Wednesday, May 20, 2009

CfP: Making Links 2009 - Sustaining Communities in Tough Times


Sustaining Communities in Tough Times

17 - 18 November 2009
University of Melbourne

Call for papers

Two major challenges face the world today: the global economic crisis and environmental sustainability. Both are already having an impact on peoples’ lives and livelihoods.
Community organisations have already expressed concern that the most vulnerable in our societies will be hardest hit.

Community organisations also face the challenge of keeping their operations going in tough financial times, and at the same time trying to be part of the environmental solution, rather than part of the problem.

Making Links Conference 2009 asks: how are non-profit organisations meeting these twin challenges?

We are seeking presentations that address issues such as:

• Technology as a tool to improve communication, increase productivity and retain staff

• Disaster response / management / relief

• Financing your organisation and its programs in tight economic times

• Engaging with communities online

• Green ICT projects (from recycling computers to green design to green office to campaigning and more)

• Corporate social responsibility - building partnerships to support our communities

• Strengthening marginalised communities and constituencies

• Research supporting action

• The rapidly changing interface of online communication

• Community arts and media

Making Links is a peer-based conference. We invite you to present a paper on your learning and experiences with ICT, your projects, case studies or research, or lead a practical workshop that introduces useful tools and concepts.

The structure of the conference will be based on:

• Case studies

• Practical workshops

• Panel discussions

• Networking opportunities

• Film festival

• Social and satellite events

Submit a proposal online at:

Who should attend?

The conference attracts delegates and presenters from many fields including health, environment, education, charities, business, government, philanthropy, human services and non-profits working with marginalised groups (e.g. e.g. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, culturally and linguistically diverse, youth at risk, unemployed, rural and remote, disability).

Registrations open 10 June.

Keep up to date

To keep in touch, sign up for Making Links updates at
and join our Facebook group to find out what's going on, contribute ideas, etc., at:

Virtual Community and Popular Culture: Expertise and Authority in Fan Discourse

Nottingham Guest Speaker Series

Generation Net: Arts and Culture in the 21st Century
University of Nottingham

'Virtual Community and Popular Culture: Expertise and Authority in Fan
Professor Chris Atton

Thursday 21st May 2009, 6pm-7pm followed by refreshments
Room A18 (Arts Graduate Centre) Trent Building, University of Nottingham.

The third speaker in our interdisciplinary guest speaker series, Professor Chris Atton, will be speaking on Thursday 21st May.

Admission is free. All are welcome. To book a place at the talk, please email Iain Smith at


Studies of popular culture have increasingly turned to the amateur media practices of fans to understand how ordinary people make sense of their own pleasures. A primary site for this research has been the printed fanzine, a magazine written, edited and published by fans themselves. With the movement of much fan writing to the internet, what can we learn about the key notions of identity and community, often argued to be at the heart of fan culture? This paper will explore the nature of internet-based fan discourse and will look particularly at how fans’ engagement with their objects of desire – and with each other – have developed in an on-line environment.


Chris Atton is Professor of Media and Culture in the School of Arts and Creative Industries at Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh. His research specialises in alternative media, and he is the author of four books, including Alternative Media (Sage, 2002) and Alternative Journalism (Sage, 2008), as well as over fifty articles and book chapters. He is particularly interested in questions of democratic access to the media and the social value of participatory media. He has made special studies of fanzines, the media of new social movements and popular music journalism.

Attendance is Free. All are Welcome. Please RSVP to

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Adam Greenfield at HCSNet Workshop, 13/14 July, QUT Brisbane

Second Call for Papers:

From Social Butterfly to Urban Citizen - A HCSNet Workshop on Social and Mobile Technology to Support Civic Engagement

Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove Campus, Brisbane

June 19, 2009 Workshop position papers (300-500 words) due
June 26, 2009 Author notifications sent
July 13/14, 2009 Workshop

Keynote Speaker

We are pleased to announce Adam Greenfield, author of 'Everyware' and Head of Design Direction for User Interface and Services at Nokia in Helsinki, as the keynote speaker for this workshop. His talk "The city is here for you to use" will give us a preview of the ideas in his forthcoming new book.

Workshop Theme

This workshop brings together people from a diverse range of disciplines to discuss social and mobile technologies and how they can be studied, designed and developed further to support local participation and civic engagement in urban environments.

Web applications such as blogs, wikis, video and photo sharing sites, and social networking systems have been termed ‘Web 2.0’ to highlight an arguably more open, collaborative, personalisable, and therefore more participatory internet experience than what had previously been possible. Giving rise to a culture of participation, an increasing number of these social applications are now available on mobile phones where they take advantage of device-specific features such as sensors, location and context awareness. This workshop will make a contribution towards exploring and better understanding the opportunities and challenges provided by tools, interfaces, methods and practices of social and mobile technology that enable participation and engagement. 

It will bring together a group of academics and practitioners from a diverse range of disciplines such as computing and engineering, social sciences, digital media and human-computer interaction to critically examine a range of applications of social and mobile technology, such as social networking, mobile interaction, wikis (eg.,, twitter, blogging, virtual worlds (eg,, and their impact to foster community activism, civic engagement and cultural citizenship.

This workshop will be held back-to-back with an ARC Cultural Research Network (CRN) workshop on the 11th and 12th of July 2009 at QUT titled, “Unboxing the iPhone: The Circuits of Digital Culture,” organised by Larissa Hjorth, Jean Burgess and Ingrid Richardson, supported by the CRN’s Cultural Technologies Node. This will provide opportunities to exchange ideas and experiences.

The workshop is also very timely in that it coincides with the six week residency of Prof. Carlo Ratti, Director of the SENSEable City Lab at MIT, and the 2009 inaugural Queensland Innovator in Residence:


We hope to attract a multidisciplinary range of HCSnet members and colleagues working in areas such as user experience design, human-computer interaction, digital media, social sciences and computing and engineering. The topic and themes to be explored are timely, relevant and significant to the research work of many academics in Australia and overseas who are looking at ways to help engender a culture of local and national participation and engagement. Many colleagues find that the underlying systems architecture and principles that have given rise to participatory culture in many social and lifestyle domains should be examined with a view to reappropriate them to foster civic engagement and a revival of citizenship.

Event Format

The workshop will be held over two days, on Mon 13th and Tue 14th July 2009, at the Creative Industries Precinct of Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Brisbane. Participants will be given the opportunity to present their work with a view to stimulate an informed debate. The workshop will allow plenty of time for both breakout and plenary discussions.


We are calling for 300-500 word position statements expressing the interest in the workshop or abstracts of proposed presentations from prospective participants. Queries can be sent via email to Marcus Foth at m.foth [AT] Please submit your abstract online by Fri 19 June 2009 at

This workshop is free for anyone who has been HCSNet Member for 2 months prior to the workshop. Non-members need to pay $100 registration fee for this workshop via the online facility. Please register online by Fri 3 July 2009 at

Travel Bursaries

HCSNet will fund a number of travel bursaries of $300 each to help cover the costs of travel and accommodation for participants from outside the Brisbane and South East Queensland area. HCSNet has also approved a Student Support Grant to enable students to participate.

The provision of a submission as described above is a prerequisite for funding. If not all participants can be covered, funding grants will be allocated based on the relevance of your abstract to the workshop theme; also, students and early career researchers will have priority.


Dr Marcus Foth, Queensland University of Technology
Dr Martin Gibbs, University of Melbourne
Dr Christine Satchell, Queensland University of Technology

Extended Deadline - Summer School on Virtual World Research from July 10-19 in Bremen, Germany

There's good news from the organizers from this year's Summer School "How Virtual is reality?" ( held in Bremen (Germany) from July 10 to July 19.

Extended Deadline - Summer School on Virtual World Research from July 10-19 in Bremen, Germany

We will accept applications until June 7th from anyone interested in doing academic reseach in Internet phenomena / Virtual Worlds. The course is mainly addressed to undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate students.

As a cooperative effort of the University of Bremen and Jacobs-University (Bremen) th summer course will broach the issue of the relevance of new environments such as "Second Life" and "World of Warcraft" for contemporary culture and social life with a special focus on rituals and religions.

Instructed by more than 10 international teachers, the participants in the Summer School will explore the interdisciplinary study of practical methods and theoretical approaches for the scientific handling of ritual and media. 

The media will not only objects of methodological, theoretical and practical research but will also serve as platform for academic discussion and teaching. Summer School participants will be able to design and perform research projects on religion both on and within virtual worlds.

Please forward this information to everyone who might be interested in the course. A banner and a poster are available on the "Media" section of the website.

Kerstin Radde-Antweiler and Simone Heidbrink, organizers

Monday, May 18, 2009

New MA programme in Digital Anthropology at University College London

Application deadline: 30 June 2009

New MA programme in Digital Anthropology at University College London

Digital technologies have become ubiquitous. From Facebook, YouTube and Flickr to PowerPoint, Google Earth and Second Life. Museum displays migrate to the internet, family communication in the Diaspora is dominated by new media, artists work with digital films and images. 

Anthropology and ethnographic research is fundamental to understanding the local consequences of these innovations, and to create theories that help us acknowledge, understand and engage with them. Today's students need to become proficient with digital technologies as research and communication tools. Through combining technical skills with appreciation of social effects, students will be trained for further research and involvement in this emergent world.

This MA brings together three key components in the study of digital culture:

1. Skills training in digital technologies, including our own Digital Lab, from internet and digital film editing to e-curation and digital ethnography.

2. Anthropological theories of virtualism, materiality/immateriality and digitisation.

3. Understanding the consequences of digital culture through the ethnographic study of its social and regional impact.

There is a £5,000 annual bursary specifically for this and the MA in Material and Visual Culture, as well as 3 x £1,000 bursaries for all anthropology MA programmes. All those who have submitted an application by 30 June 2009 will automatically be considered and no additional application form is necessary.
The Dept. of Anthropology at UCL is the world's leading centre for the study of Material and Visual Culture. We publish The Journal of Material Culture and several relevant book series. We have nine specialist staff in material and visual culture. We currently supervise nearly fifty PhD students specifically in this field, including many with topics in Digital Anthropology.

The programme is suitable both for those with a prior degree in anthropology but also for those with degrees in neighbouring disciplines who wish to be trained in anthropological and related approaches to digital culture. There is scope for those with specialist interests to work closely with designers, curators, communication specialists as well as our own digital studio. In addition to its importance for careers such as media, design and museums, digital technology is also integral to development, theoretical and applied anthropology.

For further information about this course contact

For making an application, note that the UCL bureaucracy may take a while to catch up with what is a new course, so in order to ensure your application is received we recommend that you download the application form from:

And send this directly to:

Prof. Daniel Miller
Department of Anthropology
University College London
14 Taviton Street
London WC1H OBW

University College London has over 3,500 research staff and 17,000 students, ranking among the top three multi-faculty research and teaching universities in the UK. Located in the heart of Bloomsbury among the unique research resources of central London, which include excellent museum facilities as well as a dense network of specialist research and higher education institutions, the College provides an outstanding research base. The Department of Anthropology combines social and biological anthropology and material culture. Members of the Department carry out research in 49 countries, edit four international journals and run five research seminar series and specialist postgraduate research groups. There are over 140 postgraduate students funded by AHRC, ESRC, NERC, MRC, London University, British Academy, Institute of Zoology, Natural History Museum, Overseas Research Studentships, staff research programme awards, and various national governmental and international awards.

UCL is thus one of the largest centres in the world for the training of PhD students in Anthropology.  The Department encourages pure and theoretical research as well as providing strong links with applied and development projects. As well as holding top research standing, the Department has been rated excellent in successive teaching quality audits. There are 7 taught Masters courses and several undergraduate degrees (BSc Anthropology, BSc in Human Sciences, and Intercalated BScs in Medical Anthropology). The Department maintains a student-centred approach to teaching, with a full tutorial system for its 300-strong undergraduate population. The Material Culture section of the Department contains six members of staff and may be considered a world centre for such studies. Amongst other activities members of this group edit the Journal of Material Culture, the journal Home Cultures, and several book series and recently developed the weblog at