Thursday, October 30, 2008

Digital Labour: Workers, Authors, Citizens - Call For Papers

Call for Papers - Digital Labour: Workers, Authors, Citizens

A conference hosted by the Digital Labour Group (DLG), Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario, October16-18, 2009, London, Ontario, Canada.

'Digital Labour: Workers, Authors, Citizens' addresses the implications of digital labour as they are emerging in practice, politics, policy, and theoretical enquiry. As workers, as authors, and as citizens, individuals are increasingly summoned and disciplined by new digital technologies that define the workplace and produce ever more complex regimes of surveillance and control. At the same time, new possibilities for agency and new spaces for collectivity are born from these multiplying digital innovations. This conference aims to explore this social dialectic, with a specific focus on new forms of labour.

The changing conditions of digital capitalism blur distinctions between workers, authors and citizens as often as they clarify them. Digital workers, for example, are often authors of content for the increasingly convergent and synergistic end markets of entertainment capitalism – but authors whose rights as such have been thoroughly alienated. Citizens are often compelled to construct their identities in such a way as to produce the flexible and entrepreneurial selves demanded by the heavily consumer-oriented 'experience and attention economies' of digitalized post-Fordism.

How might we come to understand the breakdown of distinctions between labour and creativity, work and authorship, value and productive excess in the new digital economy? What is labour in an era where participation in the cultural industries is the preferred conduit to autonomy and self-valorization? What struggles do entertainment workers, information workers, and workers in an increasingly digitalized manufacturing sector share in common? What might recent theorizing on the infinitely malleable 'post-Fordist image worker' tell us about the nature of affective ties to states and other political formations in the twenty-first century?

Policy makers, along with workers and union activists from the entertainment, information and manufacturing sectors will assist academic specialists in assessing these and other crucial questions.

Papers, reading no more than 20 minutes in length, that address any of the above matters, or cognate ones, are now being solicited. Please submit your brief abstract by February 1, 2009, to Jonathan Burston at . An editorial board will examine all submissions and issue acceptances no later than March 15, 2009.

Thank you for circulating this call to any researchers at your institution, or elsewhere, who may be interested.

The Digital Labour Conference Organizing Committee at the Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario:
Jonathan Burston, Edward Comor, James Compton, Nick Dyer-Witheford, Alison Hearn, Ajit Pyati, Sandra Smeltzer, Matt Stahl, Sam Trosow

Conference: The Ends of Television

The Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA) and the Department of Media Studies of the Universiteit van Amsterdam invite papers for a 3-day conference on

The Ends of Television - Logics/Perspectives/Entanglements
Monday June 29 – Wednesday July 1 2009 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Keynote speakers:
Joke Hermes (InHolland, Universiteit van Amsterdam)
Toby Miller (University of California Riverside)
Anna McCarthy (NYU)

Conference theme:
Is TV as we know it dead? Does TV Studies have any relevance in a world of media convergence? Are we at risk of becoming gravediggers of an obsolete medium rather than innovators in a cross-medial regime? The conference will address some of the central frames through which TV has been analyzed to test their relevance in an age where digitalization and convergence is redrawing the boundaries of media and of disciplines. Rather than accept the narrative of obsolescence or the nostalgia of seclusion, the conference aims at seriously analyzing both the contemporary specificity of TV and the challenges thrown up by new developments in technology and theory. For example: What is the specificity of the TV image in an environment suffused with moving images? Has the spectator of TV changed in a media world that begs “interaction”? How does the relevance of ideology-critique and propaganda fare in the age of surveillance? Is the educational role of TV obsolete with the triumph of market logics?

Depending on how these and other questions are answered, TV Studies must rethink its own status as a discipline, beginning with its own position vis-à-vis Film Studies and New Media Studies. Do such separations still hold analytical purchase? What old concepts need reformulation, and what areas of study (e.g. cultural studies, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, political science, art history) can we both borrow from and enrich?

Contributions are invited which take a stand on the relevance of TV, and TV Studies, through substantial and close analyses of specific dimensions of television:

(Medium) Specificity
If we are witnessing the end of TV as we know it, what is it being replaced with? What form will TV take in the future, and what are its aesthetic qualities? What is the ontology of the televisual image and sound once it has been digitized? How does the aural experience of contemporary television sets enhance or affect television watching? If “flow” and “liveness” was what distinguished TV from film in the 20th century, how does this hold true in the 21st? What effects does the change from flow and liveness to the archive have for our understanding of the medium? How do TV, film and new media relate to each other in the new constellation?

(Functional) Logics
How does TV function? Questions of broad and narrow-casting, the blurring of genres and media (cross media), the fluidity of audiences, the multiple settings of TV reception, etc – all these dimensions point to an acceleration of change in the logics of TV’s mode of functioning. What broad changes can be identified in the logics of TV, and how do they relate to larger shifts in contemporary societies, technologies, and communication patterns? More specifically, what is the impact of these changes when we consider the purposeful use of TV? What will become of advertising when television goes digital? What is the relationship between branding and television’s functional logics? What becomes of propaganda in a multi-channel environment? In what sense has TV’s governmental logic changed during the last decade? How does media literacy function in knowledge societies?

(Conceptual) Changes
If the logics of TV are shifting, how might they be studied in the contemporary context? What new, or different perspectives can be brought to bear in intellectually engaging with the medium? Do the established (analytical) distinctions of production, reception, textual analysis, suffice? Do more dimensions need to be added, or do the existing distinctions need to be broadened, sharpened or reviewed, keeping in mind the changing logics of television? – e.g. in the context of convergence, and multimedia interaction, such as UGC, how do terms like “production” and “reception” change their meaning?

(Transdisciplinary) Entanglements
Given that the logics of television’s mode of functioning, and the perspectives of TV Studies need analysis and change, in what way do these changes suggest an entangled and cross-fertilized re-definition of the field itself, its ends (goals), and its future development? On the one hand, how might a reviewing of television and its modes of analysis enrich other disciplines (for example Visual Culture, a re-defined Art History, Film History, Media Archaeology)? On the other, what might TV Studies gain from strategically borrowing and re-working theories and concepts from other fields (Sociology, Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Law, Cultural Analysis)? What contributions can more recent paradigms like cognitivism or network theory make? Can TV studies borrow terms from chaos theory like emergence, non-linearity, or attractors, and what do they contribute to the already existing theoretical vocabulary?

Proposal deadline: proposals for papers and/or panels should be sent to before February 26 2009.

Organising committee: Sudeep Dasgupta, Marijke de Valck, Jaap Kooijman, Jan Teurlings.


This is the call for paper for the 8th issue of Forum: The postgraduate journal for culture and the arts at the University of Edinburgh.

Forum - CFP
Issue 8 – Technologies

The concept of technology is manifold and encompasses many definitions. Technology may be defined broadly, as by Melvin Kranzberg in 1959, as “how things are commonly done or made” and “what things are done and made.” Ron Westrum in Technologies and Society: The Shaping of People and Things (1991) provides a more precise and also threefold definition, stating that technology consists of “those material objects, techniques, and knowledge that allow human beings to transform and control the inanimate world.”

We encounter and interact with technology and technologies everyday, from the clothes we wear and the specific tools we use, through practices of language, to our ways of forming a sense of self, individual and communal identities and sexualities. We need to ask why things are done and made as they are, and how these technologies affect us and are affected by us in return. How do technologies challenge ideas about culture, arts, life and humanity? How do certain artists employ technologies in their work? Can we appropriate technology for our own aims or are we appropriated by technologies? What are the limitations or possibilities of technology, and what is the place of technology in relation to culture and human life in general?

We are seeking articles which engage with technology or technologies in relation to literature, art, film, theatre, popular culture and the media. Submissions could consider, but are not limited to, any of the following:

- Agency, Subjectivity and Technology

- Technologies of the Body

- Things and Objects

- Sexual Technologies

- Biotechnologies

- Narrative and Textual Technologies

- Artistic Technologies

- Technologies of Time and Space

- Redefinitions of Technology

- Technologies of the Past and of the Future

The deadline for article submissions is 15th December 2008.
Papers should be between 3,000 and 5,000 words and formatted in accordance with the MLA guidelines and should be submitted to:

Monday, October 27, 2008

Atlas of Cyberspace - Free Book

Atlas of Cyberspace - Free Book

The Atlas of Cyberspace, by Martin Dodge and Rob Kitchin, is the first comprehensive book to explore the spatial and visual nature of cyberspace and its infrastructure.

It uses a user-friendly, approachable style to examine why cyberspace is being mapped and what new cartographic and visualisation techniques have been employed.

Richly illustrated with over 300 full colour images, it comprehensively catalogues 30 years worth of maps that reveal the rich and varied landscapes of cyberspace.

The book includes chapters detailing:

- mapping Internet infrastructure and traffic flows

- mapping the Web

- mapping online conversation and community

- imagining cyberspace in art, literature, and film Review
We don't normally consider maps contentious, but the Atlas of Cyberspace makes us think otherwise. Information cartographers Martin Dodge and Rob Kitchin show off a wide range of possibilities in representing the vast realms of data existing on and supporting the Internet. Since so many of these models were created to display never-before-charted territories, the book is largely devoted to analyzing their accuracy, ease of development and use, potential for abuse, and other qualities.

Chapters cover infrastructural elements, the Web, communities, and creative renderings of cyberspace, and contain both compelling images and thought-provoking texts. Though it ends up feeling more like a catalog of visual display methods than a reference book detailing virtual geography, its examples still inform and startle the viewer with unexpected transformations of data into understanding, and, occasionally, art. --Rob Lightner

"The Atlas of Cyberspace explores a remarkable universe of visual representations of the Internet's diversity, structure and content." --Vint Cerf, Chairman, ICANN

About the Author

Martin Dodge works as a computer technician and researcher in the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), at University College London. He maintains the Cyber-Geography Research web site at, which includes the original online Atlas of Cyberspaces. With co-author Rob Kitchin, he also wrote the book Mapping Cyberspace (2000).

Rob Kitchin is a Lecturer in Human Geography and research associate of NIRSA at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. He is the author of Cyberspace (1998) and the co-author of Mapping Cyberspace (2000). He has published three other books and is the general editor of the journal Social and Cultural Geography.

The full book is available as free PDF via CCC license:

Race, Ethnicity, and (New) Media - Call for Papers

Symposium title: Race, Ethnicity, and (New) Media
April 30-May 2, 2009

The Race & Ethnic Studies Institute at Texas A&M University ( convenes a symposium every other year, and the proposed theme for the 2008-2009 year is Shifting Terrains: Inequalities in the 21st Century, and the symposium itself is to focus on Race, Ethnicity, and (New) Media.

The explosion of work on New Media (including the Internet, mobile devices, Web 2.0) and the juxtaposition and overlap between 'old' media (radio, television, film, and mass-print media) and New Media is a rich field of cultural production and scholarly research in which scholars of race and ethnicity have not been particularly well-represented.

However, there are cutting edge scholars who do indeed explore various aspects of race/ ethnicity and (New) Media (including audience/fan studies, representations of racial and ethnic identities in a variety of media, identity-focused online communities, etc.).

We invite such scholars to submit papers with the intention of presenting work that deals with these topics during a 2 1/2 day interdisciplinary symposium, with several keynote speakers, including Dr. Lisa Nakamura and Dr. Henry Bial. We intend that a number of these papers will be compiled into an edited volume intended for publication, and that all papers and participants will have the opportunity to upload their papers on our developing interactive website for scholarly exchange on working papers.

Submissions: 500 word abstracts or full papers of no more than 8000 words (including notes and references) should be submitted to: and by December 31, 2008. Submissions will be reviewed by an organizing committee, and authors will be notified of acceptance/ rejection by March 15, 2009.

Google Policy Fellowship

Introducing the Google Policy Fellowship

As lawmakers around the world become more engaged on Internet policy, ensuring a robust and intelligent public debate around these issues becomes increasingly important. That’s why we're announcing our second summer for the Google Policy Fellowship Program—to support students and organizations working on policy issues fundamental to the future of the Internet and its users.

The Google Policy Fellowship program was inspired by Google's Summer of Code with a public policy twist. The Google Policy Fellowship program offers undergraduate, graduate, and law students interested in Internet and technology policy the opportunity to spend the summer contributing to the public dialogue on these issues, and exploring future academic and professional interests.

Program Overview

Fellows will have the opportunity to work at public interest organizations at the forefront of debates on broadband and access policy, content regulation, copyright and trademark reform, consumer privacy, open government, and more. Participating organizations are based in either Washington, DC, San Francisco, CA , Ottawa or Toronto, Canada and include: American Library Association, Cato Institute, Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, Center for Democracy and Technology, Citizen Lab, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Creative Commons, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Future of Music Coalition, Internet Education Foundation, Media Access Project, New America Foundation, Progress and Freedom Foundation, Public Knowledge, and Technology Policy Institute. More information about the host organizations and the areas of focus for the fellows are outlined here.

Fellows will be assigned a lead mentor at their host organizations, but will have the opportunity to work with several senior staff members over the course of the summer. Fellows will be expected to make substantive contributions to the work of their organization, including conducting policy research and analysis; drafting reports and analyses; attending government and industry meetings and conferences; and participating in other advocacy activities.