.)

• Archival access, relevance and organization

• Digitization and the “aura” of a work

• Audience, authorship, the researcher, and community involvement

• The role of manuscripts, illuminated or otherwise

• Preservation and transmission of oral or written histories and memory

• Literary variorum

• Questions of old canons, new canons, and the end of the canon

Invisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture is a peer-reviewed journal dedicated to explorations of the material and political dimensions of cultural practices: the means by which cultural objects and communities are produced, the historical contexts in which they emerge, and the regimes of knowledge or modes of social interaction to which they contribute.

Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture - Call for Papers

Issue Announcement: Call for Papers

Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture

Reconstruction is proud to announce the publication of its Vol. 7, No. 4 (2007) open issue, which can be found at

Featured in the issue:

* Said Graiouid, "From Postmodernism to Post-Tradition: The End of Theory in the Age of Global Conservatism"

* Tyler Kessel, "Welcoming the Outside: A Reading of Hospitality and the Event in Derrida and Deleuze"

* Gary Walton, "The Utopian Limits of Conspiracy Theory Journalism"

* Jaroslava Gajdosova, "Social Mnemonics of Style: A Comparative study of Günter Grass' novella Crabwalk and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial"

* Paula Cerni, "Unproductive Bodies: A Materialist Critique of the 'Corporeal Turn'"

* Katharyn Privett, "Sacred Cyborgs and 21st Century Goddesses"

* Tanya Ury, "Theme Park Reconstructed" (Photo essay with a German translation)

* Larry Taylor, "An Interview with Fatih Benzer"

* Gene McQuillan, "Graphic Travelogues and the Revival of a 'Rotting Form': Peter Carey's Wrong about Japan and Guy DeLisle's Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea "

Reconstruction is accepting submissions for upcoming open issues. Please consult our Submission Guidelines found at

Reconstruction is also accepting submissions for the following upcoming themed issues:

* Class, Culture and Public Intellectuals (book reviews only)
* Visualization and Narrative
* Fieldwork and Interdisciplinary Research
* Guest Editors for Upcoming Themed Issues

For individual CFP requirements and guest editor contact information, please check our "Upcoming Issues" page at

Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture (ISSN: 1547-4348) is an innovative cultural studies journal dedicated to fostering an intellectual community composed of scholars and their audience, granting them all the ability to share thoughts and opinions on the most important and influential work in contemporary interdisciplinary studies. Reconstruction publishes one open issue and three themed issues quarterly.

Reconstruction is indexed in the MLA International Bibliography.

All submissions and submission queries should be written care of

World's Oldest Blogger Turns 108

Meet Olive Riley. She's just celebrated her 108th birthday - making her what's believed to be the world's oldest blogger.

Visit her blog here:

Andy Jordan: The Dot Org Blues

Andy Jordan from the Wall Street Journal has his own online diary (Tech Diary).
In this episode he rants about not having a decent domain name. He wants a .com, but ends up with a .org

I thought this was quite funny, so I posted the video here for you.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Vision of Students Today

A Vision of Students Today

a short video summarizing some of the most important characteristics of students today - how they learn, what they need to learn, their goals, hopes, dreams, what their lives will be like, and what kinds of changes they will experience in their lifetime. Created by Michael Wesch in collaboration with 200 students at Kansas State University.

Download higher quality wmv:

More information:

More Evidence of Increased U.K. Online Marketing Spend

The survey also reports 13 percent of respondents are still not using the Internet for marketing at all.

In the U.K., the Internet now accounts for over 6 percent of entire marketing spend according to the recently-released Q3 2007 "Bellwether Report" from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA).
The report states that over 40 percent of U.K.-based companies are now allocating at least 5 percent of their budget to online spending, and 22 percent are investing 10 percent or more. This represents an above-average growth when compared to the rest of the market. More than 30 percent of companies increased their online marketing budgets, while just 7 percent saw a decline.

“If as has been speculated, growth has peaked in this quarter, this is something that we're not seeing in the digital sector. In fact, as marketers gain a greater understanding of the internet’s role within the overall marketing mix, we may see a more realistic approach to budget setting,” said Ed Ling, deputy chairman for IPA Digital in a statement.

The strongest growth was seen in the autos, consumer service and I.T. and computing sectors, with only the media and marketing sector seeing a cut to annual marketing budgets. The survey also reports 13 percent of respondents are still not using the Internet for marketing at all.

The IPA figures indicate more modest online spending by U.K. firms than reported by the IAB earlier this month. That report shows UK online advertising revenues accounted for a much larger 14.7 percent share during the first half of 2007. The IPA report is focused on marketing budgets, however, as opposed to ad spend.

Data for the IPA report were compiled from a questionnaire survey of around 250 U.K.-based companies across a range of sectors.


Can the Subaltern Speak?: On Otherness and its Consequences - Call for Papers

Tenth Annual Graduate Student Research Conference
Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education, OISE/UT

Can the Subaltern Speak?
On Otherness and its Consequences

“What I am calling for, against either universalism or cultural relativism, is politics that is premised on closer encounters, on encounters with those who are other than 'the other' or 'the stranger'. Such a politics based on encounters between other others is one bound up with responsibility - with recognising that (labouring)relations between others are always constitutive of the possibility of either speaking or not speaking. It is the work that needs to be done to get closer to others in a way that does not appropriate their labour as ‘my labour’, or their talk as ‘my talk’, that makes possible a different form of collective politics. The 'we' of such a collective politics is what must be worked for, rather than being the foundation of our collective work.” (Sarah Ahmed, 2000)

“The Other does not affect us as what must be surmounted, enveloped, dominated, but as other, independent of us: behind every relation we could sustain with [her], an absolute upsurge. It is this way of welcoming an absolute existent that we discover in justice and injustice, and that discourse, essentially teaching, effectuates. The term welcome of the Other expresses a simultaneity of activity and passivity which places the relation with the other outside of the dichotomies valid for things: the a priori and the a posteriori, activity and passivity.” (Emmanuel Levinas, 1961)

Saturday, March 29th, 2008 – 8:30am to 5:30pm

“Our” immediate contemplation finds its origins nestled within Gayatri Spivak’s evocative and invaluably pertinent inquiry, “...can the subaltern speak?...”. The hope for this encounter, both academically theoretical in tenor and politically charged under the specter of praxis, is that we might convene on the notion of an Otherness as a site for critical and ethical socio-political, literary, and cultural exploration. In contemporary times, there have been an overwhelming slew of conversations and calls, important and necessary nonetheless, that bequeath us to consider “something” or the other (not the Other, just “something else”) under the rubrics of title headings, such as, “ the Time of Empire”, “ an Age of Empire”, or “...under the Specter of Empire”. While considerations of Empire and how it seeps through, manifests itself, and manipulates the everyday lives of people, both locally and globally, are essential for our continued scrutiny, and while it is difficult and impossible for us to ignore the ways in which Empire affects subjectivity and subject formation, determines it, negotiates it, and manufactures it, something is lost, perhaps, and this “something else”, might be the notion of an Other. The imperative and desire, here, is thus to relocate the global dialogue and discourse about and from Empire, without ignoring its affectations on the large scale materiality of everyday existence, to this “elsewhere space” that attends to the narrative of an Other. This call is, thus, to think both globally and locally, both in the context of political mobilization and cultural production. This is not a jest against revolutionary theory or revolution per say, but a hopeful suggestion that perhaps allows “us” to consider that that which can be called “revolution” resides with and originates from the Other’s, at present and perhaps always already, inaudible voice.

Moving into the realm of the inaudibility of the Other’s voice, “we” encounter the question of presentation, re-presentation, and narration. Those of us in the Humanities and Social Sciences, often times, lay claims on the notion that academic privilege enables us to represent the Other in all her/his bodily totality, as a way in which justice can be inscribed, served and handed out piecewise through the moment of representing her/his vulnerability. But, what about the incommensurable possibility that this voice of the Other is always and already impossible to represent? What would it mean for representation when representation is marked by an ethical failure on the part of our selves, thinkers, writers, activists, and artists? How can “we” come to terms with this ethical failure toward representing? Perhaps, the desire might be to think of this failure as not a failure on our part as cultural producers or knowledge seekers, but rather as being a generative and productive tension that allows us to be more ethical in the moment of narrating the Other through our inscriptive and prescriptive practices. Knowledge, then, might be considered as something ethical that comes into being from this pre-acknowledged
possibility of and for failure. This is not to say that “we” are to remain politically passive and not represent at all, or to take the road already taken of representing in manners, both problematic and violently elusive, but rather to come to representation as an on-going attempt in understanding both ourselves and others, and seeing this failure, claiming witness to it, on the grounds of a continual ethics in the practice of representation itself. Ethics, justice, equity, politics – as all originating from the impossibility to absolutely represent, to represent in the absolute. The failure is not a failure per say then, but the origins of a possible ethical way to relate to an Other, to see in this the beginnings of a community, a collectivity, and a sociality that comes to be, allows the “coming-to-be” to occur, in the mutual telling and re-telling of one another’s inaudible narratives.

It is with these concerns and considerations in mind that the Graduate Student Conference Committee of the Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education at the University of Toronto invites you to submit either single paper or panel presentations on the broad topic of Otherness and its relation to cultural representation, politics, ethics, and everyday lived experience. The Committee will consider some of the following expansive spaces of inquiry as relevant to the overarching concerns of the conference, but, please also note that the list below is by no means an exhaustive or conclusive one:

- Otherness and/in Cultural Representation
- Explorations of Otherness in Cultural Production
- Otherness in Space, Place, and Time
- Otherness and Racial Subjectivity
- Otherness and the Engendering of Gender
- Otherness in Queer Theory
- Otherness and Bodily Subjectivity in Critical Disability Studies
- The Labour of the Classed Other in a time of Capital
- Gaze, Discourse, and the Other – Anthropology and Sociology Revisited
- Otherness and the Body, both proper and general
- Writing Otherness in Literature and the Literary
- Otherness and Political Mobilization
- Otherness in the concept of the Human
- Ethics and the Other
- The Philosophical Other
- On the Voice of the Other and the Encounter
- Memory, History, Trauma, and Otherness
- Otherness and the possibility of/for the Social
- Theorizing Others
- Otherness and Violence
- Annihilation of the Self – The Other and Responsibility
- The Other at the Borders of the Nation-State
- The Global Other in the Context of the Diaspora
- Otherness, Performance, and Performativity
- Otherness and Psychoanalysis

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent to by Friday, January 25, 2008.
Graduate students from various disciplines, including but not limited to, Comparative Literature, Sociology, Philosophy, Political Science, Cultural Studies, Anthropology, Education, History, and other fields within the realm of the Humanities and the Social Sciences are highly encouraged to apply. Please observe the following procedures to enable blind peer-review:
1) Attach a short biographical note on a separate page.
2) Do not include your name on the same page as the abstract.
3) Type “abstract” in the subject line of your email.
Papers may be given in English or French, with citations in any language.

Discussion with the founder and CEO of Jeff Bezos about the competition in the e-Commerce playing field

Discussion with the founder and CEO of Jeff Bezos about the competition in the e-Commerce playing field

The two decisive components in the B2C business are:

1. Trying to find out what customers like, such as selections, low prices and fast delivery;

2. Logistics being efficient in order to afford expense. The company would like to keep fast-moving items so that the digestion/circulation of produces can be quicker, which improves cost structure.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

2008 Film & History Conference - Call for Papers

Call for Papers

2008 Film & History Conference
"Film & Science: Fictions, Documentaries, and Beyond"
October 30-November 2, 2008
Chicago, Illinois

First-Round Deadline: November 1, 2007

AREA: Science Fiction in British Film and Television

The consistent quality of science-fiction films and television programs in Britain has won audiences for generations, both in the UK and around the world. One reason for this sustained popularity lies in the ability of British cinema and TV to constantly reinvent the genre, keeping it socially and philosophically elastic. How, for example, has British science fiction adapted to changes in the political and social climate or affected national policy or civic character? How have SF films and television programs represented Britain's concerns about the present or future or about the use and perception of history? What makes science fiction film and television in Britain distinctively "British"?

This area treats the last century of science fiction productions, from Maurice Elvey's The Tunnel (1935) and William Cameron Menzies' Things to Come (1936) to the landmark TV productions The Quatermass Experiment (1953), 1984 (1954), A for Andromeda (1961), and the latest Doctor Who.

Presentations may feature analyses of individual films and/or TV programs, surveys of documents related to their production, analyses of history and culture as explored through a set of films/TV programs, or comparisons between two or more science-fiction productions.

Paper topics might include utopian and dystopian films/TV programs, future warfare, censorship, representation of non-human life forms, politics, the Cold War, science-fiction after 9/11, ethics and morals, representations of science and scientists, myths and legends, terrorism, early science fiction, adaptations, comedy, government and institutions, disasters, environment, gender, ethnicity, race, class, etc.

Please send your 200-word proposal by November 1, 2007 to

Tobias Hochscherf, Chair, Science Fiction in British Film and TV
Northumbria University
School of Arts and Social Sciences
Media & Communication
Lipman Bldg.
Newcastle upon Tyne
United Kingdom
Phone: ++44(0)191-227-4932

Panel proposals for up to four presenters are also welcome, but each presenter must submit his or her own paper proposal. Deadline for first-round proposals: November 1, 2007

This area, comprising multiple panels, is a part of the 2008 biennial Film & History Conference, sponsored by The Center for the Study of Film and History. Speakers will include founder John O'Connor and editor Peter C. Rollins (in a ceremony to celebrate the transfer to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh), and Wheeler Winston Dixon, James Ryan Professor of Film Studies at University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and author of Visions of the Apocalypse and Disaster and Memory. For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website:

Studies in French Cinema Conference 2008: 'French Cinema to 1940'


Studies in French Cinema Conference 2008: 'French Cinema to 1940'.


The first four decades of French cinema produced some of its most iconic films, as well as its most celebrated directors, stars and scriptwriters. It is the time of the great pioneers of cinema (Lumière, Méliès, Gance, L'Herbier, Guy) and the period when France was at the forefront of both technological cinematic development and aesthetic experimentation.

Some aspects of this cinematic history are well documented. Certain figures (Renoir, Clair, Gabin), films (from Le Voyage à travers l'impossible to La Règle du jeu) hold clear positions, canonized in the story of world cinema. And yet, compared with the critical and scholarly attention currently devoted to contemporary cinema, there remain many aspects of French film history from this period that have yet to be investigated, or which are ripe for re-evaluation.

For example, scholarly work on the silent period has largely focused on the high brow, from the impressionist films of Epstein or Dulac to the epics of Abel Gance, while popular stars (Chevalier, Linder, Mistinguett, Musidora) and genres (crime films, melodramas) have attracted less attention. And, while the 1930s may be synonymous with the classic films of Poetic Realism, or the avant garde challenges of Surrealism, as Dudley Andrew points out, these films represent less than 10% of those produced during the decade (1995: 16).

The aim of this conference, then, is to go some way to redressing the balance, to encourage scholarship in this area, to re-examine some well-worn myths of these foundational decades of French cinema, and to open up new areas for historical investigation. Papers are invited on any aspect of French cinema prior to the Occupation. In particular, papers are solicited on the following areas:

* Silent French cinema
* The transition from silent cinema to sound
* Cinema and music
* Stardom and performance
* Popular genres and series
* Colonial cinema
* French cinema in the international arena
* Cinema and the avant-garde
* Cinema and politics in the Third Republic
* Structures of the industry

Please send abstracts of between 200 and 300 words to Sarah Leahy ( by 1 December 2007.

NOTE A L'INTENTION DE COLLEGUES FRANCOPHONES: Nous faisons circuler les communications ecrites quinze jours avant le colloque et le jour meme nous demandons aux intervenants un resume de 5-10 minutes, suivi de debats. Vous pouvez nous proposer des communications en francais, mais normalement nous vous demanderions de presenter votre communication en anglais.

Badware Guide for Casual Internet Users

Last week, released a report titled "Trends in Badware 2007: What Internet users need to know."

The document is a plain-English explanation of modern security threats on the web, covering iframe injections, phishing on social networks, and scareware, among other topics.

In an environment that often offers only arcane cues to malice or wrongdoing, the 12-page document is a straightforward way to improve security awareness in the casual Internet user.

Read the report:

For this post:

Is DRM "Enabling New Business Models"?


Advocates for the DMCA's ban on circumventing DRM have long argued that legal protection for DRM is necessary to "enable new business models" that will "create more choices for consumers." A recent blog post by Yahoo Music's general manager, Ian Rogers, suggests that the DMCA hasn't actually delivered on that rosy promise.

We hate to sound like a broken record here at EFF, but how about offering fans a blanket downloading license for a few dollars a month?

For EFF Senior Staff Attorney Fred von Lohmann's complete analysis:

For Yahoo Music GM Ian Rogers' blog post:

See our white paper, " A Better Way Forward: Voluntary Collective Licensing of Music File Sharing":

For more on Digital Rights Management (DRM):