Friday, August 29, 2008

YouTube and the 2008 Election Cycle - 2nd Call for Papers

"YouTube and the 2008 Election Cycle in the United States"

April 3 & 4, 2009 - Amherst, Massachusetts
2nd Call for Papers

A two-day conference jointly hosted by:
The University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of Political Science
The Science, Technology, and Society Initiative (STS) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst
The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
The Journal of Information Technology & Politics (JITP)
The Qualitative Data Analysis Program (QDAP)
The National Center for Digital Government (NCDG)

Keynote Speakers

Day 1:
Richard Rogers, Professor in New Media & Digital Culture at the University of Amsterdam and Director of Dr. Rogers is a Web epistemologist, an area of study where the main claim is that the Web is a knowledge culture distinct from other media. Rogers concentrates on the research opportunities that would have been improbable or impossible without the Internet. His research involves studying and building info-tools. He studies and makes use of the adjudicative or 'recommender' cultures of the Web that help to determine the reputation of information as well as organizations. The most well-known tool Rogers has developed with his colleagues is the Issue Crawler, a server-side Web crawler, co-link machine and graph

Day 2:
Noshir Contractor, Northwestern University, the Jane S. & William J. White Professor of Behavioral Sciences in the School of Engineering, School of Communication and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, USA. He is the Director of the Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) Research Group at Northwestern University. He is investigating factors that lead to the formation, maintenance, and dissolution of dynamically linked social and knowledge networks in communities. Specifically, his research team is developing and testing theories and methods of network science to map, understand and enable more effective networks in a wide variety of contexts including communities of practice in business, science and engineering communities, disaster response teams, public health networks, digital media and learning networks, and in virtual worlds, such as Second Life.

The Program Committee encourages disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches rooted in political science, media studies, and communication scholarship. The JITP Editor strongly endorses new and experimental approaches involving collaboration with information and
computer science scholars. Potential topics might include, but are not limited to:

- citizen initiated campaign videos,

- candidates' use of YouTube,

- bloggers use of YouTube to influence the primaries or election,

- the impact of YouTube on traditional or new media coverage of the election cycle,

- the effect of YouTube on citizen interest, knowledge, engagement, or voting behavior,

- social network analysis of YouTube and related election-oriented sites,

- political theory or communication theory and YouTube in the context of the 2008 election,

- new metrics that support the study of the "YouTube Effect" on elections,

- archives for saving and tools for mapping the full landscape of YouTube election content,

- use of YouTube in the classroom as a way to teach American electoral politics, or

- reviews of existing scholarship about YouTube.

Paper Submissions
Authors are invited to prepare and submit to JITP a manuscript following one of the six submission formats by January 7, 2009. These formats include research papers, policy viewpoints, workbench notes, review essays, book reviews, and papers on teaching innovation. The goal is to produce a special issue, or double issue, of JITP with a wide variety of approaches to the broad theme of "YouTube and the 2008 Election Cycle in the United States."

How to Submit
Everything you need to know about how to prepare and submit a strong JITP paper via the JITP web site is documented at Papers will be put through an expedited blind peer review process by the Program Committee and authors will be notified about a decision by February 15, 2009. A small number of papers will be accepted for presentation at the conference. Other paper authors will be invited to present a poster during the Friday
evening reception. All posters must include a "YouTube" version of their research findings.

Best Paper and Poster Cash Prizes
The author (or authors) of the best research paper will receive a single $1,000 prize. The creator (or creators) of the best YouTube poster/research presentation will also receive a single prize of $1,000.

Conference Co-Chairs
Stuart Shulman, University of Massachusetts Amherst (
Michael Xenos, Louisiana State University (

Program Committee
Sam Abrams, Harvard University
Micah Altman, Harvard University
Karine Barzilai-Nahon, University of Washington
Lance Bennett, University of Washington
Ryan Biava, University of Wisconsin
Bob Boynton, University of Iowa
John Brigham, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Tom Carlson, Åbo Akademi University
Andrew Chadwick, Royal Holloway University of London
Greg Elmer, Ryerson University
Kirsten Foot, University of Washington
Jane Fountain, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Jeff Guliati, Bentley College
Mike Hais, Co-author, Millennial Makeover: MySpace, YouTube and the Future of American Politics
Matthew Hale, Seton Hall University
Justin Holmes, University of Minnesota
Helen Margetts, Oxford Internet Institute
Mike Margolis, University of Cincinnati
Andrew McCallum, University of Massachusetts Amherst
John McNutt, University of Delaware
Andrew Philpot, University of Southern California-Information Sciences Institute
Antoinette Pole, Montclair State University
Stephen Purpura, Cornell University
Lee Rainie, Pew Internet & American Life Project
Jeffrey Seifert, Congressional Research Service
Mack Shelley, Iowa State University
Charlie Schweik, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Chirag Shah, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
John Wilkerson, University of Washington
Christine Williams, Bentley College
Morley Winograd, University of Southern California
Quan Zhou, University of Wisconsin-Stout


Please note: Do you need YouTube data for research? Give Tubekit at try!

TubeKit is a toolkit for creating YouTube crawlers. It allows one to build one's own crawler that can crawl YouTube based on a set of seed queries and collect up to 17 different attributes. TubeKit assists in all the phases of this process starting database creation to finally giving access to the collected data with browsing and searching interfaces.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Hispanic Media Puzzle

Heavy Internet usage isn't translating into online ad spending.

Advertising Age reported that last year US advertisers spent 64% of their Hispanic-targeted media budgets on Spanish-language broadcast and cable TV networks, while Internet display ads garnered less than 5%.

"Hispanic consumers under the age of 35 are spending more time online than watching TV—and are often doing both at the same time," says Lisa E. Phillips, senior analyst at eMarketer and author of the new report, US Hispanic Media Usage. "Overall, Hispanics are heavy users of all digital media, embracing innovations more rapidly than non-Hispanic whites."

According to the "Hispanic Syndicated Study" from Terra Networks, conducted by comScore Media Metrix, on a weekly basis, 96% of Hispanic Internet users spend at least an hour online, compared with 91% who spend more than an hour watching TV.

Thirty percent of respondents went online 13 or more hours a week, compared with 23% who watched the same amount of television.

Yet advertisers seeking to reach the Hispanic audience continue to spend far more on traditional media than on the Internet.

Ms. Phillips believes the tide will turn, however, toward more digital spending to reach Hispanics.

"Hispanics embrace new technology more rapidly than non-Hispanic whites and share it very freely with friends and family," says Ms. Phillips. "Ownership and usage of several forms of portable media devices indicates this group of super-communicators will lead the uptake of mobile Internet and video in the US."

She adds, "Savvy marketers won't continue to ignore these trends much longer."

for the full article with graphs and stats click here

Digital Cultures: Participation - Empowerment - Diversity

5th European Symposium on Gender & ICT
"Digital Cultures: Participation - Empowerment - Diversity"
University of Bremen, Germany, March 5 - 7, 2009

Call for Contributions // Extended Deadline: September 15, 2008**

Keynotes: Lucy Suchman (Lancaster University/UK), Tanja Paulitz (Univerity of Graz/A), Chat Garcia Ramilo (APC/Manila)

Information Society with its variety of new information and communication media offers many new options to participate in today's social, cultural, political and economic activities. However, chances are still distributed unequally, e.g. by class, ethnicity, age - and by gender. Access to and the ability to use information and communication technology (ICT) are necessary prerequisites for participation. On top of this, involvement in ICT design is a highly prestigious activity.

On the 5th European Gender and ICT Symposium we will take a closer look at the complex interdependences between gender and ICT. We will explore ways to increase appreciation of diversity in design and use and to strengthen empowerment and participation by means of ICT.

This conference, the fifth in a row of symposia held in Europe since 2003, traditionally provides a meeting point for researchers from various disciplines and research schools dealing with gender and ICT. We invite you to share your experiences!

Submission of /abstracts/ by September 15, 2008.
Submission of /posters/ by January 15, 2009

For more details, see the attached Call for Contributions and

Program chairs
Prof. Dr. Susanne Maass, Prof. Dr. Heidi Schelhowe

Conference organisation
Maike Hecht, Marlott Hederich, Anja Kümmel, Carola Schirmer, Susanne Maass, Heidi Schelhowe


6:00–8:00 p.m.


Siamak Movahedi, Ph.D., Director, Program on Psychoanalysis and Culture

This course revolves around the interface of psychoanalysis and media. We compare the cinematic representation of psychoanalysis with current practice. We begin the course with the psychoanalysis of film scripts, textual systems, and perceiving subjects. We have borrowed the expression Imaginary Signifier from Christian Metz's book (Psychoanalysis and Cinema: The Imaginary Signifier) in order to examine the unconscious fantasies that spectators bring to their perception of film images. We will study controversies surrounding issues of therapeutic boundaries, analytic parameters, and practices of self disclosure by the analyst. This will
prepare us for watching segments of the HBO TV series “IN TREATMENT” as we offer interpretations of selected sequences of the show. Visits from prominent Boston psychoanalysts will be part of the course.

This course may be taken by matriculating or non-matriculating students for credit, or as a continuing education course. For information, contact Dr. Movahedi at or

For information on other Psychoanalysis & Culture Courses Offered at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis, click here.

For information on the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis,
please click here:

For additional information, please Contact:
Siamak Movahedi, Ph.D., Program Director
Phone: 617-277-3915

The Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis Program in Psychoanalysis and Culture

The Master’s and Doctor of Psychoanalysis (Psya.D.) programs in Psychoanalysis & Culture offers students a cutting edge curriculum and prepares them through interdisciplinary study for scholarly research, teaching and professional practice. While social scientists and scholars in
humanities and cultural studies are becoming increasingly interested in the psychoanalysis of culture and in the cultural analysis of psychoanalysis, very few institutions of higher education provide an arena for such interdisciplinary undertaking. This program, the first of its kind in the
United States, has emerged to fill the gap in the academy for such critical pursuits. Its distinct mission is to promote systematic dialogue between psychoanalysis, critical social theory, and cultural analysis. The program includes a concentration in PSYCHOANALYSIS AND SOCIAL THEORY and in THE STUDY OF VIOLENCE.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

4th Annual Social Informatics Research Symposium

4th Annual Social Informatics Research Symposium (SIG SI)
People, information and technology: The social analysis of computing

Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science and Technology

Second Call for Papers and Participation:
DEADLINE extended to September 2

Saturday, October 25, 2008, 8:30-12:30 PM
Hyatt Regency Columbus, Ohio

The purpose of this ASIST preconference research symposium is to disseminate current research and research in progress that investigates the social aspects of information and communications technologies (ICT) across all areas of ASIST. The symposium includes
members of many SIGs and defines "social" broadly to include critical and historical approaches and well as contemporary social analysis. It defines "technology" broadly to include traditional technologies (i.e., paper) as well as state of the art computer systems. This year's theme is "People, information and technology: The social analysis of computing”

In keeping with the theme of the conference, the symposium is soliciting work that focuses on the relationships of mutual shaping between people and information as mediated by technology. According to Horton, Davenport, and Wood-Harper (2005; 52) “the impetus for researchers to consider both social and technical aspects as mutually constitutive as a means of understanding technology introduction and use has a growing audience.”

This symposium will highlight research focusing on the social realities of ICT based information systems (broadly defined) in IS in order to better understand the following:

~ How are the design, implementation, use, disuse, and ongoing reconfiguration of information and ICTs influenced by social groups, organizations, politics, and culture?

~ How do information and ICTs shape those creating, implementing and using them?

~ What are the roles of information and ICT in ongoing social change at various levels of social analysis such as groups, organizational units, political entities or cultural systems?

~ What are the complex reciprocal relationships among information, ICT, people, social groups and the environments that surround and pervade them?

~ What are the variations in meanings or interpretations of information and ICT across social groups and organizations?

~ What are the moral or ethnical consequences of ICT system development and use?

We are particularly interested in work that assumes a critical stance towards the notion of mutual shaping – what is involved in people transforming information and information transforming people? A critical analysis is useful because it “bring into question established social assumptions and values regarding information and communication technologies (ICTs) and established understandings of ‘information,’ particularly as they play themselves out and are
institutionalized in social and professional discourses and professional training.” (Day, 2007; 575).

We encourage all scholars, both beginning and established, interested in social aspects of ICT (broadly defined) to share their research and research in progress by submitting an extended abstract of their work and attending the symposium.

This year, the SIG SI is partnering with SIG USE to offer a comprehensive full day program. The theme of this symposium fits well with the main themes of the SIG USE symposium meaning that there would be a full day of exploration of the question of the transformative
relationships between people, information, and ICTs from two different but clearly related perspectives. The SIG SI symposium will take place on Saturday morning and the SIG USE symposium will be in the afternoon. Collectively, the two sessions can offer a comprehensive
full day program, although each will work well as a stand-alone event. The two SIGs will co-sponsor a networking lunch that will take place in between the two events [Cost: Pay-on-your-own. Further details to be announced later]. There will be a discount for people who register
for both symposia.

Call for papers and posters:

Submit a short paper (2000 words) or poster (500 words) by September 2, 2008

Submissions may include empirical, critical and theoretical work, as well as richly described practice cases and demonstrations.

Acceptance announcements made by September 9, in time for conference early registration (ends Sept 12th).

Tentative Schedule

Paper presentations: 8:30-10:45 pm
Break: 10:45-11:15 (with poster viewing)
Closing Keynote Discussion: 11:15-12:30 pm
Lunch with SIG-USE: 12:30-1:30 PM


Members $60 - $70 after Sept. 12
Non-members $70 - $80, after Sept. 12

If you register for the SI Symposium and the SIG-USE Symposium you will receive a $10 discount:

Members $140 - $150 after Sept. 12
Non-members $150 - $160, after Sept. 14


Howard Rosenbaum, School of Library and Information Science -Indiana University
Elisabeth Davenport, School of Computing, Napier University
Kalpana Shankar, School of Informatics -Indiana University

Day, R. (2007). Kling and the “critical”: Social informatics and critical informatics. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. 58(4): 575–582.

Horton, K., Davenport, E. and Wood-Harper, T. (2005). Exploring sociotechnical interaction with Rob Kling: five “big” ideas. Information Technology & People 18(1): 50-67

Flow Journal, Vol. 8, Issue 6 now online

We want to let you know that the new issue of Flow: A Critical Forum on Television and Media Culture is available at

This issue features columns from Jennifer Fuller, Karen Lury, Alisa Perren, Shayla Thiel-Stern, and Candice Haddad.

This issue's columns in brief:

"The Smell of Flak in the Morning: Tropic Thunder's Talk-Show Tour"
by Jennifer Fuller
Exploring the ways in which the cast of Tropic Thunder confronts the movie's use of blackface.

"Monkey Magic"
by Karen Lury
An historical examination of the transformation of the Monkey - from Journey to the West to the Olympics.

"'Up, Up, and Away? Separating Fact from Fiction in the Comic Book Business'"
by Alissa Perren
A first-hand account of Comic-Con 2008 and a critique of the stereotypes that accompany comic book conventions.

"Familiar Zipcode, New Bodies: A Critical Analysis of the Feminine Body in 90210" by Shayla Thiel-Stern
Breaking down the representation of the female body of the old and new 90210 cast.

"'Keeping Up with the Rump Rage: E!'s Commodification of Kim Kardashian's

by Candice Haddad
A critical consideration of E!’s representations of multiracial, sex symbol Kim Kardashian.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Alternative World Cinema, UBC Cinephile Journal - call for papers

'Far From Hollywood' - Alternative World Cinema
Call For Papers—UBC Cinephile

Though there is no one temple for alternativity, no single mandate for alternative filmmakers, the work of certain directors from Jan Svankmajer, to David Lynch, to the Dardenne brothers, is commonly identified as 'alternative'. With no national boundaries or ideological underpinnings, how do we proceed to map what constitutes this amorphous cinema in terms of form and content? Moreover, as international film markets grow increasingly globalised and
post-celluloid, and access widens to films made outside of mainstream production/distribution systems, how do alternate modes of production, distribution and reception expand definitions of what constitutes alternative? In an effort to carve out an epistemology of this cinema that by nature evades definition, Cinephile is calling for a range of papers on alternative world cinema for its first issue of 2009.

Possible Topics Could Include:

-counter-hegemonic histories and national myths

-the carnivalesque and the grotesque

-dissociative narration and unreliable narrators

-blasphemy/ anarchic rituals

-warped subjectivities, psychosis and delusion

-the celebration of deranged, amoral and fantastic perspectives/worldviews

-ravenous appetites and the economy of the flesh

-the bartering and sacrifice of children/innocence

-disintegration of patriarchy/the nuclear family and makeshift social/family models

-juxtaposition of high architecture and the underbelly of the city

Cinephile is the University of British Columbia's film journal, published with the support of the Centre for Cinema Studies. Since its inception in 2005, Cinephile has been steadily broadening its readership. Starting in 2009, the journal will be published biannually and made available
online and in print via subscription.

Submission Criteria:
-We accept both faculty and graduate submissions.
-Papers should be approximately 2000-3000 words, formatted in MLA, and submitted with a works cited and brief biography.
-The deadline for submissions is September 15th 2008
-Submissions and inquiries should be directed to:

American Independent Cinema conference - call for papers

Liverpool, UK, 8 - 9 May 2009

An international conference co-organised by Claire Molloy (Liverpool John Moores University) and Yannis Tzioumakis (University of Liverpool). Keynote Speakers: Warren Buckland (Oxford Brookes University), Geoff King (Brunel University), Peter Kramer (University of East Anglia),
Janet Staiger (University of Texas at Austin)

In recent years the field of American independent cinema has enjoyed particular critical attention. The publication of a number of studies on the subject and the development of courses that examine American independent cinema as a separate object of study from mainstream
Hollywood cinema has demonstrated that American independent cinema is a distinct discursive category and therefore deserves to be explored in depth.

Despite the recent critical activity, however, there is still very little actual research undertaken in the field. To this day, most of the work on American independent cinema has focused on the period ranging from the 1960s to contemporary times while the lion's share of the critics' attention has gone to a relatively small number of canonical independent filmmakers or to certain paradigmatic independent films. Although the establishment of canons and paradigms
in independent cinema has been extremely useful, especially because it identified the field as worthy of scholarly attention, it also delimited the field substantially.

This conference wants to rethink American cinema through the concept of 'independence' and the range of definitions that such a term encompasses. As such, this conference hopes to attract research in the field that extends far beyond conventional critical approaches that tend to focus on key filmmakers, often starting from Cassavetes and moving to more recent examples, and instead look at American cinema in general with a view of questioning particular practices while also offering a number of case studies from various historical moments.

Topics might include but are certainly not limited to:

• cinema at Poverty Row

• independent filmmaking within the "confines" of the studio system

• exploitation filmmaking

• ethnic filmmaking

• independent producers/distributors

• classics divisions vs contemporary independents

• the impact of technological change on independent filmmaking

• independent film financing, marketing, advertising and publicity

• institutionalising independence

Whilst we will consider papers that deal with any aspect of independence, we particularly welcome papers that seek to revise existing histories of American cinema, especially by re-opening cases of films, filmmakers and companies that hitherto have been considered as part of an increasingly loosely defined mainstream Hollywood. One of the key aims of this conference is to chart the past, present and future modes of film practice in the independent sector and to account for the plurality of forms and guises in which independent filmmaking has manifested in the United States. In this respect we hope the conference will facilitate a much needed re-evaluation of American cinema under the rubric of independence.

Please send proposals of up to 300 words to both and

Deadline for submission of proposals is Friday 28 November 2008.

Doctor Who and Philosophy - call for papers

Doctor Who and Philosophy
Call for Papers

We are looking for scholarly philosophical essays written for a lay audience to be included in Doctor Who and Philosophy, to be published by Open Court Press. This is an opportunity for you to express your philosophical musings about your favorite Time Lord and popularize
philosophy at the same time.

All papers that focus on some philosophical aspect of either the classic or recent Doctor Who will be considered, but papers on the following topics will be given special consideration. Such topics

· The metaphysics of Doctor Who

· The ethics and moral dilemmas of Doctor Who

· The science of Doctor Who

· Doctor Who, human nature, and spirituality

· Conflict and conflict resolution in Doctor Who

Deadline for receipt of essays is November 15, 2008.

Interested parties should contact one of the individuals listed below for a detailed set of guidelines. As a rough guide: essays should be 12-15 pages typed, double-spaced, properly referenced, and should have a separate title page with author information to help facilitate the
blind review process. Please send essays via email or hardcopy to both:

Dr. Paula Smithka
University of Southern Mississippi
Department of Philosophy and Religion
118 College Dr. # 5015
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001 USA

Court Lewis
University of Tennessee
Department of Philosophy
801 McClung Tower
Knoxville, TN 37996-0480 USA

Sexual Fetishes and/in Literature and Film - call for papers

Sexual Fetishes and/in Literature and Film
Call for Papers

---> Date of Publication: July 2009
---> Date of Colloquium: 1-3 May 2009 (Paris)
---> Submissions beginning NOW, ending: 13 October 2008

We welcome 12 more essays of interest to those concerned with the study of sexuality and/in literature or film. The collection of essays will be published in July 2009 with Rodopi and will contain 25 scholarly articles on "Sexual Fetishes and/in Literature and Film."

We are looking particularly for essays relating literary studies and sexuality studies with each other, answering to the publication's subject matter. We are especially interested in papers taking polemical positions concerning the relationship between narrative forms and content and
cultural/philosophic implications.

The publication will be accompanied by a colloquium in Paris in May 2009.
All authors who are decided to be included in the collection of essays will be invited to participate in the colloquium (1-3 May 2009). All expanses regarding flights, accommodation and full board will be financed by the organizers.

Articles of fewer than c. 4,000 words or more than c. 12,000 words are not considered for publication. The word count includes foot notes but excludes works-cited lists and translations, which should accompany foreign language quotations. High resolution pictures (max. 10 per essay) will be considered for print.

Each article submitted is send to two reviewers in international departments of literary study and psychology. Articles recommended by these readers are then sent to the members of the editorial board, who meet in late January 2009 to make final decisions. Until a final decision is
reached, the author's name is not made known to consultant readers and the editorial board. It is our policy not to review articles that are under consideration elsewhere.

Submissions, prepared according to the "MLA Style" should be sent electronically (MS Word document) to:

---> Project Assistant: Dr. Philipp Koteas :

Please enclose a brief cv and publication list. All authors of articles are not paid but will receive 15 offprints free of charge and a copy of the publication.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the responsible project assistant, Dr. Philipp Koteas:

US Albertina Foundation for Academic Excellence and Europäische Stiftung-Albertina für Akademische Exzellenz at and

Edited Collection on LGBTQ Identity in Non Western Worlds - call for papers

Documenting LGBTQ Identity in Non Western Worlds (10/31/08; collection)

Edited by Christopher Pullen

Proposals are invited for essays forming part of a new reader focusing on LGBT and queer identity in the developing and non western world, apparent within varying documentary forms, such as film, television and new media.

A central concern is to explore the social agency of media producers and performers, who offer new narratives of potential and progression, challenging Western orientated and traditional worlds. At the same time some chapters may explore the significance of Western constructions of LGBT and queer identity, which have offered archetypes of political engagement for world wide audiences. As a consequence this reader intends to foreground tensions between Western ideals, dominant identifications and 'other' possibilities, counter pointing issues such as tradition, modernity, globalisation, hybridity, and the imagined community.

Essays are invited discussing this new diversity, examining not only landmark documentary texts funded and produced in the West such as 'Coming Out in The Developing World' (John Scagliotti, 2003), 'Jihad for Love' (Parvez Sharma, 2007) and 'Be Like Others' (Tanaz Eshaghian, 2008), but encourages those produced within the non Western and developing world, in varying documentary forms.

Please send abstracts (of 200 words length) and a biography by the 31st of October 2008 to Chris (email below). Essays need to be original texts, and cannot have been published elsewhere – unless you own the copyright, and are free to publish. If you have any questions, please
feel free to enquire.

Chris Pullen – Senior Lecturer in Media Studies – Bournemouth University


Dr. Christopher Pullen is Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at Bournemouth University.
He main published work focuses on gay identity and social agency within the media. He is the author of Documenting Gay Men: Identity and Performance in Reality Television and Documentary Film (McFarland, 2006) which explores how gay people as; inspirational individuals, political teens, devoted couples, caring parents, and influential media producers
have contributed to the progression of gay identity within domestic arenas. His second book is titled of Gay Identity, New Storytelling and the Media (forthcoming, Palgrave). Also he is the co-editor of the new edited collection on LGBT Identity and Online New Media (forthcoming,

Conference on Global Film - call for papers

Conference on Global Film

The University of North Alabama Conference on Global Film invites proposals on any aspect of world cinema. Proposals should consider some area of the intersection among film, society, and culture, exploring films as social and historical artifacts of the culture and nation from which they arise, as well as the role played by film in constructing, shaping, and re-imagining issues of nationhood, nationality, and transnationalism.

Papers may take a single film focus or make comparative considerations, and can take a theoretical or historical approach. Examples or suggested topics might include papers that examine the following areas in a single film, several films, or national cinemas:

*Genre studies in world cinema (Horror, Comedy, etc.)

*Film movements (New Wave, directors, films)

*Exploring representations of race, ethnicity, and gender in fiction or non-fiction film

*Representations of wars, borders, national characters and ideologies

*Social or political commentary

*National cinemas (Africa, Japan, etc.)


*Technological and economic considerations/developments

*Comparative anlayses between world and Hollywood film

*Third World Cinema

These ideas are suggestions only so any topic would be welcomed.

Please send a 250-300 word abstract and brief bio (2-3 sentences, including rank and affiliation and contact information) to: Dr. William Verrone:; Please put "Global Film" in subject line. Deadline for submission is October 1, 2008. Proposals from graduate students are welcomed.

The University of North Alabama Conference on Global Film will be held March 5-8, 2009, in historic Florence, Alabama.

Edited Collection on Trash Cinema - call for papers

Edited Collection on Trash Cinema
Call for Papers

We are searching for three to five additional submissions for a critical collection about the ever-expanding world of national and international trash cinema.

As fans of trash cinema, while we do like to think of the form as being utterly anti- or counter- "mainstream" cinema, we are amazed at how many trash favorites (both personal and more perennial, if such a thing exists) have a striking formal similarity to – as well as an appeal for devotees of – more mainstream fare.

As scholars of trash cinema, while we know that the films are often shoddily-produced, ill-distributed, and under-exhibited; that they are often single-minded in their pursuit of spectacle over substance; and that their use as scholarly texts to think about and through is often limited by the means and ends of their production, we are fascinated with the aesthetic and ideological work that this type of film does.

For this collection, we are interested in building on the work of such scholars like Jeffrey Sconce, Eric Schaefer, Joan Hawkins, and Greg Taylor, which analyzes the material processes and cultural contexts of exhibition, distribution, exhibition, and reception of trash cinema, as well as track its transnational vectors.

Abstracts of 500 words can be sent as e-mail attachments to Anthony C. Bleach (, John F. Lennon (, and Christopher Robe (; they need to be submitted no later than September 15, 2008. Final versions of essays accepted for the volume will be due October 31, 2008. Contributors should be aware that we are working with stringent deadlines as we bring the collection to press. Please
include full contact information with your submissions.

What is new media research?

For historical interest, here is a short piece Chris Chesher wrote for the first fibreculture reader in 2001 called 'What is new media research?'

What is New Media Research?

Chris Chesher, 2001

First published in Hugh Brown, Geert Lovink, Helen Merrick, Ned Rossiter, David Teh,, Michele Willson (eds), Politics of a Digitial Present: An Inventory of Australian Net Culture, Criticism and Theory, Melbourne: Fibreculture Publications, 2001.

All professions and disciplines today are doing research in new media: interaction designers, e-business specialists, hypertext authors, network architects, computer scientists, online educators, philosophers and media theorists. The question for specialists in New Media research is: what distinguishes their work from everyone else's?

Within each of these traditions there are many who are just getting on with using or building new media, without engaging specifically with how these media are new. But there are some, within each of these disciplines, who are interested in a more critical and theoretical New Media Studies.

But what defines New Media research? What distinguishes it from new media production, on the one hand, and from other fields of social, cultural or theoretical research, on the other? Is it the object of study, the methodology, or something else?

I don't think New Media research is defined by its object of study. This tradition is less effective if it begins beforehand by selecting one particular technology. A techno-centric approach closes off more than it opens up. If a new technology emerges, or an old one mutates into something different, 'Internet' researchers, for example, could fast become irrelevant.

Identifying a research tradition solely with a technology could also easily mean having no attention to which methodological framework is appropriate. To start with the Internet as the object of study could easily end up with an (in)discipline with no history, no methodological conventions, and no common trajectories of inquiry.

However, I don't think New Media Research is defined by any single methodology, either. The fact that no single discipline has dominated New Media Research is a strength of the tradition that has emerged over the past two decades. The best work in the field is multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary. The question is not how to build a new discipline with clear parameters and boundaries, but how to sustain and foster more research of this kind without deciding in advance what it should actually do.

New media research is a radically minoritarian academic tradition. It aspires to no distinctive identity, nor is it driven by a vision of its own future. It is distinguished by its heterogeneity,
characterised by its diversity. The best work produces not incremental advances, but genuine surprises. These surprises tend to emerge from a localised attention to something specific cast into a relation with something more abstract.

What defines the new media research paradigm that I identify with, then, is generated out of a somewhat undefinable ethical impulse. It is driven by an imperative to trace productive critical trajectories into the most compelling and specific spaces of contemporary techno-cultural change.

New media studies concentrates particularly on the inseparable processes of technological and cultural innovation. The most mundane of these developments interest me more than to the more isolated bleeding edge work in research labs or avant-gardens. In popular culture, I am interested in the emerging uses of the web, electronic mail, iMode, and multiplayer computer games, DVD, SMS, digital television, and new cinematic paradigms.

The approaches I prefer are horizontal rather than vertical, finding connections between things that are most often considered different and unrelated: a tactic that Guattari refers to as 'transversalist'. [1] This means more than putting developments into context, because there is no possibility of studying anything cultural outside of its 'context'. It means dealing with the significance of social power relationships in textual analysis. It means not bracketing off the
specificities of technical change from social processes.

A transversalist approach means not only historicising innovations, but also recognising and conceptualising novelty itself. To define how something is new is not equivalent to claiming that it represents progress. The cliched association of all technological change with a transcendent conception of 'progress' informs not only marketing pitches and policy-makers, but many critics of 'progress'. Change has no intrinsic moral value. It is always local, contested, and multi-
layered. This means that change need not be an explicit objective in itself. Unlike ‘progress’, change is inevitable, singular.

New media are nothing new. McLuhan and Ong's overarching epochal images of ages of orality and literacy make too much of grand divisions between eras.[2] Bolter and Grusin’s concept of remediation helps mark out continuities between old and new media, even if it tends to be conservative (as Anna Munster observes).[3] Lev Manovich’s Language of New Media is notable for translating ‘old’ media into the language of new media.[4] My own work on ‘invocational media’ identifies computers as a new mechanism that technically captured the ancient magical cultural practice of invocation.[5]

I am advocating a New Media Studies (as opposed to Traditional Media Studies) that starts with an expectation of constant (but minor) innovation. The alternative, of starting with a stabilised medium (Television Studies; Cinema Studies; Internet Studies) cab be a recipe for marginalisation and retreat into formalism.

On the other hand, there is a danger that if New Media researchers refuse to ground themselves on any shared vision of their project, disparate individual researchers could become institutionally isolated and irrelevant. That's where there might seem to be some advantage in
the tactic of identifying as teaching or researching 'Internet Studies', 'multimedia', 'interactive media', 'computer-mediated communication' or whatever. The trouble with these medium-specific terms is that they date so quickly.

The term I keep returning to is 'New Media'. While this term has the connotation of referring to computer-based media (undeniably the most significant technological lineage in play today), it does not exclude non-computer innovations. Taking this name marks a break (generational / methodological / conceptual) with 20th century Media Studies, without disavowing that tradition. It is time to stop hesitating about other terms, and define what New Media studies
actually means (for now).

New Media Studies has close relationships with several disciplinary approaches, but every new media researcher has their own attachments. For me, these include dealing with Media Studies (from Innis, McLuhan, Ong[6], and more recent work directly on computer media[7]) Cultural
Studies (Raymond Williams on)[8], some areas of philosophy (such as Deleuze and Guattari[9], Heidegger[10], Derrida[11]), Science and Technology studies (actor network theory)[12], Film Studies, parts of sociology[13] and history[14], human interface design[15], new media art[16]... it's hard to stop once you get started! But there is something distinctive and specific about New Media research.

The paradigm for New Media research might characterised as intellectual distributed processing: a decentred, polyvocal and contingent set of approaches to conceptualising the operations of media technologies in cultural and social change. The heterogeneity of approaches begins with the very definition of ‘media technology’ — the refusal to offer a final definition might be seen as a blindness at the centre of New Media’s vision.

Researchers in local places define the connections between their detailed attention to the specifics of particular technocultural assemblages with far wider conceptual, social, machinic, ecological (and other) processes. Any expression of this research (in any genre of writing, or other new media) is in itself a performance that seeks to intervene somehow at some level in these processes.

Those who perform New Media research tend to operate in intimate relationships with a range of new media practices. Whether one researcher’s particular performance is motivated by pedagogical, artistic, and even administrative drives, the text that emerges is often only functioning in one among several modes with which that researcher is comfortable. Academic writing is certainly an important discipline. However, for New Media researchers it is complicated by its close relation to other genres and modes of expression.

The need to define, or celebrate, New Media research does not apply so much to the way that research should be done. The work itself is not in particular need of strategic intervention. The need for action relates to the complex, yet potentially extraordinarily influential position that New Media research has within institutions.

Researchers should identify more clearly as having a distinctive tradition in their own right, rather than continuing to work around the edges of other disciplines. This does not mean that they should become more homogeneous. It means they should develop the self-confidence to assert the distinctiveness and usefulness of their own (and other peoples') projects, and to develop strategies to build forums and avenues for future work specifically dealing with new
media, new cultures and new technologies.

Asserting a New Media tradition or field certainly is partly about establishing a brand. As Mitchell Whitelaw suggested, a brand is ‘a tactically engineered identity which serves a heterogeneous network of interests’.[17] For me, the New Media research brand already has a
remarkable power and credibility. The good work in the area tends to make work on the same themes in other discourses look weak indeed.

However, it also means that New Media researchers should take collective responsibility for creating our own ‘apparatuses of capture’.[18] The work of building infrastructures — physical,
electronic, financial, interpersonal, semiotic — is something of a quite different nature from the research itself. Sometimes it means applying knowledge to putting New Media into practice in the interests of expanding the tradition’s influence (while remaining aware of the ethics of the manner in which this is done). Other times it means working within institutions — applying for research funding etc. New Media Researchers as a group can work strategically and
collaboratively, rather than competitively, to build these structures, in teaching and in research.

The FibreCulture mailing list has been excellent as a catalyst for 21st century Australian New Media researchers to establish infrastructures connecting its dispersed community of scholars. Over the next few years it will be important to find ways to solidify some of these relationships.

Therefore I propose the ‘Network for New Media Research’. This Network should be developed as both a brand and as an infrastructure, providing a contingent encircling around self-identified New Media researchers. It may be manifest in many expressions — as websites, physical sites, conferences or events, but all with a strategic impulse to enhance communication, advocacy and productivity in the New Media tradition/field/discipline.

For a start, the School of Media and Communications at UNSW (in conjunction with UTS Humanities) recently submitted a proposal to DETYA’s Systemic Infrastructure Initiative to establish a Network Hub at the Australian Technology Park in Redfern. Irrespective of whether
the proposal is supported, the Network for New Media Research could function as a locus of identification.

To speak positively about New Media research may avoid this term falling as another casualty into the graveyard of yesterday’s buzz words — multimedia; hypertext/media/; digital-everything and virtual-everything else etc. An opportunistically generated, but interconnected infrastructure will raise the profile of New Media research and teaching across Australia, opening up spaces in which the research can follow its own unpredictable and irreducible trajectories.

[1] Felix Guattari, Chaosmosis. An ethico-political paradigm, (Sydney: Power Publications, 1995), 33–57.

[2] Walter Ong, Orality and literacy: the technologizing of the word (London, New York: Methuen, 1982); Marshall McLuhan, Understanding media. The extensions of man. (London and New York: Ark, 1964)

[3] Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin, Remediation. Understanding new media (Cambridge and London: The MIT Press, 1999)

[4] Lev Manovich, The Language of New Media (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001)

[5] Chris Chesher, Computers as invocational media (unpublished PhD thesis, Macquarie University 2001). Excerpt available at:

[6] McLuhan op cit; Ong op cit; Harold Innis, Empire and communications (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1950); Innis, Harold, The bias of communication (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1951)

[7] Mayer, Paul A, Computer Media and Communication: A Reader (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000); Friedrich Kittler and John Johnson (ed), Literature, media, information systems (Netherlands: G+B Arts, 1997)

[8] see Storey, John, What is cultural studies? A Reader (London and New York: Arnold and St Martin’s Press, 1996)

[9] Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, A Thousand plateaus (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987); Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, What is philosophy? (London and New York: Verso, 1994)

[10] Martin Heidegger, The question concerning technology, and other essays (New York: Garland Pub., 1977)

[11] Jacques Derrida, of Grammatology (Baltimore Maryland: The John Hopkins University Press, 1976); Jacques Derrida, Archive fever (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1998)

[12] John Law, Actor Network Theory and After (Sociological Review Monograph Series) (Oxford: Blackwell, 1999) Bruno Latour, We have never been modern (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993) Bruno Latour, “Technology is society made durable” in John Law, A Sociology of monsters. Essays on power, technology and domination (London: Routledge, 1991) pp.103–131. Also see John Law’s ANT reading list:

[13] Manuel Castells, The Rise of the network society (Massachusetts: Blackwell, 1996)

[14] Paul Ceruzzi, A history of modern computing (Cambridge, Mass and London, England: The MIT Press, 1998)

[15] Brenda Laurel, The art of human interface design (Reading, MA: Addison Wesley Publishing, 1990)

[16] R. L. Rutsky, High Techne: Art and Technology from the Machine Aesthetic to the Posthuman (Minneapolis: Univ of Minnesota Press, 1999)

[17] Mitchell Whitelaw ‘Re: ::fibreculture:: What is New Media Research?’ (Fibreculture post 18 Oct 2001)

[18] Deleuze and Guattari 1987 op cit, 424–474.

Monday, August 25, 2008

CfA:Changing Places, Borders, Memories


1st international postgraduate conference
Hosted by the ZRC SAZU (Scientific research center SASA)
27- 29 November 2008
Ljubljana, Slovenia

Movements of people, transformation of places and changeable cultural memory are all areas of study that have been continuously addressed by scholars of different disciplines over the past two decades. The abundance of new research material and crisscrossing the disciplines and research methods has, however, partly blurred the role of researchers engaged in these areas of study and left many younger researchers confused.

The conference will bring together postgraduate students and some established scholars in exploring the space of contemporary interdisciplinary research in studies of place, space, migration and cultural memory. We aim to attract research students from diverse disciplinary backgrounds. We will examine the ‘spaces in-between’ the disciplines and methodologies, discuss the meanings and transformations of physical and imaginative borders and explore the
implications of changing places, identities and historical narratives. We will try to explain how processes of remembering and forgetting reflect the politically-driven narratives of the past and how places and spaces help shaping these processes. In what ways do individuals and collectivities re-imagine and re-invent their pasts and how can we look at these issues through tracing changes in social and/or cultural landscapes? How are the meanings produced in spaces and places and how do places and spaces interact with individual and/or collective identities?

This conference aims to cross the boundaries between disciplines as well as methodologies. We especially welcome papers that deal with methodological concerns, looking beyond the boundaries of traditional ethnographic research in social sciences and humanities. We will organise roundtable discussions on the nature and effectiveness of new methodologies and we will explore possibilities for establishing a space for research that moves beyond methodological work we are often presented with (and have to conform to) during our studies. We will investigate the field between academia and art and discuss the possibilities and constraints that new modes of conducting fieldwork research present us with. Is the role of the researcher in this new complex research environment changing? And if it is, what does this mean for the future of interdisciplinary research? Which are the excitements and downsides that we encounter while we try to reason our research methods? What does the innovative research mean for the
researcher and how does it influence the research outcomes? We are particularly interested in papers that involve work-in progress, case studies and comparative studies as well as theoretical and critical contributions. Topics can address a number of areas, including:

- Place/Space and cultural memory

- Changing borders and the meaning of border- and boundary-making (especially in the region of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe)

- Displacement and embodiment; performance and locating the ‘self’

- Place-making and migration

- Urban space, imaging, imagining and reimagining

- Cosmopolitanism, multiculturalism and human rights

- Crossing boundaries, crossing methodologies; innovative ways of engaging with the ‘field’

- Music and literature as ethnographic methods

- Researching diversity and difference through image, sound, smell and taste

- Soundscapes and urban space...

We welcome proposals from students in all disciplines concerned with these issues and themes including Anthropology, Architecture, Film, Fine Art, History, Philosophy, Politics, and Sociology.

The conference will take place on the 27- 29 November 2008 in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
It will provide an opportunity for postgraduate students to establish networks and to initiate discussions among each other as well as with some established scholars and researchers.
300-word abstract, a short biographical note and contact details should be sent electronically to Maša Mikola ( or Kaja Širok (

The deadline for abstracts/proposals is 20th September 2008.

No registration fee will be required.
This conference is organised by postgraduate students and lecturers of Intercultural Studies – Comparative Studies of Ideas and Cultures at the Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts and University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia

Exhibitionism: Representing Identities - call for papers

Exhibitionism: Representing Identities”- antiTHESIS Journal, Volume 19 (2009)

Deadline for submissions 24 October 2008

antiTHESIS, one of Australia’s longest running fully-refereed postgraduate journals, now invites creative, scholarly and visual contributions for Volume 19, “Exhibitionism: Representing Identities.”

Exhibitionism is the presentation or exposure of the self to another; it plays with appearances and challenges notions of identity. It is suggestive of a body that offers itself up to a voyeuristic gaze. Exhibitionism is apparent on a personal level through the prolific use of forums such as Myspace and Facebook; the anonymity of the internet has become a pretext for the formation of multiple projected identities. With the Olympics this year we are confronted with the world’s biggest and most expensive exhibition, one that combines politics and national pride in the arena of competitive sports, all under the glare and digitised scrutiny of the world's media.

This volume invites papers which theorise, contemplate or analyse the idea of exhibitionism. Scholarly papers, poetry, prose and visual pieces from all disciplines are welcome.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

- The state as an exhibit

- The politics of exhibitionism

- Representing ethnic/subaltern/diasporic identities

- Representing the self

- Cyberspace, reality TV

- Exhibitionism and narcissism

- Exhibitionism and sexuality

- Dress codes and behaviours

- International/interregional representations of national identity

- Museums, galleries, festivals

- Science, technology and exhibitionism

- Policing identities

- Crime and deviance

Creative and scholarly papers must be of no more than 6,000 words in length with academic citations conforming to the 14th edition of the Chicago Style Guide (endnotes and bibliography) (please consult The Chicago Manual of Style or visit our website All submissions must consist of a Microsoft Word document attached to an email. Please include a 250-word abstract and a 100-word biographical note in the body of the email.

Visual pieces are also welcome. Preliminary submissions may be made via e-mail and must include a JPEG image, the title of the work, a short biographical note (100 words maximum) and the artist’s contact information. Upon selection, we will require a print-quality image and a signed letter or release form giving permission for its use by antiTHESIS.

Proposals must be received by Friday, 24th October 2008
Please address queries and submissions to

antiTHESIS is a fully-refereed interdisciplinary journal based at the University of Melbourne. The last volume of antiTHESIS is entitled Piracy.
For more information see