Friday, August 22, 2008

Continuity and Innovation: Contemporary Film Form and Film Criticism

Continuity and Innovation: Contemporary Film Form and Film Criticism

5th - 7th September 2008, University of Reading Film Conference

We are delighted to announce that director Stephen Frears will be joining us for a Q & A session at the conference. In light of this exciting news we have negotiated a further extension for registrations until 31st August 2008.

Stephen Frears is the multi-award winning British director of films such as The Queen (2006), Mrs Henderson Presents (2005), Dirty Pretty Things (2002), The Hi-Lo Country (1998), The Van (1996), The Grifters (1990), Dangerous Liasons (1988) and My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), and television drama such as The Deal (2003), Fail Safe (2000), The Snapper (1993) and many more. He recently acted as president of the Cannes Film Festival jury (2007) and
currently holds the David Lean Chair in Fiction Direction at the National Film and Television School.

Stephen joins our three keynote speakers at the event, Adrian Martin, Gilberto Perez and Douglas Pye, and award-winning German director Birgit Grosskopf, whose 2006 feature Prinzessin (2006), not currently available in the UK, will also be screened at the conference.

Registration forms can be downloaded from the conference website:

Accommodation on campus is still available.

There will is a draft schedule for the conference available on our website, which will shortly be updated with Stephen Frears Q & A session: (all details correct at time of going to press)

Enquiries should be directed to the conference organisers Lisa Purse and John Gibbs at



16-18 April 2009, Centre for Victorian Studies, University of Exeter

Keynote speakers:
Prof. Bernard Lightman,
Prof. Vanessa Toulmin,
Prof. Jon Burrows,
Dr. Ann Featherstone,
Prof. Martin Hewitt

This conference aims to examine the eclectic range of popular entertainments in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, with a particular focus on exhibition practices.

The intention is to provide a forum that brings together the range of research currently being undertaken by different disciplines in this area, including film studies, Victorian studies, history of science, performance studies, English literature, art history and studies of popular culture. Potential topics could include but are not limited to:

· The role of visual entertainments (e.g. magic lantern, panoramas, dioramas, photography, peep shows)

· Early cinema: exhibition and reception

· Local and regional exhibition cultures

· Science and technology: demonstration and instruction

· Improvement and rational recreation

· Exhibitions of 'Otherness' (e.g. freak shows, ethnographic shows, minstrels)

· Music hall, pantomime, vaudeville and variety

· Public lectures and lecturing

· Galleries, museums and civic institutions (e.g. The Royal Polytechnic Institution, Mechanics Institutes)

· Travelling shows, fairgrounds and circuses

· World's Fairs and international exhibitions

· Magic, illusion and spiritualism

· Concerts, recitals and readings

· Pleasure gardens, tourism and seaside exhibitions

· Dance and physical performance

· Literary and other representations of popular entertainments

· Showmen and showmanship

· Audiences: composition and reception

· Intermediality and exhibitions

· Image, narrative and performance

Please send proposals of no more than 300 words, together with your designation and affiliation to no later than 31st October 2008

Part of the AHRC funded project Moving and Projected Image Entertainment in the South West 1820-1914.
Visit the project website at

Knowledge Networks: Discovering network structure and patterns using Social Network Analysis

“Knowledge Networks: Discovering network structure and patterns using Social Network Analysis”
Pre-conference workshop PAKM 2008
Call for Papers

Workshop Objectives
During the last decade, knowledge has become a key consideration in our economies and it is heavily associated with innovation. Alongside this, so-called knowledge networks have arguably come to play a central role in organizations. These networks, which are built on social relations between employees, might serve various purposes such as collaborative problem solving, seeking advice, or developing competences by learning from peers. Recently, the network perspective has gained interest in the domain of knowledge networks and involves the study of the structure and patterns of knowledge networks. These studies rely heavily on theory and tools from social network analysis that has already a longstanding tradition in the sociology domain. The tools and techniques developed in this domain can be fruitfully applied in the field of knowledge networks. These techniques and tools can be used as (1) assessment tools and (2) research instruments.

As an assessment tool, social network analysis can be used to visualize and analyze for instance the advice seeking relations in an organization. Through visual inspection of the sociogram and by calculating network metrics such as average shortest path, connectedness or centralization, it is possible to detect potential bottlenecks in the advice seeking network of the organization. However, there is not much consensus yet about the network metrics that should be used. Furthermore, there is hardly any benchmark data available to determine e.g. if a certain value for the average shortest path is too high or not. Finally, in many cases it is not known what the structure of an ideal knowledge network looks like and how a particular instance of a knowledge network is deviating from that ideal state.

Secondly, social network analysis can also be used as a research instrument to study how the structure and patterns of knowledge networks are related to other variables such as task, group and organizational performance or to demographic data of people in the network. Much of the research so far has focused on a limited number of network metrics that are typically studied individually: interaction effects are neglected. Furthermore, group level performance also did not receive much attention yet.

Regardless of how social network analysis is used, in both cases it is necessary to collect social network data. This is typically done using interviews and/or surveys, which is a labor intensive task. Recently, also other ways of collecting network data have been explored such as mining e-mail traffic (only header or also content information) or the archives of online community forums. The advantage of this way of data collection is that it is less labour intensive and at the same time offers to do longitudinal analysis for studying the dynamics of knowledge networks. However, there has not been much research that studies if communication networks, i.e. e-mail traffic, actually resemble knowledge networks.

The workshop aims to bring together researchers from different disciplines that are interested in the application of social network analysis tools and techniques in knowledge network research. As such, the workshop provides a platform: 1) to elaborate on frequently used and emerging research questions and 2) to evaluate methodology used and, 3) to compare results of different research settings. We welcome both theoretical and empirical papers that employ diverse methodologies and philosophical perspectives.

Suggested topics (but not limited to this list):
• Influence of network position/network pattern on individual/ group/organizational performance

• Tools for harvesting mail messages and online communities for knowledge network data

• Case studies concerning the application of SNA to study knowledge networks in organizations

• Research that studies the factors that influence the formation of knowledge networks

• Case studies concerning the analysis of knowledge networks based on e-mail data

• Relation of knowledge networks to other networks such as friendship or communication networks

• Tools that track, map, and visualize knowledge networks

• Dynamics of networks, i.e. evolution of networks over time

• Application of cluster algorithms to detect knowledge networks/communities of practice in social network data

• Effects of social network technologies on the structure of knowledge networks

Important dates
- Workshop paper submission deadline : 22 September 2008
- Notification of paper acceptance : 15 October 2008
- Camera-ready version of paper : 31 October 2008
- Workshop day : 21 November 2008 (full-day workshop)

Paper submission and publication
Authors are invited to submit original and unpublished research papers. Paper submissions should be limited to a maximum of 8 pages (i.e. short paper) in the Springer LNCS format. Please refer to the Springer LNCS web site for the paper formatting instructions. Preferred formats are Microsoft Word or PDF. Papers should be submitted via email to Dr Remko Helms, the Workshop Chair. Papers submitted to the workshop will undergo a peer-review process. At least one author of the accepted paper is required to attend the workshop and present the paper.

It is envisaged to publish extended versions (i.e. full papers) of the best papers in a special issue of a journal, e.g. Journal of Knowledge Management or Knowledge Management Research and Practice.

Workshop chairs
- Dr. Remko Helms, Faculty of Science, Department of Information and Computing Sciences, Utrecht University, Netherlands (
- Dr. Miha Škerlavaj, Faculty of Economics, Department for Management and Organization, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (

Workshop committee:
• Andrea Back, University of St Gallen, Austria
• Elaine Ferneley, University of Salford, United Kingdom
• Claudia Müller, University of Stuttgart, Germany
• Tobias Müller-Prothman, Pumacy Technologies AG, Germany
• Jurriaan van Reijsen, Utrecht University, Netherlands
• Sarah Spiekerman, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany
• Robin Teigland, Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden

For further inquiries on the workshop please contact Dr Remko Helms at

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tenth Annual Graduate Symposium on Women’s and Gender History

Tenth Annual Graduate Symposium on Women’s and Gender History

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ~ March 5-7, 2009

Submission Deadline: November 1, 2008

The Executive Committee of the Tenth Annual Graduate Symposium on Women’s and Gender History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is pleased to announce a call for papers. The Symposium, which is the capstone event of the History Department’s Women’s History month celebration, is scheduled for March 5-7, 2009.

To celebrate and encourage further work in the field of women’s and gender history, we invite submissions from graduate students from any institution and discipline. The Symposium organizers welcome individual papers on any topic in the field of women’s and gender history; papers submitted as a panel will be judged individually. Preference will be given to scholars who did not present at last year’s Symposium.

This year’s theme, “Transforming Power,” seeks to interrogate a variety of trends shaping the field of women’s and gender history. The Symposium Executive Committee is interested in assembling a geographically and temporally diverse body of papers; exciting proposals could focus on, but would not be limited to, analysis of whether and to what extent power—as both a force in the world and an analytical scaffold—has been transformed over the past decades of
feminist scholarship and activism. Of related interest, as well, would be proposals that engage the issue of difference in women’s and gender studies and history, especially the benefits and difficulties of using difference as a scholarly and political frame of reference. These questions are purposefully broad, inviting perspectives and reflections from a variety of temporal, geographical, and inter/disciplinary perspectives. Additionally, in order to celebrate the Symposium's tenth anniversary and in keeping with our theme's focus on gender, power and the politics of location, we hope to assemble a specifically historiographic panel addressing the state of the field.We are, then, particularly interested in paper proposals that problematize the
history of feminist history or suggest new historiographic avenues of inquiry for our futures.

For the Tenth Annual Symposium, we are delighted to announce a keynote speaker who engages many of these themes in his work:

• Roderick A. Ferguson, Associate Professor of American Studies, University of Minnesota

The journal Gender & History will again sponsor a prize for the best graduate student paper presented at the Symposium. Conference presenters will also have the opportunity to publish their work in the on-line proceedings volume. We possess limited resources to subsidize travel expenses for presenters. Giving priority to presenters with limited conference experience, we will allocate these funds based on the quality of presenters’ proposals and the availability of funds.

To submit a paper or panel by email (preferred method); please send only one attachment in Word or PDF format containing a 250-word abstract and a one-page curriculum vitae for each paper presenter, commentator, or panel chair to .

To submit a paper or panel in a hard copy format, please send five (5) copies of all abstracts and curriculum vitae to: Programming Committee, Graduate Symposium on Women's and Gender History 309 Gregory Hall, MC 466, 810 S. Wright Street Urbana, Illinois 61801.

For more information, please contact Programming Committee Chairs, David Greenstein or Laura Duros at .

Cult Media Studies

The public launch of Cult Media Studies has been announced. Cult Media Studies is an online networking hub for students and academics studying cult film, television, and other media, set up by David Church. As online fan communities continue to thrive, likewise grows the need for a more cohesive global community among those whose professional research interests actively span both fannish and academic quarters. As such, we are currently seeking new members with an interest in this area of research, and hope to have the website grow and evolve to fit its
members' needs over the coming months. The site is still a work in progress, so any suggestions for new content or features are greatly appreciated.

The site's centerpiece is a discussion forum for conversing about cult media studies and the objects of its analysis. Announcements of events, new releases, and calls for papers are welcomed. Important events (conferences, festivals, etc.) can be posted on the main page.

There is also a section of the site for uploading or embedding videos as visual aids or potential objects of interest for other members. Members may also post blogs, photos, comments, or other content on their personal pages.

The site's advisory board includes the following scholars:
Kate Egan, University of Aberystwyth
Matt Hills, Cardiff University
I.Q. Hunter, De Montfort University
Barbara Klinger, Indiana University
Ernest Mathijs, University of British Columbia
Eric Schaefer, Emerson College
Jamie Sexton, University of Aberystwyth

Should you be interested in visiting or signing up, the site can be found here:

Assistant/Associate in Critical/Cultural Studies at Syracuse University

The Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies invites applications for a full-time tenure-track position at the rank of advanced Assistant/Associate Professor beginning fall 2009, pending final approval. Applicants should have a Ph.D. in communication or a related field and a strong record of teaching, research, and service.

The position is open to persons interested in critical and/or cultural studies and cosmopolitan/postmodern approaches to questions related to communication, culture and/or rhetoric. Area of research is open but should be a clearly articulated and provocative research agenda that pushes boundaries and opens new and interesting questions.

To apply you must first complete an online demographic summary at and then send hard copy materials to the department for consideration as follows: a letter of application, curriculum vitae, and three letters of recommendation; evidence of teaching effectiveness, sample publications and/or scholarly writing, and official transcripts. Forward all materials to:

Critical/Cultural Studies Search Chair,
Dept. of Communication and Rhetorical Studies,
Syracuse University,
100 Sims Hall,
NY 13244-1230.

Initial screening of applicants will begin on November 1, 2008, and continue until the position is filled.

The Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies is part of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The department boasts twelve faculty members, who specialize in the areas of rhetorical theory, critical studies, and communication theory. Emerging foci include democratic discourse, visual rhetoric, public memory and community engagement.

Our curriculum is best suited for persons who are committed to probing new and exciting questions about communication, and developing an array of new interdisciplinary courses that extend across our college and university. Additionally, faculty members cultivate working relationships with other departments such as Latino-Latin American Studies, African American Studies, Composition and Cultural Rhetoric, Women's Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, and other schools and colleges specific to their research and teaching areas. Faculty members maintain active research agendas and commit themselves to providing excellence in teaching. The department maintains an undergraduate program of about 400 students and a prospering master's degree program. The department, along with the University, commits itself to diversity and invites applications from traditionally under-represented groups. More information about the department can be found at

Syracuse University is a private, coeducational and residential university. Its full-time, main campus enrollment of 11,000+ undergraduates and 4,000+ graduate students represent the United States, about 100 foreign countries and varied economic and social backgrounds. The university contains nationally recognized programs in citizenship and mass communication. For more information on the university, please visit

Syracuse University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

IAMHIST conference 2009: Social Fears and Moral Panics

IAMHIST conference 2009: Social Fears and Moral Panics, Aberystwyth, 8-11 July 2009

The International Association for Media and History (IAMHIST) announces its call for papers for the XXIII biennial IAMHIST conference, incorporating the 3rd Gregynog Media History Conference, on the theme Social Fears and Moral Panics.

The aim of the conference is to explore both the role of the media in addressing, highlighting or perpetuating social fears, and the mass media itself as a perceived moral agent and/or threat. Topics to address might thus include questions of media content and/or language; concerns about public intrusion; censorship and the freedom of information; the reporting of crimes or disasters; invasion and security fears in times of peace or war; religious, cultural and/or linguistic fears; fears relating to youth or children, or to minority groups; fears relating to particular behaviours, pursuits or leisure activities; 'golden ageism'.

We welcome paper proposals that address the theme in both contemporary and/or historical perspective; proposals which engage with the theme comparatively (both geographically and temporally); and proposals which engage with theoretical approaches, including the social theory of moral panic.

We also welcome proposals on their work in progress from postgraduate and early-career scholars in the field of media history, including on topics that may not be on the conference theme.

Proposals for complete panels (three themed papers) are welcome, as well as individual paper submissions. Papers presented at the conference should be 25-30 minutes in length and should use illustrative material (for instance film clips) wherever possible.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words per paper should be sent to Dr Sian Nicholas at, c/o Department of History and Welsh History, Aberystwyth University, Penglais, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 3DY, Wales UK.

The conference is being organised by IAMHIST, in association with the Centre for Media History and Departments of History and Welsh History, and Theatre, Film and Television, Aberystwyth University, the Department of Media and Communications, Swansea University, and the journals Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television and Media History, with the support of the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth.

For further details, see:

Aberystwyth University is located overlooking the seaside town of Aberystwyth on the west Wales Cardigan Bay coast. Direct trains to Aberystwyth run from Birmingham New Street via Shrewsbury. The nearest airports are Birmingham (best for train links), Manchester and Cardiff. Accommodation will be available on campus throughout the conference.




"Swing your razor high...":

Sweeney Todd and Other (Neo-)Victorian Criminalities

In collaboration with '"Attend the tale"...New Contexts for Sweeney Todd', a symposium held 31 May 2008 at the Lincoln Centre of Performing Arts, UK, the inter-disciplinary, peer-reviewed e-journal, 'Neo-Victorian Studies' will publish a special issue on nineteenth century crimes, in Britain and elsewhere, and their continuing fascination for twentieth/twenty-first century writers, artists, and theorists. Papers examining the historicity of crime are especially welcome, so as to explore the variability - and potential continuities - of crime, its place in the popular imagination, and its cultural meanings between different periods.

Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

* The Sweeney Todd legend and its various performance contexts

* Jack the Ripper and/or the serial killer's afterlife

* criminal consumption: penny dreadful to hypertext

* shady cities, underworlds, and villainous topographies

* crime and punishment

* queering criminality

* the villain as racial Other

* gendering criminal performativity

* erotic horrors and sex crimes

* proper detectives and private sleuths

* the medicalisation of criminal pathology

* industrial espionage and sabotage

* historical revisions/adaptations of 'real-life' crimes

* child murderers

* badness and madness

* crime and the occult

* crime writing as cultural commentary/memory

* crime in/as Art

* the historicity of crime

Articles or creative pieces should be between 6000-8000 words, submitted by email for peer-review to both the Guest Editors Kelly Jones and Benjamin Poore at and the General Editor Marie-Luise Kohlke at

For further submission guidelines, please consult the journal website at

Mediated Girlhood anthology - call for papers

Mediated Girlhood: New Explorations of Girls' Media Culture
Call for Papers
edited by Mary Celeste Kearney, PhD, The University of Texas at Austin

Proposal deadline: October 15, 2008

This collection--currently proposed as part of Peter Lang's "Mediated Youth" series, edited by Sharon Mazzarella--will include new work on girls' media culture that broadens and enriches the field.

Of particular interest are chapters that expand scholarship on girls' media and popular culture beyond its conventional white, middle-class, heterosexual, Western, consumerist, and presentist

Possible topics:

- girls' media production

- girls' media made prior to the 1990s

- non-white girlhood in media and popular culture

- non-Western girlhood in media and popular culture

- queer girlhood in media and popular culture

- working-class girlhood in media and popular culture

- girlhood in documentary film

- girlhood in reality TV shows

- girls' media reception/fan practices

- girls and video gaming

- girls and cyberculture

- girlhood and music culture

- girls and mobile technologies

- girls and conglomerated media culture.

Please send a 250-word proposal, short bibliography, brief author's bio, and contact information to Mary Celeste Kearney at by October 15, 2008.

Notification of accepted proposals will be made by December 1, 2008.
First chapter drafts of 5000 to 8000 words will be due in late spring 2009.

For further information, please contact Mary Celeste Kearney at

Announcement of New IJoC Articles

The International Journal of Communication (IJoC), published by the University of Southern California, announces the publication of the following new articles to its journal's Web site between August 5 and 13, 2008 that may be of interest to you:

Title: The Economy of Media Events: Theory and Examples
Author: Benjamin Krämer
Assuming that an economic approach can contribute to the understanding of media events, this article analyzes the different types of strategies, investments and returns (financial as well as symbolic) related to this type of events that are both staged or covered by the media. Two aspects of institutional frameworks, property rights and ascriptions of legitimacy, are outlined and their impact on the economy of media events is discussed. With regard to the Internet and forms of user participation, the specific efficiency of formal organisations and informal cooperation in organising media events is analysed. Some strategic problems pertaining to media events and their implications for consumption, market conditions and market outcomes are also described.

Title: Broadcasting Space: China Central Television's New Headquarters
Author: Shannon Mattern
China Central Television's spectacular new headquarters, set to open in 2009, has attracted attention from the design press since its designers were selected in an international competition in 2002. In this paper, I examine the Office for Metropolitan Architecture's design for the CCTV building, the rhetoric surrounding the design, and the media and spatial contexts in which the building will exist. I argue that, contrary to the designers' claims — and perhaps in spite of their best intentions — that the building will promote a more open, accessible state media, this steel and glass structure embodies tensions currently gripping the institution — tensions between official ideologies and the market, between the Party and the people, between propaganda and commerce. As the medium of television grows increasingly decentralized through digitization and mobilization, and as China’s state media faces increasing competition from other media in other forms and from other places, the symbolic significance of a huge, monolithic structure will become ever more important in signaling the continuing power of this state institution.

Title: News Media Coverage of the Iraq War in Basra, Fall 2007: A case study in "spinning" news for the state
Author: Kurt Lancaster
By examining several mainstream press stories from The New York Times, and the Associated Press during the fall of 2007, the author argues how mainstream news media have mostly failed to examine and put into headlines one of the devastating side effects of the occupation of Iraq: armed militias exerting harsh conditions on the citizens of Iraq, especially in the city of Basra, the site of one of the largest untapped oil reserves in the world. This failure stems from the fact that most of the media appear compliant and complicit in adhering to the government’s presentation of conditions in Basra − that it appears to be improving under “regime change.” News sources not beholden to this influence, the alternative news sites of, The Christian Science Monitor, BBC News, and Juan Cole’s Informed Comment blog published stories challenging the views presented by the state, sourcing news outside official government channels. By doing so, readers find that the rise of armed militias in Basra caused corruption in the election process, resulting in a stagnation and decay of Basra’s infrastructure, the loss of jobs, and the rise of Taliban-like religious edicts taking away women’s freedom, as well as music from the public places of the city, which was once considered the Venice of the East.

More articles are available here:

About The International Journal of Communication:
The International Journal of Communication is an online, multi-media, academic journal that adheres to the highest standards of peer review and engages established and emerging scholars from anywhere in the world. The International Journal of Communication is an interdisciplinary journal that, while centered in communication, is open and welcoming to contributions from the many disciplines and approaches that meet at the crossroads that is communication study. We encourage readers to register now at IJoC is published by the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Crossing boundaries: Learning and teaching in virtual worlds

Crossing boundaries: Learning and teaching in virtual worlds

While the concept of multi-user virtual worlds is not a new one, the rising popularity of virtual world applications has been rapid over the last five years. Although much attention around such immersive environments has centred upon Second Life, there are currently 80 virtual world applications available and another 100 planned for 2009, with some targeting specific populations (e.g., young girls with BarbieGirls) and others catering for broader audiences (e.g., training applications in The appeal of virtual worlds is that they allow users to cross over into new spaces that can be used to support a range of social interactions. In this way, they have proven to be quite versatile, embracing varied activities and purposes, including business,
cultural activities as well as having educational capabilities.

With its focus upon the educational uses of virtual world applications, this special issue of the British Journal of Educational Technology (Volume 40, Issue 6) aims to provide a definitive profile of the current status of virtual worlds for education and training. Specifically, we invite contributions from the research community to advance our understanding of this field of study and research. In order to build upon existing research, and to support the development of the field as a unique academic discipline, in this unique issue the editors are interested in hosting a forum for rigorous and leading edge contributions to the nascent field that:

• explore new frameworks, approaches and pedagogical models,

• present case studies of practice where innovative techniques are pioneered,

• investigate new methods of teaching, learning and research in the area,

• evaluate the experiences of teachers, learners and institutions using immersive worlds.

The aim of the special issue is to bring together the most leading edge research and development in the field and allow practitioners and researchers to benefit from these valuable contributions. Towards this aim, recommended topics of interest for this special issue include, but are not limited to, the following research questions:

• What value can virtual world applications add to conventional methods of education and what evidence exists to support such propositions?

• What are the institutional changes needed to accommodate learning approaches centred on virtual worlds?

• What pedagogies and approaches are needed to make the use of virtual world applications most effective and engaging, and what evidence exists to support such approaches?

• Are particular learner groups engaged more with virtual world applications than others?

• What are the main challenges for tutors and trainers using virtual world technologies?

• What are the main technological challenges associated with using virtual world applications?

• What frameworks and approaches can be developed to support effective, engaging and transformative usage of virtual worlds?

• Does the use of virtual worlds necessitate more learner-centred approaches? What evidence exists to support claims for or against such approaches?

• Will using these applications change how people learn? If so, what evidence exists to support such a claim?

• Do virtual world applications offer greater support than alternative technologies for building and supporting distributed learning communities?

• How do learners experience virtual worlds? How do they experience their interactions with others?

• How do learners choose to represent themselves in virtual worlds?

The issue also envisages contributions that relate to a wider range of virtual world applications particularly where learning and training issues are highlighted. Studies focusing upon massively multiplayer role-playing games (e.g. World of Warcraft), mirror worlds (e.g. Google earth) and hybrid worlds (e.g. mixed reality experiences) will also be considered for the issue where they make sure that the focus is upon learning activities and practices and where lessons learned may be applied to virtual worlds for learning.

The issue will also be twinned with the First International IEEE Conference on Serious Games and Virtual Worlds which will be held in March 2009 at the University of Coventry, UK.

Submission Process

April 1, 2009: Full length papers due (see for guidelines). Please send an email to the editors with the title of your
submission and submit your paper online using Manuscript Central. To make a submission, go to If this is the first time you have used the system you will be asked to register by clicking on ‘create an account.’ Full instructions on making your
submission are provided. You should receive an acknowledgment within a few minutes. Thereafter, you will be kept in touch with the progress of your submission through refereeing, any revisions that are required, and – hopefully – to final acceptance.

Please advise Sara de Freitas that you have made a submission for the special issue. If you do not then it will be treated as an ordinary submission for a subsequent general issue

June 1, 2009: Notification of acceptance

July 1, 2009: Final papers with revisions due

November, 2009: Publication date

Note: Submissions to the Crossing boundaries Serious Games and Virtual Worlds conference to be held at Coventry University in March 2009 that fit the purpose of this call may be recommended for co-submission to the special issue. Authors will be contacted directly where this is the case so that they can revisit the paper for the BJET special issue review process. Successfully reviewed papers will be processed by BJET in the normal way and according to the normal peer-review procedures. For those wishing to submit papers to the conference, details can be found at:

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Sara de Freitas B.A. (Hons), M.A., PhD
Sara de Freitas is Director of Research at the hub for research and development in serious games and virtual worlds at the Serious Games Institute at the University of Coventry, UK. Her research interests include evaluating the efficacy of serious games and virtual world applications, pedagogic modelling and policy and strategic development of e-learning. Sara chairs the Lab Group, speaks internationally and has a significant publications list in the field of e-learning, game-based learning and lifelong learning. Sara also holds a visiting fellowship at the University of London where she continues to build on leading edge research in the field at the London Knowledge Lab. She currently has four books in publication and is setting up an interdisciplinary
research group focusing upon artificial intelligence, evaluation and validation for immersive forms and developing links between physical and virtual spaces through smart buildings. (Address: Sara de Freitas, PhD, Serious Games Institute, University of Coventry, Cheetah Road, Coventry, CV1 2TL, United Kingdom;

Dr. George Veletsianos B.A., M.A., Ph.D
George Veletsianos is Lecturer of Digital Technologies, Communication &Education at the University of Manchester, UK. His research interestsinvolve the design, development, and evaluation of electronic learningenvironments, adventure learning, emerging technologies in distance andhybrid education, virtual characters, and the learner experience. Hisresearch and development work has been published in excess of 30 timesin articles and manuscripts in academic journals, books, and conferenceproceedings, while his work has been presented at over 40 national andinternational conferences. (Address: George Veletsianos, PhD, LTA,School of Education, Ellen Wilkinson Building, University of Manchester,Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, United Kingdom;

GOR 09 - GENERAL ONLINE RESEARCH 2009 - Call for Papers


April 6-8, 2009, University of Vienna, Austria

"Do more - See more - Get more: Online Research in Theory and Practice".
An Assessment of new Methodological Approaches and Classical Insights on the Impact of Online and Mobile Communication


* German Society for Online Research, Local Organizers:

* Austrian Market Research Association (VMÖ)

* Austrian Advertising Research Association (WWG)

* Austrian Forum of Experts in Online Research

Program Committee:

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Roland Burkart (University of Vienna, Austria) Prof. Dr. Nicola Doering (Ilmenau University of Technology, Germany) Andera Gadeib (CEO, Dialego AG, Aachen, Germany) Dr. Uwe Matzat (Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands, DGOF member of the board) Emanuel Maxl (VMÖ, Expertenforum Online-Forschung, Vienna, Austria) Dr. Lieselotte Stalzer (VMÖ, Vienna, Austria) Prof. Dr. Martin Welker, Chair (Macromedia University of Applied Sciences Munich, Germany, DGOF member of the board)


>> Focus and Papers

>> Deadline

>> Topics

>> Types of Contributions and Abstract Submission Schedule of GOR 09

>> Conference Fees and Registration Exhibition Stand Space

>> Summary: Important Deadlines, How to Get in Touch with GOR 09

>> Focus of the Conference
The aim of the General Online Research (GOR) is the discussion of basic research, innovative developments, and practical experiences in the field of online research. Online research covers a) all methods, instruments and theories that are dealing with the collection of data via online networks and b) effects of online applications and technologies on all levels of society. That involves mobile communication as well. The annual GOR conference involves research mainly within the social and behavioral sciences. GOR 09 supports the exchange of knowledge not only in an interdisciplinary way, but also between researchers and practitioners as well as between universities and companies.

>> Papers Invited
Theory driven papers are welcome as well as papers with a strong empirical basis and a thorough design. The presentation of applications, best practice examples and cases studies are encouraged. Purely promotional presentations will not be considered for the program.
Purely theoretical papers are welcome as long as they provide a clear guidance for future empirical research. The program committee invites presenters from the private sector, official statistics in the governmental and the academic sector. Presentations by teams of authors from two or more sectors are especially welcome. Proposals may include industry cases / clients with a case from practice. Conference Language is English. All papers shall be presented in English
(including slides and written papers, if applicable).

>> Deadline
***Deadline for abstract submission is October 15, 2008***
The program committee accepts abstract proposals through an online submission system at All abstracts should be submitted in English. All abstracts will be evaluated by members of the program committee. There will be a transparent evaluation process based on scores. Contributors will be informed regarding the evaluation of their abstracts by Dec. 07, 2008. After accepting the invitations to present at the conference,
authors are expected to register with the conference and provide a proof of their working on the paper prior to the assembly of the final conference program.

>> Which Topics?

(1) Data Collection Using the Internet:


- Web 2.0 Features and New Instruments in Web Surveys,

- Field-experimental Work on the Question Answer Process in Web Surveys,

- Audio and Video Elements in Web Surveys.

Weighting in Web surveys:

- Propensity Score Weighting and Related Procedures.


- Probability Samples and Online Access Panels,

- Sampling of Special Populations on the Internet,

- Non-response: Incentives, Field work and its Timing.

(2) Research Goes Mobile: New Applications in Data Collection:

- The Merger of Oral and Visual Communication,

- Supporting Interviewers and Field Representatives,

- Self-administered Mobile Data Collection,

- Evaluation of New Technologies.

(3) Qualitative Research via Internet:

- New Approaches in Qualitative Research Online

- Qual-Quant Methods which are enabled by the Internet

- Semi-structured and Qualitative Interviews on the Web,

- Qualitative Content Analysis of Websites, Blogs, Wikis, Personal Profiles.

(4) Internet and Mobile Metrics:

- Network Analysis: Methods, Instruments, Indicators

- Data Mining Techniques, Indicators,

- Combining Data Mining and Survey Data.

(5) Social Web & Civil Society:

- Online Groups, Online Communities & Social Networking Sites,

- Internet and Social Movements: Participation and the Deliberative Democracy,

- Social Networks and Relations Online and Offline,

- Digital Inequality,

- eDemocracy & eGovernance,

- Social and Psychological Effects of Internet Use,

- eHealth,

- e- & m-Learning.

(6) Electronic & Mobile Business:

- Evaluation of Web-Sites and E-Commerce,

- Electronic CRM and its Relation to Online Market Research,

- Online Employee Surveys.

>> Types of Contributions and Abstract Submission:
* Papers: Oral presentation of a paper.
* Poster presentations: Contribution to a poster session.

For oral presentations and posters please submit an abstract of about 350 words. The abstract should be descriptive with respect to the underlying research question(s), the methods used to assess these questions, the data used and a short summary of the results. It should especially make clear what the results add to existing insights and knowledge about the topic.

* Sessions: Contributors are encouraged to propose sessions of 3 to 5 presentations focused on a particular topic within the scope of the conference. Session organizers are invited to submit a draft program including the names of all contributors, titles of their presentations, and contact information in addition to a 250 word rational for the session. Sessions combining presentations from the private sector and the academic sector are especially welcome.

* Workshops: You may propose teaching a 2.5 or 5 hour pre-conference workshop covering key methods or ethical aspects of Internet science.

* Roundtables

Proceedings: rights remain with the authors.
There will be
a) proceedings, that is a booklet with all the abstracts of the accepted papers, free for all participants of GOR 09.
b) an edited volume of 10-15 excellent papers in the series "Neue Schriften zur Online-Forschung"
c) an edited volume of 10-15 excellent papers of the special track "Research goes mobile".

>> Schedule of GOR 09:
Traditionally, the GOR follows this schedule (subject to alteration):
Monday (April 6, 2009): Workshops, DGOF Member Meeting & Early Bird Meeting Tuesday (April 7, 2009): Conference, Exhibition & Party Wednesday (April 8, 2009): Conference & Exhibition

Traveling and accommodation: please refer to our website

>> Social Events and Membership Meeting:
The traditional Early-Bird-Meeting takes place in the evening of April, 6th, 2009. Visitors and participants will have the opportunity to meet and get in touch with other researchers. On Tuesday evening (April 7th, 2009) there will be a big party. During the conference there is a meeting of the members of the German Society for Online Research. Members will receive additional information about the meeting at a later date.

>> Exhibition Stand Space:
Companies will have the opportunity to book exhibition stand space for presentations of products or services. Please contact

>> Conference Fees and Registration:
Conference fees include tax, conference materials, two lunches, the evening event, drinks and snacks during breaks.

* Researchers: 180 Euros
* First authors: 145 Euros
* Students: 90 Euros
* Commercial participants (e.g., company representatives, free-lancers, consultants): 465 Euros

Early registrants (i.e., registration by January 15, 2008) have a 15 % discount. DGOF, VMÖ and WWG members have a 20 % discount, which cannot be combined with the early registrants' discount. For participants other than first authors, day tickets are available, as well.

Registration for all participants begins December 10th , 2008 at

>> Important deadlines:

Okt/15th /2008 deadline for abstract submission Dec/07th /2008 feedback on paper acceptance/registration begins Jan/01th /2009 preliminary program available
Jan/31th/2009 deadline for first author registration
Feb/22th/2009 deadline for sending in slides and powerpoints

>> How to Get in Touch:
Conference website, abstract submission, workshops:

Business activities and any further questions:

Social Networks Get Down to Business

Think of them as digital water coolers—surrounded by thousands of workers engaged in serious business conversations.
Do business and socializing mix?

Apparently so. As the number of business users of social networks continues to increase, advertising expenditures will rise, too. In the US this year, advertisers will spend $40 million to reach a business audience on online social networks, and that is just the beginning. According to eMarketer projections, that ad spending will reach $210 million in 2012.

"As compelling as the ad growth is, marketers will spend far more over the next few years to create and manage their own social networks for business customers, partners, suppliers and vendors," says Debra Aho Williamson, senior analyst at eMarketer and author of the new report, B2B Marketing on Social Networks: Engaging the Business Audience. "These business networks will serve a range of purposes, from improving customer communication and collaboration to aiding product development."

A clear sign of the revolution in business thinking and behavior is the popularity of LinkedIn—the most widely known professional social network—where the audience has more than doubled in the past year, and the rise of additional business-oriented networks, including a raft of networks aimed at verticals.

In fact, vertical industry networks targeting just about any job description or category are proliferating. Among the most prominent are ITtoolbox, a 1.3-million-member community of information technology professionals; Legal OnRamp and LawLink for attorneys; and Reel-Exchange, for film and video professionals.

"Even Facebook has become a de facto B2B social network," says Ms. Williamson, "simply because so many business executives have joined it in the past year."

The giant social networking site may not consider itself to be in the B2B space, but a June 2008 deal with Visa, which created an application called Visa Business Network for small businesses on Facebook, signals that it will probably attract more advertising aimed at a growing business audience.

"With the growing popularity of professional social network Websites, businesspeople are changing how they build professional relationships and find jobs," says Ms. Williamson.

for the full article with graphs and stats click here

Monday, August 18, 2008



Date: April 29th to May 1st 2009
Venue: University of Bremen, Germany

54th Annual Conference of the German Communication Association (DGPuK)

Our present cultures cannot be understood beyond the media. If one understands cultures in the widest sense of the word as the whole conflicting way of living, knowing and acting of a major group of people, then they are communicatively mediated: Through communication we become socialized within cultures, and cultural practices are to a large degree expressed in communication. These processes of communication occur increasingly via technical media, beginning with newspapers and journals, through television, radio and film up to the so-called hybrid media of computers and mobile phones. In this sense we can understand our present cultures as media cultures.

Taking this as a starting point the conference “Media Culture in Change” has a threefold objective: First aim is to discuss how to describe media cultures within media and communication studies theoretically and empirically. Secondly, the subject of the conference is to reflect how change can be described adequately and also how it can be operationalised. Third, the conference addresses the question of the significance of research on media cultures for the theoretical development of media and communication studies.

Papers on the following topic fields are welcome:

• Concepts of media culture

• Empirical media culture research

• Historical dimension of media cultural change

• Present relevance of media cultural change

• Media politics, public sphere and political discourse cultures

• Integration, segregation and conflicts in media cultures

• Cultures of journalism, production and organisation

• Contents, formats and discourses of media cultures

• Everyday life, appropriation and socialisation in media cultures

Invited keynote speakers are:

• Hans Adler, University of Wisconsin, Madison

• Claus Leggewie, Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut Essen

• Robin Mansell, London School of Economics and Political Science

• David Morley, Goldsmiths College University of London

For further information on the conference and the full call for papers please visit the web page

Abstracts must be submitted by 15th October 2008 via the online abstract management system, accessible via this web page after 1st September 2008.

Responsible for local organisation: Andreas Hepp (

Avant-Garde as Critical Practice - call for papers

The Avant-Garde as Critical Practice
Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture
UPDATE: Call for Papers
Extended Deadline: 15 December 2008 (full submissions only)

In this special issue, we are looking for contributions that acknowledge the legacies of various avant-garde movements as they have affected the genre known, for better or worse, as "criticism." From Walter Benjamin's use of montage effects in The Arcades Project, to Roland Barthes' radical experiments with form in his post-semiotic work, to Jacques Derrida's exploration of a "science of chance" in his use of the signature in works like Glas and Signsponge, there has been an ongoing, if intermittent, tradition of exploring the idea that the historical
avant-garde's interest in art as a form of knowledge and research, its dedication to using methods whose outcomes are unpredictable in advance (Surrealist games, Oulipian constraints), its openness to the utopian potentials of new communications technologies (particularly photography and cinema), all have the potential to not only become an object of criticism, but to challenge the very division between artistic production and critical discourse. Likewise, artists have responded to the demands of criticism in their own right by transforming them into
manifestos and artist's statements which challenge genre on a textual level, by creating hybrid forms such as the essay film, and by making use of both language and image in the forms of video art, installations, and a proliferation of cyber-art genres.

This special issue of Reconstruction seeks to engage this tradition and its proliferations both geographical (where else has the avant-garde destabilized the binary between art and criticism) and conceptual (the combinations of "theory" and art in Language poetry, feminist explorations of autobiographical inquiry as a research strategy, to name just two prominent examples) on the level of practice. While there has been much discussion of how various philosophers and cultural critics have broken the frames of their respective disciplines, academia has been relatively slow to take their experiments seriously enough to allow a proliferation of such research practices and potential variants. With a few notable exceptions, the Enlightenment binary between "knowledge" and "art" has held fast.

We therefore invite submissions that engage the legacies of the "critical avant-garde" on the level of practice, that are willing to take chances with genre. Submissions that combine text and image in new ways are especially welcome from both "artists" and "critics," as are contributions that take seriously the possibilities that come with combining poetic, expository, and narrative modes of discourse. We are looking for art that is critical, criticism that is revelatory, caprice
that is methodical and method that is "more or less capricious." Since this special issue seeks to encourage the critical avant-garde on the level of performance, there are no constraints as to subject matter. The "objects" of criticism may come from any discipline or, as Gregory Ulmer
has encouraged, the "object" of criticism itself may be put into question.

Please send completed essays, multimedial performances, etc. to Alan Clinton ( and John Sundholm ( by December 15, 2008. Publication is expected in the second quarter of 2009.

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

Call for entries: Vilém Flusser Theory Award

Call for Entries: Vilém Flusser Theory Award

In order to reflect the increasing significance of theoretical and critical practice works submitted for the transmediale Award competition, the festival has introduced the Vilém Flusser Theory Award. In collaboration with the recently opened _Vilém_Flusser_Archive at the Universität der Künste Berlin, dedicated to the complete works of the influential visionary and media philosopher, the award honors outstanding theoretical or research based digital arts practice. Endowed with a cash prize of 2,000 euros the possibility of an additional residency component is currently being explored.

The Vilém Flusser Theory Award seeks to encourage critical and cross-disciplinary research and profound speculative investigation towards the development of new forms of digital culture, art and society. For those with backgrounds straddling the boundaries of theory and practice, for example within the realms of digital media philosophy and aesthetics, technology and digital ecology, or the social impact of networks and software the Award presents an opportunity to enhance debate and discourse beyond the usual confines of digital and media art practice.

Vilém Flusser was a unique thinker whose philosophical poetics appeal to people from many distinct professional and cultural backgrounds, to those daring to explore fundamentally distinct routes and modes of understanding, of making and of acting differently in an intrinsically interconnected and complex world. As a philosopher, Vilém Flusser devoted himself to constructing a space for a radical diversity of cultural dimensions welcoming thought on digital aesthetics, network cultures, art and technology. He saw socio-political 'events' as being process oriented experiences, as non-hierarchical platforms of communication upon which researchers, developers and artists could come together to collaboratively explore the previously uncharted aesthetic and communicative possibilities of new media technologies.

Framing the spirit and sense of purpose embodied by Vilém Flusser's work transmediale seeks submissions in the form of written texts, articles, manuscripts, dissertations, experimental formats and speculative practice-based endeavours. Works that engage a digital sense of 'materiality' with high and unique levels of abstraction, critically unfolding the conceptuality of network structures, aesthetics, politics, and society are welcome. Entrants should be individuals, coherent groups or collectives working on unique projects or following a common trajectory of practice. Works may be submitted in hard or digital copy formats in any language, however works not in English must be accompanied by an English language abstract, version or text list.

In its introductory year in 2008 the transmediale jury awarded a first prize valued at 1,000 EUR to Simon Yuill for his text "All problems of notation will be solved by the masses: Free Open Form Performance, Free/Libre Open Source Software, and Distributive Practice" (2008), and two honorable mentions, of 500 EUR each, to Bureau d'Etudes for the "End of Secrecy" (2008) and to Naeem Mohaiemen for his text "Fear of a Muslim Planet: Hip-Hop’s Hidden History" (2008).

The transmediale.09 Vilém Flusser Theory Award committee are:

Olga Goriunova (Moscow), Andreas Leo Findeisen (Vienna), Marcel René Marburger (Cologne/Berlin)

:: Deadline: 5 September 2008
:: Award Ceremony: 31 January 2009

Young Consumers Research Purchases Online

Young US consumers surveyed spent more time on the Internet than with any other type of media in May 2008, according to a study conducted by DoubleClick Performics and ROI Research.

The companies surveyed 10-to-14-year-olds and found that 83% went online for an hour or more every day.

Many children were also shopping online.

Four out of 10 responding young consumers said they used search to learn about products or services after seeing ads. Many said they used search engines to find places to buy, check prices or start researching purchases from scratch.

The study is intriguing because the US Department of Commerce only counts consumers ages 14 and older in its definitions of online shoppers and buyers.

DoubleClick said that search ads were appropriate for the group because respondents consumed both online and offline media.

"To capture the demand generated in complementary channels, marketers should incorporate search ads into other online and offline marketing campaigns," said Stuart Larkins, senior vice president at DoubleClick Performics, in a July 2008 Chief Marketer article.

Even when they do not buy things themselves, kids influence family purchases, according to Harris Interactive's "2007 Youth Pulse" report.

Young adults—those ages 13 to 21—had far more influence than did 8-to-12-year-olds, especially on big-ticket items. Yet children still held sway in many household purchasing decisions.

for the full artcile with graphs and stats click here

Environment, Space & Place Division - CSA Conference

The Environment, Space, and Place Division seeks participants for the Seventh Annual Cultural Studies Association Meeting, to be held 16-18 April 2009 in Kansas City, Missouri. To inaugurate the newly formed ESP Division, we are holding one paper session and one workshop. Deadline for submission of materials is September 5, 2008.

(1) Paper session: Landscape and Memory

This session will interrogate discourses of memory, history, and power that reside in the material culture of landscapes. In combinations of the natural and constructed, the ruins of the old and the potential of the new, landscape provides a physical, tangible, and malleable canvas upon which culture may be depicted, resurrected, reconstituted, or imposed upon others. As such, landscape can become a powerful repository of meaning for a culture, a site invested with great political significance, or a place where competing discourses of ownership and human rights struggle for representation and recognition. We invite papers that examine the cultural
performance of national, ethnic, or historical identity by means of human interaction with any aspect of landscape.

Persons interested in submitting papers for consideration should send the following:
* A 500-word abstract for your paper
* Name, email address, phone number, institutional affiliation, and department.
* List of audiovisual equipment needed for your presentation, if any.

(2) Roundtable: Environment, Geography and Cultural Studies: Addressing
current issues.

Climate change and a range of environmental issues weigh increasingly on contemporary society. In recent years, geographic studies (and in some examples, environmental studies) have engaged in a "cultural turn" while Cultural Studies has engaged with a "spatial turn." This roundtable aims to draw together scholars with active interests in these disconnected but
related areas to participate in a discussion that will explore and interrogate the ways in which these converging areas of inquiry can advance the production of robust, critical cultural-environmental studies.

Interested participants should please send:
* Short bio & statement of interest in this topic
* Name, email address, phone number, institutional affiliation, and department.

All materials must be submitted by September 5, 2008.