Saturday, May 3, 2008

Second Life Education Community Conference 2008

Second Life Education Community Conference 2008
Call for Proposals

Get Ready for SLEDcc 2008!
The Second Life Education community conference is a proud member of the Second Life Community Convention – the official Linden Lab-sponsored and approved event for everyone spending significant time in the best of all possible virtual worlds! This conference is for everyone currently or seriously thinking of engaging in teaching and learning in Second Life.

The SLEDcc is a peer-reviewed academic conference, with emphasis upon evidence-based practices and scholarly work that lead to innovation, the identification of best practices for teaching and learning in the Second Life virtual 3D environment. It is also designed to maximize the opportunities afforded by the Second Life medium itself – and the advantages of meeting face-to-face for an exchange that cannot (yet) be recreated in the digital milieu. Whether you wish to participate in the inworld events or the Tampa, FL (real world) events – please consider presenting and participating in SLEDcc 2008!

Conference Strands:
SLEDcc invites proposals that will address the following themes, or "strands" (please select one). The examples following the Strand Description are just a few ways your proposal might explore the theme.

NOTE: While your project or presentation might fit within more then one Strand Theme, please be judicious and select the single, most appropriate.

1. Games and Simulations (Red Strand): as significant, particular ways to engage learners within Second Life. This Strand will showcase the array of useful and effective ways that the SLED community engages users in game and/or simulation environments.

o In what ways are SLED designers engaging learners in games, role-plays, and simulations?

o What are the game development issues that educators-as-designers should know in their creation of engaging SLED materials?

o How do designers, educators, scripters, and builders collaborate most effectively to create a "killer educational game" in Second Life?

2. Mixed Reality Learning (Orange Strand): as ways to bridge the so-called "real world" and the interface of a multi-user virtual environment as powerful as Second Life. This Strand will demonstrate the variety of ways that education in SL can be powerfully connected to things happening in RL – as well as ways that other media can add value to the SLED experience.

o What approaches to Mixed-Reality Learning work best? What are the obstacles to overcome? What are some innovative ways to bring SL into the Real World?

o What skills in the real world can be modeled in Second Life that might transfer best? What are some difficult areas for such transfer?

o How do educators use multiple media types to best channel and enhance value to the Second Life experience?

3. Theory, Research, & Practice (Yellow Strand): as evidence-based practices to engage users of Second Life in creating intended learning outcomes, whether in formal or informal settings. Theoretical Frameworks from a variety of perspectives will be entertained in this Strand of SLEDcc – with emphasis on practical and scholarly application.

o What does a successful Design-Based Research experiment in Second Life look like? Other qualitative or quantitative frameworks that work well (or not) in Second Life?

o How do researchers adequately frame educational work in Second Life to gather data relevant to particular kinds of learning outcomes?

o What meta-analyses of the literature on Multi-User Virtual Environments should every educator in Second Life know?

4. Differentiated Learning: International, Diverse, and Special Populations (Green Strand): as celebrating the many nationalities, cultures, ways of knowing, and educational efforts specific to particular kinds of learners in Second Life.

o What are we learning in Second Life in Japan? Brazil? Europe? Australia?

o How do we effectively teach students in Second Life who do not speak our primary language?

o How do SLED designers create learning experiences for people of many backgrounds and skill levels?

o What innovative approaches are emerging to engage exceptional students (e.g. learning disabilities and/or gifted education) in Second Life learning?

5. Projects and Events (Blue Strand): as a milieu for teaching and learning, SLEDcc showcases an amazing breadth of specific projects and events that educators are creating.

o By examining a cross-section of SLED Projects, provide the audience with a "best practices" overview and assessment for engaging learners in SL.

o Provide an in-depth look at a particular SLED Project created by your group or organization and highlight the "lessons learned", challenges, and "next steps".

o What is the "magic formula" for creating an engaging, successful SLED event?

6. Educational Tools and Products (Purple Strand): with the vast array of tools and products for free or for sale in Second Life, SLEDcc can help develop capacity for the newcomer and the experienced practitioner alike to make informed choices.

o Outline the technical specifications, design process, and creation of a functional SLED tool for the would-be designers and educational consumers in SL.

o Showcase a compare and contrast session, looking at the variety of tools used for a particular purpose and hold a discussion with the audience.

o Hold a workshop on a SLED tool or product of your choice – providing support and specialized integration assistance as needed.

Select a Session Format:

(a) There are a number of ways that you may present live at SLEDcc in Tampa, FL:

• Tampa Workshops: (90 minutes or ½ day). Get "face-to-face and hands-on" instruction from experts in Tampa (bring your own laptop).

o Pre-conference workshops are specifically for "Newbies" to Second Life, to prepare them for the SLEDcc! Newbie Specialists, please propose something for this pre-conference day long event!

o We recommend at least two facilitators for each workshop.

o Facilitators need to provide all handouts and related materials for attendees.

o Accepted workshop proposers will receive 50% of all workshop fees beyond those recouped for administrative purposes; the other 50% will go toward a fund to provide token compensation for the volunteer staff of SLEDcc.

• SLED Sparks: Present 20 slides in 2 minutes on a SLED topic of your choice.

• Speed mentoring: Teach skills in an informal, practical fashion – by roundtable.

• Paper Presentations: Presentations supported by more rigorous findings.

(b) Additionally, there are a number of ways for you to present within Second Life, itself:

• The SLEDccademy Awards – the "Sleddies": Select a Strand Theme (the colored Strands, as above) and develop a SLED build in that category – open for judging by all registered SLED participants (Note: Participants need not register to attend SLEDcc in Tampa to vote on SLEDccademy Award entries). All winning entries will be verified by an Independent Review Board, verifying the popular vote assessments prior to sponsored prize packages being distributed.

• Poster Sessions: create a display of your SLED project, event, or institution.

• Workshops: get "hands-on" instruction from inworld experts.

• Inworld Presentations: Presentations inworld by the leaders of the SLED community. Inworld presentations will follow the same review process and format as the Real Life sessions in Tampa with some exceptions, perhaps, allowed for special circumstances (email sledcc @ with subject line "Inworld SLEDcc Inquiry" to start dialogue with the SLEDcc Committee).

Whether you decide to be LIVE in Tampa or VIRTUAL in Second Life for your SLEDcc experience, you'll have a chance to participate with the attendees of each – and many sessions will be taped and available for viewing / download later.

Proposals should (SLED Sparks and Speed Mentoring session proposals not included):

1. Clearly state the problem or issue that your proposal will address and to which Strand Theme it relates.

2. Indicate how your work has effectively addressed that problem or issue.

3. Indicate the outcomes participants should expect from your session and examples of how you will facilitate achievement of those outcomes.

4. Describe the strategies you will use to engage participants in discussing, analyzing, synthesizing, and applying the information you will share.

5. Describe how your work might be applied to a particular or multiple sectors of education, i.e. K-12, large universities, community colleges, adult education, Second Life-specific, etc.

6. Include links to relevant Web sites or electronic copies of the materials you will share (electronic copies of materials can be provided later).

7. Be aware that we will provide access to Tampa and inworld SLEDcc participants to ask questions and discuss how the work might be used to help students achieve essential learning outcomes (threaded discussions). We strongly encourage all presenters and EVERYONE to be active in the SLEDcc Ning:

8. All accepted SLEDcc proposals will be notified by June 29th. Presenters will be invited to add their materials to the SLEDcc wiki at

How to submit a Proposal:


In order to have your proposal considered, please submit it by June 4th, 2008 to sledcc @ using the following guidelines:

o Your proposal should be in MS Word format and submitted via email. The file name should include the name of the primary author followed by .doc extension. If you are submitting multiple proposals, please add a unique number to each filename. e.g. my_name1.doc and my_name2.doc.

o Include the author's name, title, contact info, and short bio (use the 1st or primary author's name only in the filename)

- If you are submitting to present in Tampa, FL, your email should use the subject line "Tampa SLEDcc 08".

• Tampa Workshops: (90 minutes or ½ day). Get "face-to-face and hands-on" instruction from experts in Tampa (bring your own laptop).

o Pre-conference workshops are specifically for "Newbies" to Second Life, to prepare them for the SLEDcc! Newbie Specialists, please propose something for this pre-conference day long event!

o We recommend at least two facilitators for each workshop.

o Facilitators need to provide all handouts and related materials for attendees.

o Accepted workshop proposers will receive 50% of all workshop fees beyond those recouped for administrative purposes; the other 50% will go toward a fund to provide token compensation for the volunteer staff of SLEDcc.

• SLED Sparks: Please provide a brief paragraph extolling your 2 minute lesson.

• Speed mentoring: Please provide no more than one page explaining your speed mentoring proposal.

• Paper Presentations: please submit an extended abstract of no more than 2000 words (full papers will be due for selected proposals due by August 10 at sledcc @ for inclusion in the SLEDcc Proceedings – further instruction to be notified by email).

- If you are submitting to present in Second Life only, your email should use the subject line "Inworld SLEDcc 08".

• For SLEDccademy Awards entries: please refer to the space for more information on guidelines, assessment rubrics for each strand, and procedures for the Awards. (this dimension of the program is still being developed)

• For inworld poster, and workshop proposals, please submit a brief abstract (400-800 words), including a short statement of the key lesson attendees will take away from the presentation.

• For InWorld Presentations: please submit an extended abstract of no more than 2000 words (full papers will be due for selected proposals due by August 10 at sledcc @ for inclusion in the SLEDcc Proceedings – further instruction to be notified by email).

Deadline: All proposals to present at either the SLEDcc in Tampa or inworld must be received by June 4th, 2008

Notification: You will receive a message indicating receipt of your proposal when it is submitted.

Acceptance: You will receive notification of the status of your proposal by Monday, June 30th, 2008.

Registration Fees: All presenters and workshop facilitators attending SLEDcc in Tampa, FL are responsible for the appropriate conference registration, fees, travel, and hotel expenses. Please be sure all presenters added to your proposal have this information and can be available to present at anytime during the SLCC in September 5 – 7 (or Sept 4, if a pre-conference workshop is proposed).

Resources for Attendees of Your Session: Conference attendees like to have resource materials from sessions they attend – whether inworld or live in Tampa. While we encourage all presenters in ANY format to post their materials to the SLEDcc wiki at we recommend, for those proposing in Tampa, approximately 75 printed handouts for conference-goers.

Please remember: that by submitting a proposal, you agree to register for the appropriate venue (inworld or live in Tampa) if the proposal is accepted and inform your co-facilitators about the proposals status and the need for all presenters to pay respective conference fees if presenting live in Tampa.

Dates to Remember

June 4th : SLEDcc Proposals due by email to sledcc @
June 30th: Submitters notified of status of proposals
August 1st: SLEDccademy Award entries open for voting
August 10th: Accepted Paper Presentations (Inworld and Live in Tampa, both) due by email, 5:00 p.m. SLT (Pacific Daylight Time).

Finally, if you are able to volunteer to assist us in some large, medium, or small way to orchestrate the SLEDcc 2008 inworld or Tampa - please email sledcc @ with the subject line: "Volunteer SLEDcc" with the following information:

Real Life name:
Avatar name:
email address:
phone number:
whether you are volunteering for inworld or Tampa:
which Strand (the colored SLEDcc themes) you are MOST interested in:
what skills you have for making best use of your volunteer effort:
special information (e.g. perhaps a land donation, that you live close to Tampa, that you want to contribute a LOT of time, etc.)


Jonathon Richter / Wainbrave Bernal, chair - on behalf of the SLEDcc 2008 Program Committee

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Northwestern University Summer Institute

Northwestern University Center for Global Culture and Communication
Summer Institute in Performance Studies, Radical Performance, Neoliberalism, and Human Rights

June 22-June 28, 2008
Directed by D. Soyini Madison

Topics and Guest Lecturers include:

The Global Neoliberalization of Consciousness and The Black Elephant in the American Living Room
Micaela di Leonardo (Northwestern University)

The Liquid Landscape: Housing, Human Rights, and Performing Exile in Post-Katrina New Orleans
Robin Vander (Xavier University)

Remembering Toward Change: National Liberation Front Women Perform Memory in Vietnam
Rivka Eisner (National University of Singapore)

Arts Based Civic Dialogue as a Radical Act of Democratizing Space
Michael Rohd (Northwestern University)

In the struggle for human rights-whether in the form of collective opposition or individual resistance-radical performance confronts the underpinnings and the consequences of power regimes, hegemonic controls, and economic global restructuring that are responsible for
myriad forms of human suffering. The 2008 Summer Institute in Performance Studies will explore how oppositional performance labors to expose, trouble, and break the covert and overt links between human rights and political economy. From Abu Ghraib to Darfur, from New Orleans to Beijing, from coal miners in West Virginia to banana growers in Jamaica,-from gold, to diamonds, to oil, to water-neoliberal policies and ideology extend its reach from local communities to nation/states at what human cost?

The Summer Institute will respond to key controversies and debates surrounding causation of human rights violations: acts by the "unenlightened" or the consequences of dire poverty; local greed or global capitalism; the violence of traditional dogma or the dehumanization of secular and individualist modernity. We will examine how transnational activism and local acts take the form of oppositional or alternative performances in city streets, along country roads, in union halls, on picket lines, at candlelight vigils, in the public square and in enlivened spaces across the globe in order to build social movements and global networks. We will discuss performance efficacy in the defense and protection of both individual and collective rights against the dogmatism of tradition as well as the casualties of rampant capitalism.

The Northwestern Summer Institute 2008 in Performance Studies invites participants who are interested in engaging such overlapping topics including (but not limited to) the following: social justice and symbolic action; neoliberal policies and oppositional performance; radical aesthetics
and social movements; contested memories and collaborative performance; street performance and political efficacy.


The Summer Institute runs from June 22nd to June 28th. Participants from other universities outside Northwestern will arrive on Sunday and depart on Saturday. Lodging is provided from Sunday to Saturday in dormitories free of charge. You will have a single (usually air-conditioned) room. Each participant is also entitled to $250.00 toward travel expenses against receipts for air and/or ground transportation.

All students (including Northwestern graduate students) are provided a free lunch from Monday to Friday. We also have two collective dinners (Wednesday evening and the concluding banquet on Friday). The academic sessions begin on Monday morning and end Friday afternoon.

All participants are expected to be on time and attend all sessions.
There are a minimum of two sessions: The morning session from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm and the afternoon session from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm. All participants will be given a bounded copy of collected readings complied by the director, D. Soyini Madison, and the four guest lecturers that will include a range of readings on the topic of Radical Performance, Neoliberalism, and Human Rights.

You will be given the collected volume when you arrive on Sunday. Outside of the sessions your time is your own to enjoy the campus and the city. However, all participants are expected to keep up with the readings.

There will be 25 graduate students accepted into the Summer Institute, 10 from Northwestern and 15 from colleges and universities throughout the United States. We welcome all graduate student applications (across and beyond disciplines) that are interested in the issues of radical performance, neoliberalism, and human rights.

You may apply by submitting a two-page description (double-spaced and 12 point font) of your research interest or project and how the Summer Institute will benefit your work. Please list two references and their contact information (reference letters are not required).

Please include your institutional affiliation, indicate if you are an M.A. or Ph.D. candidate, and the stage of your graduate work. Please send the application by May 15, 2008, to

Notification of acceptance is May 29th.

Urban Communication Foundation - Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Award

The Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Publication Award is named for the late social activist and author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities.

The book award will honor an outstanding book published between 2006­ 2008 in the area of urban communication. The award brings with it a $1,500 prize. An additional award will be given for a major journal article or book chapter in Urban Communication published between 2006­2008 and brings with it an award of $500.

Each nomination should include two supporting letters, four copies of the nominated work, a CV, and a brief statement exploring the relevancy and impact of the nominated work to the broad theme of urban communication.

Materials should be sent to:

The Urban Communication Foundation
6 Fourth Road
Great Neck, NY 11021
or contact

The deadline for nominations is September 15, 2008. The award will be presented at the November 2008 annual meeting of the National Communication Association in San Diego.

Further information can be found on the Urban Communication Foundation website:

Registration for the 4th International Conference on e-Social Science is

The Conference will run from 18 - 20 June 2008 at the Manchester Conference Centre, Manchester, UK. Workshops and tutorials will take place on Wednesday 18th June, with Papers, Keynotes, posters and panel sessions on Thursday 19th - Friday 20th June.

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.

Keynote speakers at the conference are confirmed as:

* Professor Wolfgang Gentzsch, DEISA, Duke, and RENCI

* Dr. Fran Berman, Director, San Diego Supercomputer Center, Professor and HPC Endowed Chair, UC San Diego

* Professor Craig Calhoun, President, Social Science Research Council, University Professor of the Social Sciences, New York University

For full details on the conference, and to register, please visit

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Computers, Freedom, and Privacy: Technology Policy '08

18th Annual CFP conference
May 20-23, 2008
Omni Hotel
New Haven, CT

DEADLINES this Week:
Hotel Discount Rate extended to: Mon., Apr. 28, 2008
Early Bird Registration: Fri., May 2, 2008
YJoLT Tech Policy Essay Contest: Mon., May 5, 2008

Conference Blog:


What should the technology policy priorities of the next administration be?

As the choice of presidential candidates becomes clearer and election year moves towards a comparison of the candidates platforms on the issues, technology policy is increasingly relevant to the forefront of public debate. In the areas of privacy, intellectual property, cybersecurity, telecommunications, and freedom of speech, topics that were once confined to experts now appear in the mainstream of political issues. We now know that our decisions about technology
policy are being made at a time as the architectures of our information and communication technologies are still being built.

This year, the 18th annual Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference is focusing on those issues at the forefront of technology policy this election year. With plenary panels on the National Security State and the Next Administration and The 21st Century Panopticon? the
discussions taking place look towards our present and future priorities.

CFP: Technology Policy '08 is an opportunity to participate in shaping those issues being made into laws and regulations and those technological infrastructures being developed. Policies ranging from spyware and national security, to ISP filtering and patent reform, e-voting to electronic medical records, and more will be addressed by expert panels of technologists, policymakers, business leaders, and activists. The panel topics are listed below and full panel
descriptions are available on the conference website at

The CFP: Technology Policy 08 conversation has already begun in the virtual spaces connected to the conference. Even if you are unable to attend the conference this year, there are several opportunities to participate remotely. The guiding principles that ought to guide our policies are being debated on the conference blog. Social networking groups on Facebook and LinkedIn are providing new spaces for the CFP community to meet and discuss. The Yale Journal of Law and Technology is hosting a call for essays, on the priorities of the next administration, with more details below.

We look forward to seeing you in New Haven on May 20-23


Plenary Sessions
Presidential Technology Policy: Priorities for the Next Executive
The 21st Century Panopticon?
The National Security State and the Next Adminstration

A Short History of Privacy
Constitutional Law in Cyberspace
e-Deceptive Campaign Practices: Elections 2.0
Maintaining Privacy While Accessing On-line Information

Panel Sessions
Activism and Education Using Social Networks
Breaking the Silence: Iranians Find a Voice on the Internet
Charismatic Content: Wikis, Social Networks, and the Future of User-Generated Content
Filtering Out Copyright Infringement: Possibilities, Practicalities, and Legalities
Filtering and Censorship in Europe
Hate Speech and Oppression in Cyberspace
Interoperability at the Crossroads?: The "Liberal Order" versus Fragmentation
Law, Regulation, and Software Licensing for the Electronic Medical Record
Measuring Global Threats to Internet Freedom
Network Neutrality: Beyond the Slogans
New Challenges for Spyware Policy
Patents: The Bleeding Edge of Technology Policy
Privacy, Reputation, and the Management of Online Communities
Rights & Responsibilities for Software Programs?
States as Incubators of Change
"The Transparent Society:" Ten Years Later
Towards Trustworthy e-Voting: An Open Source Approach?


Yale Journal of Law & Technology Call for Essays on the Technology Policy of the New Administration
Deadline: Monday, May 5th

The Yale Journal of Law & Technology (YJoLT) is seeking essay-length submissions concerning the technology policy platform of the new American presidential administration. Essays selected for publication will appear in the Fall Issue of YJoLT (publication date November 2008).

Ideal submissions will discuss the priorities and guiding principles that American technology policy should follow. Submissions analyzing a particular technology policy issue in depth will also be accepted.

Essays of less than 5,000 words are preferred. Please submit all essays to In the subject line of the email, please include the text CFP Essay. The authors of essays selected for publication will be notified on a rolling basis. Any questions can be directed to Lara Rogers,

Next up @ Beta_space: +-now, by Jen Seevinck - Opening on Thursday 1 May, 4:30pm in Beta_space!

Next up @ Beta_space:
Cyberworlds Gallery, Level 1 Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

+- now, by Jen Seevinck
CCS Researcher

Exhibition Dates:
16 April - 31 May 2008

Opening Event:
Thursday 1 May
4:30-5pm - Artist's talk and Demonstration
5pm (sharp) - All guests retire to L3 Education area for drinks and nibbles
Please note that if you arrive after 5pm, you must enter by the security gate on MacArthur Street

RSVP essential to Deborah Turnbull on or 0400 920 761


"+-now" is an interactive art system in two parts. The first is the interface comprised of fine white, beach sand, also acting as the projection surface for imagery. Hand gestures in the sand are rendered on the sand's surface. As gestures accumulate over periods of time, producing visual echoes, the image behaves like a liquid, affording an immediate sense of play. The second part os the system consists of a separate projection on a large screen, thus offering the user a more reflective experience. Though the sand remains the input point to the aesthetic outcome, here the visual echoes can lead to new shapes at varying shades of opaqueness.

A related element to the overall experience of /+-now /is to improvise in time, or with the history of one's gestures. The created objects now become perceived objects that exist, though not directly a product of the computer. An everyday comparison might be cloud gazing, and the
interpretation of shapes and figures one might attach. As one starts to interpret form and infer meaning, are they not losing themselves in their surroundings? The focus of /+-now /will be the effectiveness of the interactive experience resulting in the sense of immersivity, or "getting lost" in the activity.

Artist's Biography:

Jennifer Seevinck is an electronic artist and researcher. She is currently pursuing an art practice-based PhD in interactive art at the Creativity and Cognition Studios at the University of Technology, Sydney; and in receipt of an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) scholarship. Her areas of immediate interest are interactive art, emergence, perception and the Gestalt, tangible computing, virtual reality and medical simulation.


This work has been supported by the Creativity and Cognition Studios; the Facutly of Information-Technology at UTS; an Australian Postgraduate Award; and the I-Park artist in residency programs.

Press Information:

For a copy of the Press Release or electronic flyer, please contact:

Deborah Turnbull, Beta_space Curator.
0400 920 761

For more information on Beta_space, please visit:

E-Government at HICSS42

Electronic Government Track at the 42nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
January 5 to 8, 2009
Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort
Waikoloa, Big Island, Hawaii

HICSS conferences are devoted to the most relevant advances in the information, computer, and system sciences, and encompass developments in both theory and practice. Accepted papers may be theoretical, conceptual, tutorial or descriptive in nature. Those selected for presentation will be published in the Conference Proceedings published by the IEEE Computer Society.

Submissions must not have been previously published or be under submission elsewhere; all submissions undergo a double-blind peer referee process.

Important Deadlines

From now to June 1 [Optional] : Prepare Abstracts. Then, contact MINITRACK CHAIRS for guidance and indication of appropriate content.

June 15: Authors submit full papers by this date, following the AUTHOR INSTRUCTIONS. All papers will be submitted in double column publication format and limited to 10 pages including diagrams and references. HICSS papers undergo a double-blind review (June15 - August15).

August 15: Acceptance notices are sent to Authors. At this time, at least one author of an accepted paper should begin visa, fiscal and travel arrangements to attend the conference to present the paper.

The Electronic Government Track comprises ten minitracks:

* Development Methods for Electronic Government

* Emerging Topics in e-Government

* E-Government Foundations and Methods

* E-Government Information Security

* E-Government Infrastructure and Interoperability

* E-Government Organization & Management

* E-Government Service and Information

* E-Policy, Law, and Governance

* E-Participation and E-Citizenship

* Privacy, Transparency, and Trustworthy E-Government Systems

For details please see

For the third time, the conference hosts a symposium of the "Global Electronic Government Research and Practice Community." For details, please see

Clinton Institute Summer School for Cultural Studies



13-19 July 2008

Opening Lecture by Stanley Fish (Florida International University)
Sunday 13th July 2008

Week-Long Workshops:-

Cindi Katz (CUNY) – Geographies of Neoliberalism
Scott Lucas (University of Birmingham) – Ideology and US Foreign Policy
Donald Pease (Dartmouth College) – American Exceptionalism
Penny Von Eschen (University of Michigan) – Cold War Nostalgia

The UCD Clinton Institute Summer School will bring together scholars and graduate students from around the world to engage in wide-ranging discussion on interdisciplinary study of the United States. The School is aimed at advanced graduate students and junior faculty in the fields of American Studies, History, Political Sciences and Literary and Cultural Studies.

The programme will offer participants the opportunity to work with distinguished figures in these fields and to investigate current developments in study of the United States and its global relations. The School’s format will include daily workshop seminars and plenary lectures. Participants work with the School’s core faculty in one of four week-long seminars. The School closes with a one day conference which all participants are asked to contribute to.

Other visiting faculty during the week includes Jonathan Auerbach (University of Maryland), Ruth Barton (Trinity College Dublin), Hamilton Carroll (University of Leeds), Kevin Gaines (University of Michigan), Donatella Izzo (University of Naples), Liam Kennedy (University College Dublin), Werner Sollors (Harvard University)

For further details, visit, or contact Catherine Carey at

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Warner Bros. Bets Big on Web Ads With, KidsWB

Warner Bros. Television Group yesterday unveiled a slate of new ad-supported digital initiatives, including a video portal at, a youth site at, and new made-for-Web programming. Johnson & Johnson, McDonald's, and Mattel are among the launch sponsors of the digital expansion moves.
EVP Michael Teicher's digital media sales group will package advertising and sponsorships. In a press conference detailing the new platforms, Teicher declined to elaborate on the specific form advertising on the new site will take, other than to say his team will offer custom packages.

"We will do some traditional placements," he said, adding, "We want to listen to advertisers and understand what their needs are." will launch in beta next month. The site is aimed at adults aged 16 to 34 with a skew toward women, and will combine past successful shows like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Smallville" with new original programming, including a drama from the creator of and Gossip Girl. Warner Bros. execs will also pursue distribution and licensing relationships to push its content to other sites including and AOL, and will seek to bring in outside content. will emphasize interactivity and social networking, execs said. In addition to its standalone presence, the site will reside within Facebook as an app and will allow Facebook users to log in and check messages while on its site. Examples of on-site interactivity include the ability to chat with friends via an in-page window while watching shows together.

A new children's site at is geared toward children six to 12. It will offer thousands of classic shows and hundreds of game-like experiences involving classic characters from Warner Bros. Animation, Looney Tunes, Hanna-Barbera, and DC Comics. Youthful visitors can interact with and customize the look of animated characters.

What if someone wants to create a goth Tweety Bird? Or a pink-haired Tasmanian Devil? "No problem," said Sam Ades, general manager of WB Kids. "What they want they create."

Special areas of will include DC HeroZone, built around super heroes, and KidsWBJr, focused on pre-kindergarten users. Mattel has the right to launch advertising and promotions on DC HeroZone. Its involvement includes "fun and interactive ways to further engage kids on the site while also integrating deep online brand features," the companies said in a statement.

Teicher said Mattel's sponsorship will focus in particular on DC's Batman character, because the company has a sponsorship and promotional relationship with the Warner Bros. around the upcoming film.

The launches comes two years after the shutdown of the WB cable channel, which was replaced by The CW. Warner Bros. executives said people shouldn't view its recent moves as a replacement for television.

"This is not an incubator for cheap development for cable and television," said Craig Erwich, EVP of Warner Bros. Television. "We're not trying to save money here."


Marketers Begin to Assess HD Video Ads

Higher resolution. Richer graphics. Sharper images. The release of Adobe's latest Flash player has made high definition video advertisements feasible online. But their predominant application is in the expandable banner placement, rather than in-stream.

DoubleClick and ad network Brightroll are among the firms to introduce ad units that leverage Adobe's Flash Player 9 support for high-def video, and advertisers including Intel and Epson have already jumped in. Both offer user-initiated, in-page units that can expand to full screen and play in high-def. DoubleClick's technology senses whether the user has the bandwidth and player capability to handle HD before serving the ad.

Adobe itself was one of the first to place HD video ads. It worked with DoubleClick to create and distribute the ads as part of its "Flash on" campaign. The effort sought to reach two groups of prospects: broadcast and media industry professionals, and media savvy consumers. One goal was to highlight how people currently enjoy content powered and enabled by Flash.

"We wanted to get out there and remind people of the ubiquity and performance of Flash power," said John Travis, VP of brand marketing at Adobe. According to Travis, Flash Player 9 was installed by over 90 percent of connected PCs within the first year of release.

Epson has run HD ads as well, also through DoubleClick. The enhanced resolution seemed a good fit for a company that produces printers. "DoubleClick... approached us and we said count us in," said Jordan Kretchmer, associate creative director at Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners (BSSP), the creative agency for Epson. Kretchmer said banners have performed well for Epson in the past, but streaming video hasn't.

Both Adobe and BSSP said engagement was strong. According to Adobe, people spent five to 10 times longer with its HD ads than the average time spent on a similar ad unit.

Not surprisingly, entertainment companies are most interested in the offering. "We've had a large proportion of theatrical advertisers," said Ari Paparo, group product manager for advertiser products at Google. He said DoubleClick is actively marketing the capability to clients, and that publishers have experienced no pushback. "Since it's user-initiated, there's little risk."

Video sites have yet to embrace HD content in a major way. Hulu has an HD Gallery, consisting of movie trailers. And ABC brands its video player in HD though only some of its inventory plays in high def. YouTube has yet to make the leap. Ultimately, there simply isn't much HD inventory.

BSSP's Kretchmer expects HD to become the de-facto standard for shooting ads. "I personally foresee a future where HD is the only definition, where there is no 4x3 ratio," he said. While the agency is not using HD video in any current campaigns, it is top of mind going forward.

"It should be something consumers expect, and something clients should expect their agencies to do," he said.


Call for entries: Future Places Festival in Porto (Oct. 9-19, 2008)

Future Places Festival: Call for Entries

Date: October 9 - 19, 2008 (Pre-registration now open! Deadline: June 15th)
Venue: Edifício Douro – Porto, Portugal
Detailed call online at:, under "Future Events"

The FUTURE PLACES Festival will be a celebration of digital media work currently being produced in Portugal and around the world. The festival will feature web, digital video, and installation art work, as well as electronic music, 3D graphics, cell phone art and productions related to locative media, games and hybrid realities. We are interested in creative and new languages for interactive and visual expression, and their impact on culture, society and public

We want to reach a generation of creators who are breaking conventions. We are addressing this call to those who are blurring the lines not only between disciplines, but between the real and the virtual and between the commercial, the artistic, and the academic arenas. We also want to explore the impact of new technologies in "real life". How can new technology build local communities, create new identities, new narratives, new forms of public interaction?

The festival will be preceded by workshops during October 7 and 8, which aim to bring together members of the digital arts communities, including people involved in research and production, to creatively explore several art forms included under the term "digital media".

One day of the festival will be devoted to panels conducted by speakers with academic and industrial affiliations, and on topics with a business orientation, such as social networking in the corporate environment, bringing the mobile web into the academic environment, alternate reality games, blogging as a profession, and so forth.

Both the workshops and the panels will be facilitated by national and international figures in the field; names will be announced in June. For updates check

Three FUTURE PLACES awards will recognize the authors of the best works presented at the festival. The prizes will be a combination of cash prizes and production tools such as computer equipment and accessories.

The submission of entries is open to all those who work in the Digital Media field in Portugal and around the world. No academic affiliation is required.

1) Projects may be entered in the categories that can be found in the pre-registration form; if no category fits a submitted work, the participant may include it under "other".

2) Entries should refer to work produced between 2006 and 2008.

3) Any works currently in production may be submitted as rough cuts or drafts. However, if selected, authors must provide work in final form by September 25th, 2008. Works that have been selected but whose authors have not sent work in their final form by September 25th will
be excluded from the festival.

Note: In the case of installations or performances, "final form" means photos that illustrate the project

4) Formats accepted for submission:
a. Video work;
b. Still images;
c. Web work;
d. Electronic music;
e. Performance incorporating a, b, c or/and d.

Note: In the case of 'intangible' forms such as installations or performance work, a detailed synopsis must be submitted, along with images when appropriate.

5) Formats accepted for exhibition: Digital video: DV and Mini DV; QuickTime video on the web; Still images: TIFF, JPG, PSD; Web: HTML, Flash; Music: MP3, MIDI.

7) Late pre-registrations and/or submissions will not be considered.

8) The decision of the judges will be final and the organizers will not enter into discussion or correspondence in respect of any result.

9) Material submitted to the festival – even if not selected - will not be returned to the author(s). Material not selected will not be used in any way.

Prospective entrants MUST pre-register by June 15. Please submit the form at

Submission of entry materials to is due July 2.

Please visit the online call (, under " Future Events") for more information about the festival and call for entries.

Or, if questions persist

Contact Sofia Santos, Communications Officer of the UT Austin-Portugal
Program, by telephone: +351 21 294 78 56.

Media Art Histories

(Low residency; English language, open for applications now)

The postgraduate program MediaArtHistories at the Department for Image Science offers a two-year low residency leading to an M.A. degree. It conveys the most important developments of contemporary art through a network of renowned international theorists, artists, curators and many others.

Artists and programmers give new insights into the latest and most controversial software, interface developments and their interdisciplinary and intercultural praxis. Keywords are: Strategies of Interaction & Interface Design, Social Software, Immersion & Emotion and Artistic Invention. Using online databases and other aids, knowledge of computer animation, net art, interactive, telematic and genetic art as well as the most recent reflections on nano art, CAVE installations, augmented reality and wearables are introduced. Historical derivations that go far back into art and media history are tied in intriguing ways to digital art. Important approaches and methods from Image Science, Media Archaeology and the History of Science & Technology will be discussed.

MediaArtHistories MA is based on the international praxis and expertise in Curation, Collecting, Preserving and Archiving and Researching in the Media Arts. What are the conditions necessary for a wider consideration of media art works and of new media in these collections of the international contemporary art scene? And in which way can new Databases and other scientific tools of structuring and visualizing data provide new contexts and enhance our understanding of semantics?

Further Information:


Erkki HUHTAMO, UCLA; Lev MANOVICH, UC, San Diego; Christiane PAUL, Whitney Museum; Jens HAUSER, Paris; Gerfried STOCKER, Ars Electronica Linz; Christa SOMMERER & Laurent MIGNONNEAU, Art University Linz; Paul SERMON, Manchester, UK; Jasdan JOERGES, Micromovie, Berlin; Steve DIETZ, Director of ISEA 2006; Oliver GRAU, Danube University; Edward SHANKEN, UCLA; KNOWBOTIC RESEARCH, HGKZ, Zuerich; Frieder NAKE, University Bremen; Machiko KUSAHARA, Waseda University; Monika FLEISCHMANN, Fraunhofer Institute; Margit ROSEN, MA, ZKM; Miklos PÉTÉRNAK, Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest; Sylvia GRACE BORDA, University of British Columbia; Martina LEEKER, University Bayreuth; Slavko KACUNKO, University Osnabrueck; Irina ARISTARKHOVA, Penn State University / Singapore

DANUBE UNIVERSITY - located in the UNESCO world heritage Wachau is the first public university in Europe which specializes in advanced continuing education offering low-residency degree programs for working professionals and lifelong learners. Students come twice a year for 2 week blocks to Monastery Göttweig in Austria.

With its new modular courses the DEPARTMENT FOR IMAGE SCIENCE at Danube University offers an educational program internationally unique. Without interrupting the career students have the opportunity to learn through direct, hands-on experience, social learning in small groups and contacts with labs and industry. They gain key qualifications for the contemporary art and media marketplace.

The Center in Monastery Göttweig, where most MediaArtHistories courses take place, is housed in a 14th century building, remodeled to fit the needs of modern research in singular surroundings. International experts analyze the image worlds of art, science, politics and economy and elucidate how they originated, became established and how they have stood the test of time. The innovative approach at the Department for Image Science is reinforced by praxis-oriented study.

APPLICATIONS for the next course start will be accepted until May 7th, 2008 (rolling admissions).

Module dates:
May 17 - May 27, 2008
Market of Media Art / -Management
Preservation of Digital Art
Sources of Digital Art and Early Forms of Computer Graphics
Historicizing Art and Technology
Cybernetics in MediaArtHistory
Gender aspects of Media Art
Excursion Ars Electronica Center

November 24 - December 7, 2008
Introduction to Interfacedesign
Locative Media: Augmented Space
Digital Tools and their programming
From Telematic Images to Micromovies
Immersion & Emotion
Design & Function of Knowledge Space
Medial performance, theater und opera

May 4 - May 15, 2009
Strategy of networks
Ambient Intelligence
Planning festivals
Exhibiting & Curating
Media Art Exhibiting, Curation and Collection
Digital Art Archiving and Preservation
interdisciplinary and intercultural work

November 2 - November 12, 2009
MediaArtHistories & Media Archaeology
Media Theory and Theory of multimedia-based systems
Theory of perception
Art & Science - History of Science
Spaces of interaction and their planning
Social Software

Sabine Weber, MSc
Department for Image Science
Danube University
Dr.-Karl-Dorrek-Str. 30, A-3500 Krems
Tel: +43(0)2732 893-2569

Monday, April 28, 2008

MTV Partners With Oddcast to Launch Virtual Playgrounds

MTV is extending some of its most popular franchises into virtual "playgrounds" online this week through a partnership with Oddcast.
Starting today, visitors to Virtual MTV ( can enter online environments for "The Hills," "Pimp My Ride," and "The Real World," where they will be able to create speaking avatars that interact with others both on and off the site. Oddcast developed the platform, known as Voki, that creates and supports the avatars.

Users can furnish their avatars with their own voices and have them speak to others via e-mail or online posts. The various "playgrounds" will allow users to interact in different ways, such as exchanging gossip about "The Hills," sharing secrets in the "Real World Confessional Booth," or even auditioning for a real episode of "Pimp My Ride."

Voki "allows any consumer, without downloading anything, to create their own avatar and participate in these thematic galleries," said Shaival Shah, VP of business development and strategy for Oddcast. "But it also provides a virtual identity, with MTV as the access point, that they can take to any other social network or virtual reality they have."

Indeed, MTV is banking on users embedding their avatars, or others', on their Facebook pages, blogs, or any other social media. Because the network will maintain a degree of content control over the avatars, it will be able to push messages -- either for itself or advertisers -- directly to that media.

For example, after embedding a Pimp My Ride avatar on one's MySpace page, that avatar can then deliver spoken messages about an upcoming episode, or direct users to a sponsor's Web site.

Precisely how much access MTV will give advertisers to the technology is unclear, however. MTV did not respond to requests for an interview, and Shah could not provide information about potential advertising partners.

"Virtual MTV is built on the premise that we offer the latest in technology to our fans in an organic way that deeply engages them on an individual level, and brings them together with other like-minded people," said Jeff Yapp, EVP of program enterprises for MTV Networks Music & Logo Group, in a statement. "Voki's technology is helping us take that experience one step further with an innovative approach that allows fans to take personalization to an entirely new level."

The avatars benefit MTV beyond advertising and audience engagement, however. By allowing users to audition for episodes of Pimp My Ride, the network is able to cast a wider net for the aging show without having to invest more time in receiving and watching physical audition tapes.

The Voki platform is not exclusive to MTV, however. The technology is currently used on many popular sites, enabling the creation of more than 300 million avatars a month, according to Shah.

Voki is the platform that allows for the newly enabled avatar function on, and Microsoft began using it in December to help spread the word of its Ultimate Office suite among college students.

Shah said that marketing messages sent through the application typically experienced between a 5 percent and 15 percent click-through rate. "These are spoken calls to action from people you choose to listen to," he said.


Broadcasting Britishness? Identity, Diversity and the Role of the National Media'

'Broadcasting Britishness? Identity, Diversity and the Role of the National Media'

Saïd Business School
University of Oxford
10.00 am – 5.00 pm
Tuesday 17 June 2008

This is a one day conference convened by Dr David Levy, Associate Fellow in Media & Communications, Saïd Business School and Cathy Baldwin, St Antony's College, Oxford. The keynote speaker will be Professor Linda Colley, University of Princeton. Speakers include Rt Hon Margaret Hodge, Minister for Culture.

Britishness has become the key issue of the moment among politicians, journalists and ordinary people alike. So far there has been little focused debate on the role of the broadcast media and the press in promoting a sense of national identity - if they do and if they should.

The goal of this conference is to bring together perspectives from practitioners and executives working in the media industry, as well as academia and government, to focus on the main conference question through panel-led discussions and audience participation: Do the national media have a specific responsibility to promote national identity and strengthen social cohesion in Britain?

It is the opportunity for professionals in these fields to discuss and evaluate what strategies the national media employ to appeal to a more diverse Britain, how accurately they portray modern British society and whether they have a responsibility to strengthen social cohesion.

The aim of the day is to develop specific practical recommendations through a series of panel-led discussions with audience participation. Panels during the day will cover “The Culture of Media Production” and “Perspectives on the Audience”. A full speaker list will be available in early May.

Tea and coffee, a light lunch and a drinks reception will be provided. Audience attendance is free. Audience spaces are limited. To register an interest, please see:
and email:

Edited Collection on Music in the Whedonverse

Call for Papers: Music in the Whedonverse (collection)

From bands at The Bronze in Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Angel singing karaoke at Caritas to the traditional-style fiddling and guitar playing in Firefly, music is an integral part of Joss Whedon's universes. This collection seeks essays from both established and emerging scholars on the uses of and contributions made by music in the Whedonverse.

Discipline-specific and interdisciplinary views are encouraged to address issues of power, relationships, identity, gender, communication, religion, multiculturalism, sanity and madness, and other topics present in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and Serenity.

Topics might include, but are not limited to:

Music and performance

Gender/identity/race and music (including traditional identity topics as
well as those of non-human characters)

Genre representations

Scoring for action sequences

Music and communication

Musical characterization

Music and camp

Music and transformation

Character vocality

The use of silence and music in unique ways

Levels and mixing of diegesis and non-diegesis

The deadline for submissions is August 15, 2008. The collection will be published by Scarecrow Press with an anticipated publication date in 2009.

Essays should be between 7,000 and 9,000 words and follow Chicago Manual of Style format. Only electronic submissions sent in a .doc (Word) formats will be accepted. Authors are encouraged to include photographs, but will be responsible for acquiring all materials and permission for use. Please send a cover letter including the title of the essay, an abstract of not
more than 200 words, an author c.v, and author biography of not more than 100 words along with the complete blind essay (author's name should not appear) to Kendra Preston Leonard at