Tuesday, May 20, 2008

FLOW Conference 2008 Call For Responses

FLOW Conference 2008

October 9-11, 2008

The University of Texas at Austin


Deadline for 150-word abstracts: June 15, 2008

Flow Conference 2008 is the 2nd biannual conference for FlowTV.org, a University of Texas at Austin graduate student-run, online academic journal focusing on television and media culture.

Flow Conference 2008 will resemble traditional academic meetings in name only: There will be no panels, no papers, and no plenary sessions. Instead, the event will feature a series of roundtables, each organized around a compelling question. Respondents are asked to submit a 150-word abstract addressing one of the roundtable questions as listed on our conference Web
site: http://flowtv.org/?page_id=1335

Some roundtable topics include:

New Formations of Stardom in Contemporary Media Culture
Viral Videos and Political Participation
Online and Offline Fan Communities
TV and the Question of "The Mainstream"
Televised Religion
Music Fans and Copy Protection
The DTV Conversion
Media Policy, Media Reform, and Media Criticism
Game Studies in The Academy
Electronic Waste and Media Studies
Global Television Flow
Digital Aura and Web 2.0
Feminisms & Feminists in the Public Sphere
Talent-Based Reality Shows and The American Dream

Visit the conference Web site for a complete list of roundtable questions in full detail.
We especially encourage responses that address issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, age, and ability, as well as international perspectives.

Please e-mail flowconference2008@gmail.com with a 150-word abstract and the title of the roundtable you are responding to in the subject of the email by June 15, 2008. Please respond to only one roundtable topic. Include your full name, e-mail address, and affiliation in your e-mail.

We will inform participants of acceptance via e-mail by July 15, 2008.
Upon acceptance, respondents will be asked to expand their abstract to a 600-800 word position paper, due by September 15, 2008.

In an effort to include a wide range of participants (i.e., scholars, fans, critics, activists, policymakers, industry professionals, etc.), we encourage wide distribution of this call.

If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail us at flowconference2008@gmail.com

League of Worlds Conference

Call for Papers League of Worlds Conference

The International Conference on Exploring Virtuality
5th Annual Colloquium on Online Simulations, Role-playing, and Virtual Worlds

October 13-17, 2008

Hong Kong University
Hong Kong, China

Future worlds: Virtual worlds today and tomorrow

Call for Papers

About the League of Worlds
The League of Worlds (LoW) annual colloquium brings together people engaged in the creation of virtual worlds and real-time simulations for educational and training purposes. Our mission is (1) to stimulate and disseminate research and analysis regarding the theoretical, technical, and curricular developments in; and (2) to contribute towards the development of coherent frameworks for the advancement, application and assessment of educational and social uses of role-playing, simulations, and virtual worlds. Our primary areas of interest include:

° Theoretical analysis
° The development of practical applications
° The documentation of framework projects and case studies.

"Future worlds: Virtual worlds today and tomorrow."

Hundreds of virtual worlds exist to serve youth, educational, and corporate markets, yet few offer anything more than a glimpse of how technological innovations such as virtual worlds may lead to new forms, methods, and modes of communication, collaboration, and creation. We are experiencing unprecedented growth in the funding and development of virtual worlds, but toward what purpose?

This year, we will consider the opportunities and challenges the proliferation of virtual worlds offer today, and contemplate what they hold for tomorrow. In many ways, the future of virtual worlds depends on how early adopters decide to use them to advance and to extend their organizational mission. But what factors will influence which platforms and worlds survive and which ones do not?

About the colloquium

The League of Worlds colloquium is not an ordinary conference.
The League of Worlds brings together creators of virtual worlds and real-time simulations for educational, artistic, and creative purposes. Participants share a passionate interest in advancing theory and praxis in creative, educational, and cultural contexts. The League of Worlds is committed to exploring complex, networked social spaces, such as Second Life, Croquet, Metaverse, Fablusi, Active Worlds and other simulation and/or role-playing platforms, as they relate to questions of virtuality vs. reality, identity construction in new media technologies, and other key questions. In particular, we invite research into framework projects and case studies and strongly encourage exploration with pedagogical or other practical applications. Both creative and technical studies are welcome.

Participants are expected to challenge one another to take a fresh look at the questions that arise when people meet in virtual territories to play, to learn, and to share. Participation is purposely limited and there will be no concurrent sessions. Instead, participants will engage in an ongoing dialogue about virtual environments, integrating their own perspectives and expertise into the conversation.

Proposal categories
The League of Worlds colloquium is designed to support sharing and meaningful reflection. Participants should allow one another the opportunity to share experiences, to demonstrate technologies, and to think critically. To facilitate these activities, the colloquium review committee is interested in submissions on the following topics:

° Technologies used to create and manage virtual environments (tools, hardware, software)
° Vision for what virtual environments could be (architecture, metaphors)
° Teaching and Learning in virtual environments:
°° Role playing and simulations
°° Social constructivism
°° Communication and collaboration
°° Serendipitous interactions and learning
° Community formation in virtual environments (interaction, presentation of self, presence)
° Culture (development of, artefacts)
° Administrative/technical support issues in virtual environments
° Change (Advocacy for, dissemination and sharing of research, how change takes place)
° Resources (to create and/or support any of the above themes)
° Research (on virtual env of what you are doing with virtual environments and how it relates to one of the above themes (including description of practice and relevant research)
° Explanation of how this summary can contribute to the dialogue theme planned for the colloquium.

Paper submissions are double blind peer-reviewed. All accepted papers, the colloquium program, and a list of attendees will be published on the colloquium website. Papers should be between 2500-5000 words (4-8 pages).

Important Dates
Contact information for each
° Affiliated institution(s)
° Job title(s)
° Brief description of experience with virtual worlds, simulations, and/or role playing technology
° Submit all proposals in Word, RTF, PDF or HTML format to:
° Dr. Stephen Bronack at bronacksc@appstate.edu

Please refer to the League of Worlds website for information regarding fees, facilities, and accommodations: http://www.leagueofworlds.com

Paper submission - summary and explanation: July 20, 2008
Registration Deadline: September 5, 2008
Final Draft Due: September 5, 2008

Learning and Research in Second Life Oct. 15 Copenhagen @ IR 9.0

Call for Papers/Participation: Learning and Research in Second Life

Please join us in a workshop on learning and research in Second Life(R) on October 16, 2008 in Copenhagen at Internet Research 9.0

Paper Deadline June 15th.

Second Life is a 3d virtual environment created by Linden Lab (R) which has captured the attention of researchers and teachers from around the world from a variety of disciplines.

This workshop aims to improve the understanding of Second Life as a Learning and Research environment. It will bring 35 researchers together to collaborate, discuss and workshop diverse topics related to research and learning in Second Life. We will pursue a full-day schedule in which participants will discuss their work and interests on four different topics: learning in Second Life, integrated learning, the contributions of research to the community and ethical
research methods. How can we better enable learning in this sphere? How can we better enable research?

Our honored keynote will be Pathfinder Linden

Researchers are requested to submit papers and short biography to slworkshop08@gmail.com, which will be selected and distributed amongst participants before the workshop. First invitations will be offered to those who provide full papers for consideration.

These papers have two purposes: first is to provide a common platform for understanding our research and teaching and second submitted papers may be considered for publication in an edited volume being produced in relation to the workshop, or possibly in peer reviewed
publication derived from the workshop (these are currently under discussion).

Subsequent invitations will be made based upon research/teaching statement and biography with priority given to people submitting full papers. If you are interested in participating, please send an email containing your information to slworkshop08@gmail.com.

Decisions will be made by August 1st, barring incident. There is a limit of 35 participants at the physical meeting; the event will be simulcast into Second Life which will be organized by Jason Nolan.

We welcome professionals, faculty and graduate students to participate.

This workshop is sponsored by Linden Lab, creators of Second Life, and is organized by Jeremy Hunsinger, Rochelle Mazar, Aleks Krotoski and Jason Nolan. Lunch, coffee breaks and the room is included in participation. (And you'll probably get a t-shirt!)

*We are also seeking additional sponsors, please contact jhuns@vt.edu if you would like to sponsor this workshop.

Hispanic-Americans Are Heaviest Media Users

In February 2008 the average Hispanic-American over the age of 11 spent more time online than watching television, according to the Terra Networks-sponsored "Hispanic Syndicated Study," conducted by comScore Media Metrix.

"In general, online Hispanics—independent of their language preferences and acculturation levels—are heavily engaged in technology," wrote the report's authors.

Every day, more than half (56%) of Hispanic-Americans surveyed said they spent at least an hour online, which was slightly more than the 50% who spent an hour or more watching TV.

On a weekly basis, Terra reported that more Hispanic-American Internet users spent 13 or more hours online (30%) than watched TV for the same amount of time (23%).

Hispanic-Americans ages 12 to 34 were on the Internet more than those 35 and older, who tended to spend more time watching TV than online.

Three-quarters of respondents multitasked, saying they always or very frequently used the Internet and TV together. Of those, 44% e-mailed or instant messaged about the shows they were watching and 40% researched products being advertised on TV. More than one-third went to the Web site for the show being watched.

The Terra study results agree with other studies of Hispanic-American media consumption. A Burson-Marsteller study conducted by MSI International revealed influential online Hispanic-American adults consumed more media across the board than the general population of influential Internet users. Hispanic-American influentials also spent an average of about five hours more online per week than online influentials in general.

The trend has held true in recent years. Hispanic-Americans consumed more media than the general population in a Yahoo! Telemundo study conducted by Experian Simmons in November through December 2006.

Although Hispanic-American Internet usage is greater than that of the general US population, the group is still under-represented online, especially in broadband access. Only American Indians and Alaska Natives have a smaller proportion of households with broadband access, according to the US Census Bureau.

[for the full article with graphs and stats click here]

New Radical Subjectivities: Re-thinking Agency for the 21st Century

New Radical Subjectivities: Re-thinking Agency for the 21st Century

The University of Nottingham, UK
Friday, September 19th, 2008

Keynote Speaker – Professor Peter Hallward (Middlesex University)

This one day conference for postgraduate students and early career researchers explores recent articulations of subjectivity and political agency in critical theory and cultural studies. The
continued ascent of neo-liberalism and economic globalisation, along with postmodern and poststructuralist theorising around subjectivity, potentially sets a dangerously de-politicised subject against the expanding forces and inequalities of contemporary capitalism.

Over the last twenty-five years, theoretical writings on the left have stressed the need to locate subject positions beyond the reductionism of an orthodox Marxism, and the disabling extremes of liberal anti-essentialism. Concepts which continue to posit some form of subjective agency have attempted to respond to the human issues at stake in contemporary political formations without compromising a theoretical commitment to a discursively produced subject.

From Gayatri Spivak's 'strategic essentialism' and Laclau and Mouffe's 'radical democracy' to more recent articulations such as Hardt and Negri's 'multitude' and the Lacanian and post-Lacanian thought of Slavoj Žižek and Alain Badiou, these writers all stress the continuing
importance of leftist theories of the subject that can provide a theoretical antidote to the excesses of relativist pluralism and identity politics.

Such thinkers as Fredric Jameson and Susan Buck-Morss therefore stress the importance of posing agency at a trans-individual and collective level. These positions emphasise the importance of opposition and agonism in any radical politics, rather than consensual or 'third way' liberalism. Collective identities therefore continue to offer a crucial grounding for Leftist (re)considerations of subjectivity as a necessary form of agency for radical change, even if these groupings prove to be only ever strategic or temporary.

We invite papers from researchers working in critical theory, cultural studies, literature, film, the visual arts, history, politics and the social sciences which explore, but are not limited to, the following questions:

o Is the subject still the locus for a radical left politics?
o What forms of radical or oppositional agency are now emerging?
o What roles can class, gender and ethnicity play for new subjectivities?
o Does the left need to go beyond opposition and resistance towards the construction of new 'subjective' political spaces?
o What aesthetic or cultural forms are currently engaging with and creating new subjective or collective agencies?
o What contributions can Lacanian and post-Lacanian thought make to contemporary political subjectivity?
o Are theories of subjectivity currently responding adequately to developments in a globalized resistance, such as the anti-globalization movement, the resurgence of the left in Latin America, and religious fundamentalisms?
o Do changes in social production initiated by economic and cultural globalization offer a new potential for collective emancipation, or are they only ever complicit with a hegemonic global capitalism?
o Do digital technologies offer new ways for rethinking agency?
o What is the role of Utopia in new political formations?

Abstracts of 200-250 words should be submitted by e-mail as a Word attachment to newradicalsubjectivities@gmail.com by 30th May 2008 and should include name, affiliation, e-mail address, title of paper and 4 keywords.

Peter Hallward is the author of Absolutely Postcolonial: Writing between the Singular and the Specific (Manchester, 2001), Badiou: A Subject to Truth (Minnesota, 2003), Out of this World: Deleuze and the Philosophy of Creation (Verso, 2006), and most recently, Damming the
Flood: Haiti, Aristide, and the Politics of Containment (Verso, 2007).

New Radical Subjectivities Organisational Collective
Alexander Dunst, Caroline Edwards and Matthew Mead
The Centre for Critical Theory
Department of Cultural Studies
The University of Nottingham, UK.