Here’s the Call for Papers (well, call for Abstracts, initially) for a special issue of Social Media + Society I’m editing with Bjorn Nansen:
Special Issue of Social Media + Society
Eds Tama Leaver (Curtin University) and Bjorn Nansen (University of Melbourne)
From the sharing of ultrasound photos on social media onward, the capturing and communicating of babies’ lives online is an increasingly ordinary and common part of everyday digitally mediated life. Online affordances can facilitate the instantaneous sharing and joys of a first smile, first steps and first word spoken to globally distributed networks of family, friends and publics. Equally, from pregnancy tracking apps to baby cameras hidden inside cuddly toys, infants are also subject to an unprecedented intensification of surveillance practices. Reflecting both of these contexts, there is a growing set of questions about the presence, participation and politics of infants in online networks. This special issue seeks to explore these questions in terms of the online spaces in which infants are present; the forms of online participation enabled for and curated on behalf of infants, and the range of political implications raised by infants’ digital data and its traces, for both their present and future lives. Ideally papers will focus on the impact of digital technologies and networked culture on pre-birth, birth and the early years of life, along with related changes and challenges to parenthood and similar domains.
Possible areas of focus include, but are by no means limited to:
• Social media and infant presence and profiles
• Cultural and national specificities of infant media use and presence
• Digital media in the everyday lives of young children
• The app economy, and capture of infant attention
• “Mommy blogs,” and online curation
• Identity and impression management
• Ethics, persistence and the right to be forgotten
• Geographies of infant media use
• Infant interfaces and hardware
• Cultural responses to parenting, “oversharing”, privacy and surveillance
• Erasure of maternal bodies in digitising infancy
• Apps and services targeting infants as a consumer market
Abstracts of 300 words should be submitted to both Tama Leaver firstname.lastname@example.org and Bjorn Nansen email@example.com by Friday, 1 April. Where appropriate, please nominate an author for correspondence.
On the basis of these short abstracts, invitations to submit full papers (of no more than 8000 words) will then be sent out by 15 April 2016. Full papers will be due by 1 July 2016, and will undergo the usual Social Media + Society review procedure. Please note that an invitation to submit a full paper for review does not guarantee paper acceptance.