Understanding the Social in a Digital Age

I’m really proud to be running this brilliant event with the equally brilliant Zoetanya Sujon. We’ve been planning this for a while now, and we’re really happy to release the call for papers. It’s a free event, with two brilliant and exciting keynote speakers. We’d love it to be a lively day, so please do submit abstracts.

If you have any questions, email us at @UnderstandingTheSocial@gmail.com. Abstracts due August 28th 2018.

 

Understanding the social in a digital age: An interdisciplinary conference on media, technology, and the social

The pervasiveness of social media has led to both the rise and erasure of ‘the social’. The social is increasingly evasive, at once found everywhere and nowhere. Social media are widely lauded for connecting people and enabling richer, more dynamic socialities yet many critique these processes as emptying out social connection in favour of data accumulation, self-promotion, and platform capitalism. Similarly, these new ways of experiencing, augmenting, and understanding the social are rife with their own socio-cultural and socio-economic biases, born out through designers and users, meaning not every user experiences these spaces and relates to these technologies in the same manner. It becomes apparent that ‘the social’ presumes a singular experience, when realities are far more diverse.

Current research on social media draws in an interdisciplinary manner from a wide range of thinking on what the social means, and is increasingly challenging extant theories and conceptions of the social. This poses a number of questions for how we consider, define, and explore the social, and crucially what our responsibilities are as researchers and educators. This also poses a number of opportunities to work across disciplinary boundaries to explore and reframe our understandings of media, technology, and the social.

Keynotes will be given by Professor Nick Couldry, London School of Economics and Professor Gina Neff, Oxford Internet Institute.

This event aims to critically examine not only the meanings of the social in contemporary digital practices across cultures, but also challenges underlying epistemologies of the social in research and popular cultures. Papers may approach the topic from theoretical, conceptual, and/or empirical positions.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Challenges of and negotiations around agency and structure
  • The relationship between technology, self, and society
  • Educational challenges and responsibilities in the digital age
  • Changing socialities in the face of platform capitalism, the sharing economy, the gig economy, the rise of mediation, & networked selves
  • The embedding and disembedding of socio-cultural resources online
  • Resistance and transgression on, in, with, and through technology
  • The role of designers, users, researchers and the public in the framing, conceptualisation, and representation of ‘the social’ online
  • Extant and emerging social structures in the digital age
  • Boundaries between online and offline social practices
  • Affordances and mediation of social practices
  • Alternative media and sub-altern communities
  • Technological mediation of public / private
  • Digital citizenships and the politics of belonging
  • Emerging technologies and digital futures

This list is merely suggestive of the range of topics of interest to the organisers and is not in any way restrictive of possible interpretations of the theme.  We encourage contributors to be imaginative in formulating ideas and paper proposals.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words and a short bio of 100 words should be submitted via email by 28th August 2018.

You will receive notification of the outcome of your submission by September 30. Submissions from early career researchers are highly encouraged. Final papers should be no longer than 8,000 words / 20 minutes. All those who submit final papers by January 7th will also be invited to submit to a special edition of an international peer-reviewed journal.

The event is free to attend and present, and will be hosted at the School of Education and Lifelong Learning and the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK, on the 8th January 2019.

Key dates:

Abstract submission: August 28th 2018

Notification of outcomes: September 30th 2018

Draft papers due: January 7th 2019

Conference: January 8th 2019, at UEA

Organisers:

Dr Zoetanya Sujon (University of Arts London)

Dr Harry Dyer (University of East Anglia)

Enquiries and abstract submission: UnderstandingTheSocial@gmail.com

Advertisements

Call for Papers: Digital Culture and Education

 

A call for papers is out for a special edition of Digital Culture & Education, an international open access peer-reviewed journal. I recently got named as an editor of the journal and am really happy to be helping to launch this exciting special edition.

Full information can be found here, feel free to email me for a discussion about it!

Continue reading

Call For Papers on Language, New Media and Alt-Realities

If you’re interested in/researching ‘fake news’, alternative facts, clickbait, and/or the ‘decline’ of ‘experts’ (really not sure how many scare quotes to use here…) then check out this call for papers below. Sounds like a really interesting conference. The submission deadline is a little tight, but I’m going to try to attend if nothing else!

 

Details below:

 

Language, New Media and Alt-Realities

April 21, 2017, University of Reading

Proposals are invited for 20 minute paper presentations as well as posters/web-based presentations addressing the theme of ‘language, new media and alt.realties’.

Possible areas of interest include:

·       New media epistemologies and ontologies

·       New media discourse and political polarisation

·       Algorithmic pragmatics and political debate

·       Authoritarian and populist discourses online

·       ‘Trolling’ as a form of political discourse

·       Agnotology (the cultural construction of ignorance)

·       The crisis of ‘expertise’

·       ‘Fake news’ and ‘clickbait’

·       Hacking and disinformation

·       Infotainment and spectacle

·       Conspiracy theories and memes

·       Journalism in the age of social media

Please send your proposals in the form of a 250-word abstract to Prof Rodney Jones, University of Reading r.h.jones@reading.ac.uk

Deadline for Submitting Proposals: April 5, 2017

Call For Papers: Eastern Sociological Society Digital Sociology Mini-Conference

I had the pleasure and privilege of attending and presenting at the Eastern Sociological Society’s conference in New York in February this year, and it was a fascinating, invigorating, and thoroughly useful and challenging event.

There was a wide range of speakers and attendees from a wide range of backgrounds, all with useful thoughts and ideas on the present and future of Digital Sociology. I’d thoroughly recommend it to anybody and am hoping to go again in 2016.

The 2016 event is to be held in Boston, at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel and Towers, March 17-20, and the Call For Papers is below. I’m submitting a paper on digital identity, and hope to see you all there!


Digital Sociology Mini-Conference

In keeping with the Eastern Sociological Society’s theme of “My Day Job: Politics and Pedagogy in Academia,” the Digital Sociology Mini-Conference seeks papers that address the many digital ways of knowing, particularly as those impinge on the work we do as scholars, both within and outside the academy. We seek abstracts, and wholly constituted panels, on a wide range of topics, including, but not limited to, the following themes:

·       Public Scholarship, Digital Media and the Neoliberal University: How is the participation of scholars on public, digital media platforms regarded within the neoliberal university?

·       Digital Sociologists, Legacy Institutions: What does it mean to do digital sociology within institutions that are steeped in legacy modes of rewarding scholarship? How are scholars navigating the landscape of getting hired, tenured and promoted with a strong digital presence, or without one?

·       Digital Sociological Methods: How do traditional, analog sociological methods become digital? Are there new, “born digital” sociological methods? Is knowledge production different now? Will big data replace survey methodology?

·       Critical Theories of the Digital Itself: How have we theorized the digital? What challenges does the digital pose to epistemologies underlying sociological methods?

·       Digital Structures, Digital Institutions: The datafication of everyday life is posing unique challenges to the composition of social institutions and giving rise to new instantiations of education, finance, labor, and governance. How do we theorize, study, and conceptualize the recomposition of these institutions?

·       Identity, Community, and Networks: How do sociological concepts of micro and macro, personal and public, “front stage” and “back stage,” evolve as digital and mobile technologies increasingly blur these boundaries? How do digital environments shape identities of race, gender, sexuality and queerness? And how do the identities of those who create the platforms we use shape the platforms? How do race, gender, sexuality and queerness shape the communities and networks in which we participate?

·       Digital Pedagogies, Digital Sociology: How are digital technologies changing the sociological classroom? Beyond simply a recitation of ‘what I did in my class,’ we’re interested in theoretical and empirical explorations of how to think about digitally-informed pedagogies in the sociology classroom.

We encourage submissions from scholars at all levels, and are particularly enthusiastic to support the work of graduate students and early career researchers. We welcome submissions for individual papers and for entirely constituted sessions. The organizers share a commitment to creating a field that honors diverse voices, and as such are excited to see scholars from groups that are typically underrepresented in sociology. When proposing entirely constituted panels, please keep this commitment to diverse voices in mind.

If you have any questions about proposals, topics, or session ideas please contact one of the organizers: Leslie Jones (lesjones@sas.upenn.edu), Tressie McMillan Cottom or Jessie Daniels (jdaniels@hunter.cuny.edu).

For individual presentations, please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words, as well as the title of the paper, name of presenter, institutional affiliation and contact details.   For wholly constituted sessions, please include a short description of the concept behind your session, and then include all of the abstracts (along with names and affiliations of presenters) in one document. Deadline: October 19, 2015.  Please email your submissions to: ESSDigitalSociology@gmail.com.   Those whose proposals are not accepted for the Mini-Conference will be alerted in time to submit to the ESS general call for submissions.


Call For Papers #CfP: Data Literacy – what is it and why does it matter? Web Sci 2015 #Websci2015

This sounds great, and I agree, there is a MUCH needed discussion to be had on data literacy. It’s often brushed aside, but like I was discussing earlier here, there is much to be said about access to data, and the implications of data literacy globally. Continue reading

Call for papers: Symposium on Trolling and Gender.

This sounds awesome. Hopefully I’ll be able to attend. There’s a lot of work to be done analysing and contextualising trolling.

I’m working on a paper looking at the rise of trolling in ‘anonymous’  apps such as Yik Yak. It’s been a long time since anonymity has been a key aspect of social interaction online, and it’s interesting to see the rise of trolling on these types of ‘anonymous’ sites. My own paper revolves around the implications of Yik Yak and other such sites for the ‘digital panopticon’, and how this leads to a rise in trolling. Who is being viewed? By whom? has the recently discussed synopticon (or even omniopticon!) become clouded? How are the users adjusting behaviours etc.

The call for papers is below. Hopefully I’ll see you there!

Continue reading