Friday, November 30, 2007

Social networking sites and the end of the intermediary - Call for Papers

‘Social networking sites and the end of the intermediary’

Special Commentary Section of Media and Cultural Politics
Issue 4.2

As the use of the Internet and computer networks expands and integrates with everyday life, there is a growing recognition of how the Internet is stimulating and facilitating the breakdown between creator and user, and is forever changing the distribution practices and policies of the media industry (in music, cinema, television). According to some accounts, this breakdown between creator and user, brought forward by new platforms of file sharing and accommodated in social networking sites, allows a greater engagement with media texts as a result of the increase in access facilitated by digitisation. It also allows a process of ‘disintermediation’, particularly in the field of distribution, as digital technologies, and specifically the Internet, have created a virtual space in which mediation is far more complex, and provide for the ability to democratize media distribution and consumption- Madonna’s shift from Warner to the Live Nation company, or Radiohead’s decision to distribute their new album via their website predicts a different future for the music industry. This is happening despite the risk of cacophony from innumerable individuals and collectives now making their media output available for download (free–exchange, restricted exchange, or for purchase) across the Internet.

Music, film, TV lovers sharing the same cultural capital ‘meet’ on social networking sites, organise themselves into specific communities, and exchange and talk about their favourite songs, videos, film, TV extracts, constructing their own on-site identity. At the same time, the proliferation of such sites, arguably, impacts on the reign of a celebrity culture, and the end of privacy.

This is a call for short essays for the commentary section of the International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics (MCP) on the ways in which social networking sites have shifted our understandings of creation, production and consumption of media texts, and their various repercussions on social, cultural and political life, ranging, for example, from the emergence of D.I.Y. celebrities to the altered profile of political debates. We invite essays that address any of the following questions and others not covered here:

What are the social consequences of digitally distributed music and the new ethnographies of the internet seen, for example, in fan–authored MP3 blogs?

To what extent does the proliferation of social networking sites has facilitated the development of fandom, especially in the indie music scene?

To what extent have the new file sharing technologies/platforms disrupted conventional regimes of music and film or TV distribution?

How can a website such as, aspiring to become the most significant destination for free and legal music downloading, making music piracy and risky file sharing a thing of the past, shift the agenda on copyright and intellectual property issues?

Essays should be no longer than 2.000 words, including references, a short biographical note and contact details.

MCP addresses cultural politics in their local, international and global dimensions, and promotes critical, in-depth, engaged research on the intersections of sociology, politics, cultural studies and media studies. MCP is peer-reviewed and aims to provide a forum for debate arising from findings as well as theory and methodologies, so a range of research approaches and methods is encouraged.

Deadline : 7 January 2008

For more information on the journal’s style guidelines please visit:

Seminars at CSA 2008 - Call for Papers

*Please find eight (8) seminars listed below

I. Economy after the Cultural Turn

[Individuals interested in participating in this Cultural Studies Association seminar should contact S. Charusheela or Colin Danby by January 20, 2008:;]

Seminar Description:
Cultural Studies has helped us resist both culture’s reduction to an epiphenomenon of an economic base, and its elevation to a pure space of imagination divorced from material contexts and histories. At the same time, recent scholarship shows an anxiety that the “cultural turn” has left us unable to take questions of class, poverty, inequality, and globalization adequately into account. The worry seems to be that subjectivity and identity crowd out class and capitalism, hat poststructuralism ultimately issues into a (neo?)liberal multiculturalism, despite an historical conjuncture at which voracious capitalism has re-emerged as an urgent challenge.

But even if we accept this urgency, what conception of the economy and the economic should we turn to? Can we simply reverse the cultural turn and return to the problematics of an earlier era? Should we? Or have we learnt enough from a generation’s work in cultural studies, and a generation’s critical work within political economy, that might help us rethink the terms of the culture-economy engagement?

We propose a robust encounter between contemporary cultural studies and contemporary heterodox economics – the scholarly work within the field of economics that has refashioned and rethought base concepts and approaches to economy. This seminar will address questions such as how we define economy and the “economic,” what the relationship (if any) might be between varied conceptions of economic and linguistic value, and how we conceptualize capitalism and globalization.

Seminar Requirements:
Seminar participants will be asked to read a set of papers by scholars in heterodox economics and related areas of social analysis. Seminar participants will be urged to submit a short paper/work in progress to share with members in advance. Those papers should be sent to the seminar moderators by March 24th, and will be distributed to all seminar participants by March 31st. The seminar will be conducted as an engagement between fields of social analysis that focus on “economy” and papers by participants from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives and projects who seek to incorporate recent heterodox conversations about ‘economy’ into
their work.

Seminar moderators:
S. Charusheela
Associate Professor,
Women’s Studies,
University of Nevada

Colin Danby
Associate Professor,
Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences,
University of Washington, Bothell
Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences,
University of Washington

II. The Opening Shots Project, Cinema and Web 2.0

[Individuals interested in participating in this Cultural Studies Association seminar should contact Evan Heimlich by January 20, 2008:]

Seminar Description:
The internet offers possibilities for public yet focused collaborations on film research. For example, each contribution to the Opening Shots Project displays a digital capture of the opening shot of a chosen film, before briefly explaining what the shot does and why it works. (See, and Jim Emerson, the founder and moderator of the Project, has indicated that, schedule allowing, he may participate in this seminar. This seminar will address the Opening Shots Project’s contexts and its contents. Each seminar participant will be asked to read the Project to date, and submit at least one contribution for publication in the Project by February 1. During the spring each participant will be asked to read the Project’s additional entries while participating in an academic blog discussion centered on the Project.

The context includes how Web 2.0 (featuring user-generated content) relates to cinema, film criticism, and scholarship. (On emerging models for media-studies scholarship broadly, see Particularly this seminar asks how the following two formations interface: on one hand, the twentieth-century developments of a mass-public sphere, by cinema and its marketing; on the other hand, the twenty-first century developments of ‘netizen’ space by Web 2.0.

In addition to the Opening Shots Project, secondarily the seminar will reference larger-scale, Web 2.0 databases on films’ consumption—particularly, which allows users efficiently to compare, in terms of “METASCORES,” a film’s user-generated reviews against an array of the leading, professional reviews. (See,, and What do’s layouts and rhetorics say about emerging changes in film consumption? What is the political economy for’s content? How does offer new approaches for studying films’ marketing and reception by professional and amateur critics?
Further readings: TBA.

Seminar Organizer:
The organizer of this seminar is Evan Heimlich, a Specially Appointed Associate Professor in Japan at Kobe University’s Faculty of Intercultural Studies, who recently completed his Ph.D. at the University of Kansas in American Studies. His dissertation is titled Divination by The Ten Commandments: Its Rhetorics and their Genealogies. He also holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an M.A. from the University at Buffalo (SUNY). Heimlich, who has studied the hermeneutics of mass culture with scholars including the late Leslie Fiedler, primarily is researching how mass mediums deploy rhetorics of divination. He coordinated and chaired the CSA’s 2006 seminar on performativity. His publications include “Cinema in Control and Conscience: Moviemakers from ‘Double V’ to McCarthyism,” a chapter in You’re
History, the anthology that answered Bob Geldof’s call for an Intellectual Live 8. Contact modern.divination{at}gmail{dot}com

III. Specters, ghosts and revenants: The return of that which returns

[Individuals interested in participating in this Cultural Studies Association seminar should contact Sladja Blazan by January 20, 2008:]

Seminar Overview:
"And to superstition must we trust at the first," pronounces Van Helsing in Bram Stoker's Dracula, echoing various scholars, writers and characters before and after 1897, the publication year of the famous novel. It is Immanuel Kant who first calls for a proper exploration of ghosts explaining: "it should occur to somebody to insist upon the question, just what kind of a thing that is about which these people think they understand so much" (1766). The question posed by the German philosopher only gained in significance since 1766, considering that ghosts (and the narrativization of ghostly matters) never left "this mortal coil." On the contrary, during the last decade ghosts have enjoyed a renaissance of sorts on TV screens as well as in cinemas across the U.S. Broadening from cinematic case studies (including current popular series such as Medium, The Ghost Whisperer, Supernatural, Lost) this seminar will explore the nature of ghostly figures and ways in which they could lend authority to previously silenced voices. Embedded in the formation of a so-called parallel reality, the ghost figure managed to shift otherwise sedimented perspectives and articulate seemingly ineffable matters. The seminar should demonstrate in which essential ways these conflict areas shape the idea of the Self, highlight important influences from the Anglo-American ghost tradition and put everything in the context of our current time in which a return of that which returns becomes progressively more apparent.

The general fascination excited by ghost stories, alone, identifies these narratives as important bridges between narratives of the Self and structural ties to the Other. In addition, Stephen Greenblatt and Jules Michelet before, described historiography as a discourse with the dead. This notion is shaping contemporary critical theory, where spectrality is becoming a methodological tool for scholars trying to come to terms with history (Benett 1999, Bergland 2000, Buse 1999, Derrida 1994, Finucane 1996, Pytlik 2003, Ratmoko 2005, Stockhammer 2000, Weinstock 2004). The ghostliness of history, alluding to the repetition of historical events, revision of historical data and recreation of historical narratives, will be at the center of our attention. Recalling current representations of ghostly matters proves that the apparitional figure today lost its original obscurity through repeated utilization. Thus, this seminar is not concerned with the existence of ghosts, as they have obviously never left "this mortal coil," but with reasons for their continuous presence and their by now tamed nature in the Anglo-American cultural context. The participants will prepare papers on the topic, which we will circulate in advance and discuss during the conference. Please send a short proposal (250 words) and a short bio to Thank you.

Seminar Organizer:
Sladja Blazan
Visiting Scholar, Humboldt Fellow
Germanic Languages and Literatures
New York University

Sladja Blazan is a visiting professor at New York University where she is working on her current book on ghostly figures in nineteenth-century Anglo-American narratives as a Humboldt fellow. She received her Ph.D. from Humboldt University Berlin after finishing her M.A. studies in Berlin, New York and Dublin. Her publications two books, American Fictionary: Postsozialistische Migration in der amerikanischen Literatur (Heidelber: Winter, 2006) and Ghosts, Stories, Histories: Ghost Stories and Alternative Histories (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007) and various articles in literature, art and culture magazines and edited collections such as (forthcoming) “The Importance of Being a Ghost: Mapping Genealogy without History in Narratives of the Early American Republic. ” American Literatur; “Haunting History: The Ghostliness of History in Contemporary Novels.” Cultural Memory and Multiple Identities. Wilfried Raussert, und Rüdiger Kunow, eds. (Berlin: LIT Verlag, 2007); “Performing Ethnic Heroes in New York Novels of the 1990s.” CinematoGraphies: Visual Discourses and Literary Strategies in 1990s' New York. Günter H. Lenz, Dorothea Löbbermann, and Karl-Heinz Magister, eds. (Heidelberg: Winter, 2006); with Judith Hopf. "Turning Tables." No Matter How Bright the Light, the Crossing Occurs at Night. (Köln: König, 2006). Her interdisciplinary work focuses on interconnections between literature, philosophy, sociology and feminism.

IV. Queer Worlds: A Seminar in Queer Cultural Studies

[Individuals interested in participating in this Cultural Studies Association seminar should contact Travis Sands by January 20, 2008:]

Seminar Overview:
In recent years, queer studies increasingly has been marked by considerations of what practices of queer critique can contribute to conversations about race and racial formation, the transnational flows of bodies and cultures, and the “provincialization” of Anglo-US critical epistemologies. As many have noted, recent work in queer studies has drawn on sexual epistemologies often elided in earlier queer critical work, and queer studies has experienced a shift towards intersectional analysis—a shift that has set off new debates about disciplinarity and the limits of what queer can be and mean. Echoing the title of a recent Social Text special issue, this seminar will ask “What’s queer about queer studies now?” even as we problematize the temporal assumptions inherent in this question and give particular attention to efforts in queer studies that engage fields of normalization beyond and in addition to the heteronormative. This same question has framed much of the work of an interdisciplinary research cluster that the seminar leaders have organized at the University of Washington, and our intent here is both to open dialogue between participants from across institutions and disciplinary formations and to encourage collaboration between scholars from different locations.

This seminar is animated by our concern with keeping “sexuality” open as a domain of critical inquiry. We contend that any consideration of the ever-mobile logics of global capital requires a consideration of how sexuality has constituted and been constituted by transformations in transnational political, economic, and cultural formations. Through collaboration, we hope both to develop new frameworks for ‘thinking sex’ in a context that emphasizes the unevenness of global capital and the non-analogous relations between sexual life-worlds, and to perform a queer critical praxis that produces knowledge in critical relationship to the expressive individualism, intellectual exceptionalism, and heteropatriarchal protocols that remain the sine qua non of academic production.

Toward these goals, the seminar will follow three primary trajectories: the first will consider how sexuality is presently being deployed in a range of queer critical projects, and how questions of space, scale and disciplinarity inform multiple productions of “sexuality” as an epistemological object; the second will query how and the extent to which “queer,” in its present articulations, names an interdisciplinary pedagogical praxis; and the third will explore the difference between thinking about queer world-making and engaging in it through cultural study, public scholarship, and coalition building. In preparation for the seminar, participants will be organized into small clusters, and will collaborate electronically to develop short dossiers on one of the following: queer epistemic shifts, queer locations and globalizations, queer pedagogy, and queer public intellectualism. These dossiers will be circulated prior to the seminar, and will be supplemented by a small set of readings to provide common points of reference.

This design is intended to produce collaborations and discussion that will address the following questions: How have US formations of “gay” and “lesbian” sexualities been instrumentalized in the service of exceptionalist discourses such that they become hegemonic on a global scale? How might the practices and epistemologies of non-hegemonic queer worlds enable us to track different histories of sexuality, histories that demand “alternate” understandings of capitalist modernity? How might such practices and epistemologies inform more dynamic understandings of the intellectual work presently being done in sexuality and queer studies? How do emerging queer epistemologies enable interventions that are anti-imperialist, anti-racist, and attentive to the imperatives of rethinking sex beyond the liberal paradigm of rights, state recognition, and domestic privacy? What queer intellectual histories, communities, and affectivities get lost or deprivileged in these emerging epistemologies? What critical frameworks can be produced for thinking “queerness” as a practice that extends beyond the academy and that does not simply reproduce “queer” as an object of academic (sub)disciplines? And finally, how might these new directions enable forms of politics and collectivity that imagine “otherwise” to craft queer worlds to come?

Seminar Organizers:
Travis Sands (University of Washington, English)
Calla Chancellor (University of Washington, Women’s Studies)
Jessica Johnson (University of Washington, Anthropology)
Jason Morse (University of Washington, English)

*Please direct all correspondence to:
Travis Sands
Department of English
University of Washington
Box 354330
Seattle, Wa 98195-4330
Phone: 206.612.3658

V. Replications: Performing and Re-staging America at Home and broad

[Individuals interested in participating in this Cultural Studies Association seminar should contact Barbara Lewis or Susan Tenneriello by January 20, 2008:;]

Seminar Overview:
Driven by price and desire, the composite sense that is America today and was America yesterday depends on the appeal of unity and expansion, with the visual, technological, economic, and performative absorbing the sensibilities of the diverse and different yet downplaying the significance of such disparities. Being like our neighbors, having what they have, doing what they do has long been an American aspiration. Why are we so invested in replicating what is seen, known, done? What standard does the demand for sameness impose? How does this new spectacle of sameness, if indeed it is new, connect to the constant reproduction, of replication promoted in the formula film, in the rush to mallification, and in the commercial mandate to have every Starbucks or McDonald’s or hotel room look virtually like any other in an endless chain of cities in an erasure of difference? What impact does constant reproduction have on our collective psyche?

Valuing sameness is by no means a new tenet of the American dream, which is not limited geographically to the United States, but is marketed globally. We have only to remember Henry Ford and the cookie-cutter conformity of his Model T’s early in the twentieth century or the craze for Uncle Tom memorabilia unleashed by Stowe’s famous novel or the passion for a memento of the Jinny Lind concert tour in the nineteenth. Is there a difference when the impulse to sameness is motivated by dreams of mobility, as in the car, or by belonging to the culture of the book or exalted art, as with Stowe and Lind, versus the reduction within four cornered borders as is suggested by the frame of the photograph? Is there a downside to such a pursuit of sameness? In the extreme, the spectacle of sameness informs the culture of lynching, which celebrates an American conformity at the same time that it punishes, even executes, an American difference. What are the cultural and political and social costs of the project of sameness? How has the spectacle of sameness, the desire for replication, evolved or changed from earlier eras?

Our seminar explores the notion of replication in culture and the persistent role "American" plays as producing agent in deploying spectacles of sameness. The focus of our inquiry pursues the influence of replicated experience on public perceptions, as well as how “consumer-friendly” fields of cultural signage are repeated worldwide. Our interest is in looking not just at the influence and extent of what is American in the twenty-first century, but also at the increasing attention to be paid to constructs or critiques of the American in earlier eras and in other New World locations, whether in the Caribbean, in South or Central America, Canada, or Mexico.

We conceive the seminar as a launch point for on-going inquiry among conference attendees. We seek a range of perspectives that investigate the American project as stage (or staging) of cultural replication worldwide. Interdisciplinary approaches to the subject are especially welcome. Possible points of investigation include but are not limited to:

How is America perceived and how has that perception changed over time?
What is the price for being Americanized?
What is its appeal?
What does it give and what does it take away, what does it satisfy?
Can the American agenda be considered a giant step toward or a retreat from the destination of a more just global future?
How would the optimum global economy best be described, achieved?
What happens to resistant practices within global replication?
How does cultural replication affect distinct traditions?

Seminar Requirements:
We ask seminar participants to send a 500-word abstract, institutional affiliation, brief bio (max.100 words), and contact information to seminar co-leaders.

Seminar Format:
Selected participants will each submit a 10-12 page paper by 3 April 2008.
Participants will paired prior to the conference for on-line discussion and provide responses in the seminar. Co-leaders plan to engage participants and audience in critical dialogue toward creating a framework of major themes and areas for future development.

Seminar Organizers:
Barbara Lewis, Associate Professor, is the Director of the William Monroe Trotter Institute for the Study of Black History and Culture at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, where she holds a joint appointment in the Departments of Africana Studies and English. As a theatre historian, she has published on lynching and performance, minstrelsy, and the black arts movement of the sixties. As a playwright, her work has been presented at festivals and on professional stages nationally and internationally. As a Francophone scholar, she co-translated Faulkner, Mississippi by Edouard Glissant, which was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux (1999). Dr. Lewis has taught at City College, Lehman, and New York University. Prior to being named Director of the Trotter Institute, she was Chair of the Department of Theatre at the University of Kentucky.

Susan Tenneriello is assistant professor of theatre at Baruch College, CUNY. She writes extensively on theater, dance and visual art, pursuing interdisciplinary work in cultural aesthetics. Current work on the nineteenth-century spectacle industry appears in the Journal of American Drama and Theatre 19:3 (Fall 2007). Her performance criticism is published in Theatre Journal, Women and Performance, Slavic and East European Performance, and The Journal of the Pirandello Society of America. She is also a playwright and member of America-in-Play.

Barbara Lewis (
Associate Professor
Department of English
University of Massachusetts-Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125

Susan Tenneriello (
Assistant Professor
Department of Fine and Performing Arts, B7-235
Baruch College
One Bernard Baruch Way
New York, NY 10010

VI. Taking Risks in Literature and Culture

[Individuals interested in participating in this Cultural Studies Association seminar should contact Helen Kapstein by January 20, 2008:]

Seminar Description:
In his 1992 book Risk Society, Ulrich Beck describes a society organized by its response to risk in which “risk may be defined as a systematic way of dealing with hazards and insecurities induced and introduced by modernization itself.”

We are now accepting proposals for a seminar on risk, a concept most often associated with sociological studies of risk cultures, actuarial risk assessment, and economic studies of risk-taking and –sharing, but here enlarged to apply to literary and cultural representations of and experiments with risk. Risk-taking might be approached from the perspective of a specific field of inquiry such as public policy, psychology, medicine, or finance, or from a theoretical angle such as danger, threat, uncertainty, or challenge. The goal of this seminar is to use the concept of risk to probe the seam between literature and culture and to take our own risks in the uses and definitions of these theories and categories.

Seminar Requirements:
To apply for this seminar, the prospective participant should submit a proposal (in the format of his/her choice) describing the research project that brings them to the question of risk. Include contact information with email address and a brief bio. Email submissions preferred.

Once accepted for the seminar, participants will be asked to read Mary Douglas’s Risk and Blame (Routledge, 1994), Ulrich Beck’s Risk Society (Sage, 1992), or another theoretical statement on risk. They should also be prepared to circulate abstracts of their projects to the other participants. We will aim to move back and forth between our theoretical readings and the research projects in order to generate a deeper knowledge of what might be gained (and also what the risks are) in considering risk-taking for our respective objects of critical inquiry.

Seminar Organizer:
Professor Helen Kapstein

John Jay College, CUNY
English Department
445 W 59th Street
New York, NY 10019

Seminar moderator:
Helen Kapstein is a tenured Assistant Professor of English at John Jay College, The City University of New York. She earned her PhD in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University. Her areas of scholarly interest include postcolonial and contemporary British literatures, cultural and media studies, and southern African literature and culture. Her current book project is entitled A New Kind of Safari: Tourism in Postcolonial Literature and Culture and her recent publications include an article on domestic tourism in Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies (January 2007), an article on Bessie Head in Critical Essays on Bessie Head (Praeger-Greenwood, 2003), and an article on South African
detective fiction in the journal Anthropology and Humanism (June 2003).

VII. Transoceanic Dialogues: Working Group

[Individuals interested in participating in this Cultural Studies Association seminar should contact May Joseph by January 20, 2008:]

Seminar Overview:
This seminar is interested in drawing into conversations research from the Pacific Rim, the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Gulf, and the South China Seas that engages with trans-oceanic exchanges. The seminar will privilege research on material culture, the body, the senses, movement, everyday life, cities and performance. The objective of the cluster is to initiate a transoceanic dialogue where work on the Indian ocean engages with the debates and controversies of work emerging out of other oceanic and water bound paradigms. What are some of the tensions and difficulties of doing transoceanic work. How might we begin to create a context for shared exchanges that builds upon the growing work around oceanic histories and river logics. There will be required texts to be read that will emerge once the working group has been established. Participants will prepare three page position papers that situate their own work within the larger frameworks of oceanic studies and offer key texts they find helpful to their own thinking through their particular areas of research. This is a working group whose primary focus is to learn from different genealogies, disciplines and approaches. Its objective is to establish a working cluster that can meet every year to continue to exchange research.

Seminar Organizer:
May Joseph is a theater director and Associate Professor of Global Studies in the Department of Social Science and Cultural Studies at Pratt Institute, New York. Joseph has written widely on Indian Ocean cultural flows, and works on globalization, urbanism, performance and visual culture. She is the author of Nomadic Identities: The Performance of Citizenship (Minnesota, 1999) and coeditor (with Jennifer Fink) of Performing Hybridity (Minnesota, 1999). Other co-edited volumes include City Corps (Journal of Space and Culture), New Hybrid Identities (Women and Performance, 1995) and Bodywork (Women and Performance, 1999). She is completing a book on urban citizenship called Metro Lives: Performing the City, forthcoming from Duke University Press. Joseph is on the editorial boards of Cultural Studies and XCP: Cross-Cultural Poetics, and a puppeteer with the Penny Jones Early Childhood Puppet Theater in New York City.

VIII. What is Childhood Studies- and how do we teach it in the classroom?

[Individuals interested in participating in this Cultural Studies Association seminar should contact Stephen Gennaro by January 20, 2008:]

Seminar Overview:
“Childhood” has become a hotly contested subject in academic discourse. Its growth in popularity parallels the emphasis over the last half century in the field of cultural studies to give voice to the “voiceless.” Childhood & Children’s Studies now occupy an important place in academia, as illustrated by the fact that York University in Toronto and Rutgers University have both recently added degree granting Children’s Studies programs. In this seminar, a potential syllabus for a first year undergraduate course “Introduction to Children’s Studies” will be looked at - and a series of constructivist activities will be used for each week of the syllabus- to illustrate ways of engaging student activity and critical thought in both small seminar and large lecture style classrooms. Participants in this seminar are asked to read the United Nations Convention on the Rights of The Child (available at in advance and come to the seminar with an activity designed to help teach some aspect of the convention. At the completion of the workshop each participant will be given a copy of each of the seminar’s activities, in addition to a copy of each of the activities designed by the other 14 participants. Please note that this is a workshop for all teachers, not only those in childhood studies, since many of the activities used in this workshop can be adapted and used to cover other areas of cultural studies.

Seminar Organizer:
Stephen Gennaro is a cultural historian of youth and media. He has over 10 years of teaching experience at all levels from nursery school to undergraduate and has been developing curriculum for public school boards and private institutions for close to 15 years. Stephen is currently teaching in the Children's Studies Department at York University in Toronto, Canada.

Design Cinema 2008 - Call for Papers

DESIGN CINEMA 2008 'Design-en-scène'

3rd International Design and Cinema Conference
19-22 November, 2008
Istanbul Technical University, Faculty of Architecture

Call for Papers - Deadline for abstract submissions: 30 March 2008

The moving image has become a powerful medium for the representation of designed worlds and revolutionized the abstraction of that which is designed. While designers have become more open to the interests of cinema, cinema is expansively engaged with issues of design. This third meeting of the series Design and Cinema is organized with the intention of bringing together scholars and practitioners for theorizing and rhetorizing the interpretation and production of those environments assumed to exist as real, hyper-real and/or virtual, embracing all hybrid forms. We believe that this theme will uncover those other far-reaching issues related to the realized and potential mise-en-scène designed.

The real covers issues of designing of objects and environments, and the experience of the designed, as in the staging of the setting including both the actors and the scenery. Since what we understand from the hyper-real is an illusion whose effects are more real than the reality itself, the socio-political character of this phenomenon is expected to unravel itself in discussions dealing with the forces involved in the manipulation of reality and the blurring of the real for those who experience it in their daily lives. The virtual understood as a parallel universe, the technology and know-how employed in its implementation, and all hybrid forms of existing parallel in the world of the real and the virtual are expected to be the focus of discussions here.

Ideas, speculative propositions, media, practices, products, that fall under the issues presented here are welcome. Buildings, environments, products, film, television, computers, costume, games, sound, all are expected to act as agents of discussion.

Key issues include, but are not limited to the following areas of interest:

2D, 3D, 4D, Animation, Advertisement, Artificial Intelligence, Artwork-based entertainment, Audiovisual media, Atmosphere creating, Character design, Cinematic design, Comedy, Comics, Commercials, Computer games, Computer generated, Costume, Digital media, Digital Sculpture, Disneyification, Entertainment industry, Fiction, Film Analysis, Game industry, Game Culture, Gender, Sexuality and Popular Culture, Graphic Storytelling, Holography, Home theatre, Horror, Interactive game tools, Interactive installations, Interactive media, Make-up, Matte painting, Media Convergence, Motion Capture, Multi-dimensional environments, Narrative media, New media, Parallel universes, Personal immersive environment, Physical Spaces, Portable multi-media, Post-production, Props, Robotics, Science Fiction, Screening, Sets, Simulacra and simulation, Special effects, Society of the spectacle, Sound, Stage design, Storytelling, Supernatural Theatre buildings, Theories of Media, TV broadcasts, TV characters, World making, Virtual spaces

We seek to bring to the front through this conference one of the ongoing discussions: representation and realization of the designed setting with reference to theory, tools, and practices.

Important dates:
30 March 2008 - Submission of abstracts (750 words)
30 April 2008 - Notification of accepted abstracts
30 June 2008 - Submission of full papers
30 July 2008 - Notification of accepted papers
30 October 2008 - Deadline for registration
19-22 October 2008 - Conference

Submitted abstracts and papers will be reviewed by an international scientific committee. Keynote speakers will be announced following their confirmation, although positive contacts have been established.

Electronic submission of papers is required in .pdf and .doc format.
Abstracts of 750 words, with brief resume should be submitted to
All the necessary details will be announced at the conference website.
Abstracts will be published as a hard copy, and the full papers in CD format.

For additional information about the past conferences, you can either check the conference website ( or the published book 'Design and Cinema: form follows film' by Cambridge Scholars Press, UK (ISBN: 9781847180032).

Steering Committee
Belkis Uluoglu
Ayhan Ensici
Ali Vatansever
Istanbul Technical University, Faculty of Architecture
Taskisla, Taksim 34714
Istanbul, Turkey.

Conference contact:

For more information and the Call for Papers, please visit:

Design and Cinema Conferences

Thursday, November 29, 2007

4th International Conference on e-Social Science

4th International Conference on e-Social Science
Manchester, June 18th-20th, 2008

Initial Announcement and Call for Submissions

The aim of the conference on e-Social Science is to bring together leading international representatives of the social science, e-Infrastructure/ cyberinfrastructure and e-Research communities in order to improve mutual awareness, harmonize understanding and instigate coordinated activities to accelerate research, development and deployment of powerful, new research methods and tools for the social sciences and beyond.

We invite contributions from members of the social science,e-Infrastructure/ cyberinfrastructure and e-Research communities with experience of, or interests in:

1) exploring, developing, and applying new methods, practices, and tools afforded by new infrastructure technologies - such as the Grid and Web 2.0 - in order to further social science research; and

2) studying issues impacting on the wider take-up of e-Research.

Submission categories include: full and short papers, posters, demos, workshops, tutorials and panels.

Topics of interest include, but are not restricted to, the following:

* Case studies of the application of e-Social Science research methods to substantive social science problems

* Advances in tools and techniques for quantitative and qualitative e-Social Science, including statistical analysis, simulation, data mining, text mining, social network analysis and collaborative environments

* Enabling new sources and forms of sociological data through e-Social Science, including ethical issues and challenges in the collection, integration, sharing and analysis of sociological and other personal data

* The e-Research technical roadmap, including grids, web 2.0 and their future (co-evolution)

Important Deadlines

Paper abstracts: January 25th, 2008.

Workshop, tutorial and panel outlines: February 22nd, 2008.

Poster and demo abstracts: March 21st, 2008.

Submission instructions will appear on the conference web site in December.

Authors will be informed of the programme committees decision in early March, 2008.

For full details of this call, including a full list of topics of interest and submission instructions, please visit

Refractory: Journal of Entertainment Media - Call for Papers


Refractory: a Journal of Entertainment Media is a refereed, peer-reviewed, e-journal that explores the diverging and intersecting aspects of current and past entertainment media. The journal is published by the Cinema Studies Program, School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne.

ISSUE THEME: Split-Screen: Doubling, Duplicity & the Audiovisual

The split-screen is a particularly cinematic device that symbolizes the voyeuristic omnipresence / omniscience that tends to characterize screen spectatorship. Yet, split-screens also expose their own artificiality, baring the mechanics of screen culture by announcing their very constructed-ness. Thus splitting constitutes a doubling that leads to the revelation of duplicity. The split generates a critical rupture — one that we posit as intrinsic to audiovisual media and its theoretical interpretation.

This special issue of Refractory seeks to mine the motif of the split-screen in order to explore aspects of duality and duplicity in relation to screen culture — not just in terms of the audio/ visual relationship, but also, spectatorial processes (both engagement and identification), representation, film theory and industrial/ technological developments. The spectre of the split seems to haunt contemporary screen media from every angle, surfacing in relation to zombie flicks, double-crossing double agents, dubbing technologies and Multiple Language Versions, to name but a few.

We invite contributors to take up this theme from a variety of historical and contemporary perspectives or multi-disciplinary approaches. Possible themes may include (but are not limited to):

• Screen zombies, clones, androids, dummies & twins
• Double agents & split personalities
• Body doubles & TV soap replacement actors
• Motifs of mirroring
• Echo & Narcissus
• Cinema's "Coming Of Sound"
• Early cinema lecturers and Talker Pictures
• Dubbing & (post)synchronization
• Sound as ventriloquism (i.e. Rick Altman, Mary Ann Doane) &/or ghost (i.e. Robert Spadoni)
• Bollywood Playback Singers
• Split-screens in the oeuvres of directors such as Brian De Palma & Darren Aronofsky
• Multiplying the split: 24 (Fox Network) & Timecode (Mike Figgis, 2000)
• Suture theory
• Two-tiered models of film interpretation
• Conceptualising the film/theory split
• Split-theories (i.e. Deleuze's time/movement break)
• Derrida's theory of the supplement (le supplément)
• Director's Cuts & Alternate Takes
• Remakes & Multiple Language Versions (MLVs)
• Rotoscoping animation techniques (i.e. Linklater's A Scanner Darkly, 2006)
• 3D technologies & double camerawork
• Disharmonies between sound & image (i.e. Godard)
• Films such as Singin' In The Rain (Stanley Donen, 1952), The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974), Blow Out (Brian de Palma, 1981), Palindromes (Todd Solondz, 2004) & I'm Not There (Todd Haynes, 2007)


Abstracts Due: 3 March 2008
Notification: 31 March 2008
Manuscripts Due: 15 June 2008
Publication: August/September 2008


Tessa Dwyer & Mehmet Mehmet
Cinema Studies Program
School of Culture & Communication
The University of Melbourne

All enquiries & submissions:

Information for Submissions:

All submissions are to be made electronically as rich text format (rtf) documents. Abstracts of up to 500 words should consist of a short paragraph outlining your intended approach, a brief biography & full contact details. Completed manuscripts should range from 3000 to 7000 words.

To be considered for publication, manuscripts must follow the submission guidelines for authors detailed here:
Formatting should follow the Chicago Author-Date System (see Chicago Manual of
Style, 15th ed or Refractory is a fully refereed journal. All submissions will be anonymously peer reviewed before acceptance.

Journeys Across Media Conference, University of Reading


Reality, Reliability and Access in Performance and Media

11 April 2008

Department of Film, Theatre & Television — University of Reading Supported by the Standing Committee of University Drama Departments (SCUDD) and the Graduate School in Arts and Humanities, University of Reading.

What do we really mean when we say something is authentic? How important are questions of authenticity to our engagement with media texts, performance and institutions? As a concept, authenticity remains imprecise despite its frequent association with many aspects of film, theatre, television and new media. JAM 2008, the sixth annual conference for postgraduates run by postgraduates at the Department of Film, Theatre and Television welcomes proposals that interrogate and put pressure on the idea of 'authenticity' in film, theatre, television and new media.

The following themes and sample issues are central but not exclusive:

- Narrative – How important are issues of narrative status to both fictional and non-fictional texts? In what various ways is interiority constructed, presented and limited?

- Spectatorship and point of view – How does our perception of authenticity structure the critical and emotional experience of different media forms? How does the construction of point of view expand or limit our assessment of visual media and performance?

- Authorship — How do we conceptualise the 'author' within the construction and reception of the text? Is this more important and/or relevant when considering different media practices or performances? Does awareness of authorial intent affect practitioners, participants and academics differently?

- Form – In what manner is reality constructed and achieved in performance and media? How is this process important to our understanding of and engagement with the text? What is the status of aural and visual special-effects in relation to realism?

- Medium specificity – How do restrictions of access take on specific forms according to the medium involved? Do changes in performance rhetoric affect our understanding of authenticity across differing visual media?

Call for papers deadline: Friday 18th January 2008

Please send a 250-word proposal and biographical note to Lucy Fife at Papers should be no more than 20 minutes. Registration details will follow in January 2007.

Journeys Across Media (JAM) is an annual one-day interdisciplinary conference organised by and for postgraduate students. It provides a discussion forum for current and developing research in film, theatre, television and 'new media'. Previous delegates have welcomed the opportunity to gain experience of presenting their work, at different stages of development, in the active, friendly and supportive research environment of Film, Theatre & Television at the University of Reading. Non-presenting delegates are also very welcome.

Mobilefest: London presented by FILMOBILE

FILMOBILE is organising a unique networking event in collaboration with the Mobilefest (São Paulo) in the Centre for Excellence at the University of Westminster on the 6th December. The program includes presentations by filmmakers and organisations working with mobile devices. A live web broadcast with the Mobilefest in Brazil is scheduled to take place during the networking event. The talk is followed by an open discussion and a wine reception.

The event is free to attend but registration via the New media eXchange website ( is required in advance:

Please register early as guest list capacity is limited.

Speakers in London:

Eva Weber (BBC and documentary director - The Intimacy of Strangers)

Lisa Roberts (Pocket Shorts, Video Umbrella, Single Shot)

Daniel Florencio (Filmmaker and Current TV pods producer)

Camille Barker (Artist and SMARTLab researcher)

Max Schleser (Mobile filmmaker and researcher)

Speakers in São Paulo:

Alberto Tognazzi - MovilFilm Fest,
Zico Góes - Programme director MTV,
Maurício Hirata – Ministry of Culture, Brazil,
Wagner Martins – Economist ("Cocadaboa"),
Mauro Rubens – VJ and video artist,
Duncan Kennedy –Mobifest Canada.
(Detailed program will be posted sooner to the date on

Date: 6th December 2007, 2 pm - 7pm

Venue: CEPLW (Centre for Excellence), University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS

Marylebone campus is directly opposite Baker Street underground station (Bakerloo, Circle, Hammersmith & City, Jubilee and Metropolitan lines). Buses run past on Marylebone Road and Baker Street with only a few stops to Euston, King's Cross and Paddington mainline stations. Car parking is available to those with special needs.

FILMOBILE is a project which aims to create a dialogue between the industry, filmmakers and artists working with mobile devices through a variety of on and off line events.

FILMOBILE is supported by the University of Westminster, the Higher Education Innovation Fund, CREAM, CEPLW, the London Gallery West and London Westside.

Mobile: 0791 9032166
RSVP: Event registration via

Artifact - Call for Papers

Call for Papers

---> Artifact <---

The journal Artifact is an international peer-reviewed academic journal dealing with design. Artifact addresses topical themes and issues relevant to design researchers, practising designers, organizations, and manufacturers. It reflects the broad field of design today by giving researchers from different disciplines the opportunity to debate and exchange ideas.

Artifact is open to many kinds of discourse, with an emphasis on human and cultural issues.

Our goal is to promote transdisciplinary design research, encourage cross-fertilization, interconnections, and crossbreeding among different scientific disciplines, the design industry, and the arts. Artifact embraces experimental research approaches to design, with a basis in, or view to applied design practice.

Articles from the first issue of Artifact are available free on the journal web site:

Recent authors include:
Lev Manovich, Jonas Lowgren, Adrian Miles, Mattias Arvola & Henrik Artman, Greg Van Alstyne & Robert K. Logan, Owen F. Smith, Pascal Béguin, Klaus Krippendorff, Susan M. Hagan, Johan Redström, John Chris Jones,Per Mollerup, and John Shiga.

Please visit our web site -- and consider a contribution to Artifact.

The Editors
Charlie Breindahl
University of Copenhagen and IT University of Copenhagen

Ken Friedman
Norwegian School of Management, Oslo, and Denmark's Design School, Copenhagen

Bonnie Nardi
School of Information and Computer Science, University of California, Irvine

Erik Stolterman
Indiana University School of Informatics, Bloomington

Associate Editors:
Ida Engholm
Judith Gregory
Lisbeth Thorlacius

Advisory Board:
Thomas Binder
Jeanette Blomberg
David Durling
Lars Dybdahl
Pelle Ehn
Susan M. Hagan
Marius Hartmann
Steve Jones
Klaus Krippendorff
Lev Manovich
Jannie Nielsen
Christiane Paul
Sharon Poggenpohl
Johan Redström
Kristoffer Aaberg

Ottawa Law & Tech Journal - Call for Papers


Call for Papers

Special Issue on Science and the Courts (submission deadline March 1, 2008) and General Issues (rolling submissions)

Detailed Call for Papers and Submission Information:

Special Issue on Science and the Courts: The University of Ottawa Law & Technology Journal invites original scholarly articles for a special issue on Science and the Courts to be published in 2008. The University of Ottawa Law & Technology Journal (UOLTJ) is an open access, bilingual (English and French), faculty-run, peer-reviewed academic journal devoted to scholarly articles on law and technology. The special issue on Science and the Courts seeks to include a broad range of subject areas and perspectives and seeks representation from authors drawn from science, law (including judges,lawyers, and academics), and related disciplines. Suggested topics include electronic evidence, the role of the expert witness, novel science and the courts, the specialized court, patent litigation, nanotechnology, legal history of science and the courts, product liability, juries and science, DNA, science and mass torts, neutral science advisors to a court, and the interaction between emerging scientific research and legal precedent on cases involving science. The Journal is also open to considering submissions on any other aspect of the intersection between science and the courts. The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2008.

General Issues: The Journal also continues to invite submissions of original scholarly articles in English or in French for publication in its peer-reviewed general issues, which will be considered on a rolling basis. For its general issues, the Journal is interested in work on all aspects of the field of law and technology, regardless of the type of technology, substantive area of law at issue, or theoretical or philosophical focus. The Journal considers scholarship on the intersection of law with established or emerging technologies in any field, such as computer, internet and e-commerce law; privacy; intellectual property; technology and ethics; communications, entertainment, and social media; natural sciences; traditional knowledge; evidence; cybercrime; security; internet governance; and e-government. The Journal publishes articles on law and technology written by scholars from a range of disciplines and encourages submissions of interdisciplinary work. All articles submitted to the Journal are evaluated through a peer review process before being accepted for publication.

The Journal publishes two peer-reviewed issues annually and is available both in print and electronic formats. The current and past contents of the UOLTJ are freely available online on the Journal's websites, (in English) and (in French). The Journal is also carried in HeinOnline, LexisNexis, Westlaw, and LexisNexis Quicklaw, and indexed in the Index to Canadian Legal Literature, the Index to Canadian Intellectual Property Literature, and OpenJ-Gate. In addition, the full-text of the Journal is available on the Social Science Research Network, the Directory of Open Access Journals and the digital collection of the Library and Archives Canada. As a member of Open Access Law Canada, the UOLTJ has made a firm commitment to advancing the free public accessibility of legal information. The Journal's publication agreement is available for consultation on the website In addition to publishing in an open access format, the Journal supports the use of free public online sources of legislation and case law by including citations to public online sources.

Submission Information:

Inquiries may be addressed to:
Professor Elizabeth F. Judge
Editor-in-Chief and Faculty Advisor
University of Ottawa Law & Technology Journal
University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law

Webinar on Persistent Social Learning: An Emerging ID Model for Virtual Worlds

Here's a link to an awesome webinar by Lisa Dawley (an Associate Professor and Chair of the Dept. of Educational Technology at Boise State University), Persistent Social Learning: An Emerging ID Model for Virtual Worlds, here's the URL of the session:

In virtual worlds, how can learning continue when the teacher is not there? In this webinar, the author shares an emergent instructional design model for considering the design of virtual world environments for persistent social learning. Using a virtual design-based research approach (VDBR), a series of cycles in the design of virtual world space and theory development are shared, drawing upon findings from web-based visual tracking data.

Intended audience: educators, virtual world designers, instructional designers, researchers, anyone interested in emerging forms of data collection and analysis in virtual worlds

Lisa Dawley's site at Boise State University: