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

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ACCS 2018 Panel – Fearful Futures and How to Navigate Them

Next week I’m going to be heading to Japan to attend the Asian Conference on Cultural Studies with some of my UEA colleagues from the School of Education and Lifelong learning.

The conference theme is: ‘Fearful Futures: Cultural Studies and the Question of Agency in the Twenty-First Century’. It looks like an amazing event, with some really interesting panels and speakers. The full programme can be found here . It’s a provocative and interesting theme to tackle that speaks to the current climate, and I’m really interested to see the sorts of research and discussions that come out of the event!

Our panel details are below. We’ll be tweeting about the event on our joint twitter page (@CCSEResearch), so follow along if you’re interested! If you’re in attendance, come and see us! I’m excited about the event, and have to say, our symposium sound pretty damn awesome.

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Picturing the Social Conference

 

This sounds like such a great event. Below the break is the details of a one-day conference on June 20th in Manchester with some really awesome people talking about image sharing and online visual culture. Thanks to the always awesome Mark Carrigan for the heads-up about this one! If you’re not following him I thoroughly recommend that you do!

As the internet becomes increasingly multi-modal, and as an increasingly diverse range of Social Media sites are becoming purposefully heterogeneous, understanding visual culture is so important.

What’s so great about this event, and what I love about Digital Sociology at the moment is it’s really broad in scope. So many fields with so many epistemological stances all want to try and understand the increasingly ubiquitous role of Social Media. We need this diverse input in the field, we need to throw open the doors and try and come at this from a range of perspectives.

I cannot make the day so I’m going to follow along online, but I thought I’d flag it up for all those up north interested in Visual Culture and wanting to look at it from a purposefully broad perspective. More of this sort of thing please!

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University of East Anglia doctoral conference 2015

If anyone is in Norwich next week, I will be taking part in a Doctoral Conference hosted by the University of East Anglia’s Education and Lifelong Learning department.

The full details of the conference are below the break. It will be held on the 28th of May, with two concurrent sessions running all day.  There are some great talks in both sessions, covering topics from humour, art, education in Libya, and geeks, to maths and chocolate, the analysis of Seljuk coins, and migrant workers in the Pearl River! Continue reading