Bjorn Nansen and I are editing an issue of M/C A Journal of Media and Culture on the (deliberately and we hope, provocatively) broad topic of ‘Beginnings’. The Call for Papers has just been released, and is reproduced below for your convenience:
The digital spaces we encounter are increasingly stabilised and structured, organised through regulatory and commercial regimes, and populated by content and users whose lives began already networked in digital forms of production, distribution and consumption. This issue of M/C Journal seeks to explore the beginnings of these familiar and well-established, as well as emerging, contexts of digital cultures. By focussing on the beginnings, of life, of platforms, of technological encounters, of existence on social media, and so on, this issue aims to bring together scholarship around the infant and initial moments of technology use, and the processes, relations and forces that shape and are shaped by these beginnings. As digital culture becomes increasingly banal and thus less visible, studying digital beginnings may help to illuminate the varied forms of meaning, mediation, and materiality at play in configuring the familiar. Exploring beginnings may also serve to highlight paths not taken, as well as potential alternatives produced at such interstices.
Questions of beginnings feature within research traditions and theories of technology adoption, domestication and development, and so can be understood in reference to individuals and users, but also apply to the beginnings of social groups and movements, or the birth of applications, platforms, technologies or enterprises. Studying beginnings, therefore, raises questions about digital histories, trajectories and temporalities, and is open to empirical, methodological or theoretical enquiries.
By inviting contributions interested in exploring digital beginnings in this issue of M/C, possible topics to be addressed may include, but are not limited to:
- The mediation of the unborn and newly born
- New parents and social media platforms
- Case studies or examples of infant media use
- Newbs and noobs in gaming or online communities
- The cultural implications of new forms of computational interfaces (e.g. the Internet of Things)
- Myths of new beginnings and technological exceptionalism (e.g. 3D printing)
- Early historical perspectives on digital media industries or events
- Start-up spaces or cultures
- Alternate beginnings (eg failed and forgotten inventions)
Prospective contributors should email an abstract of 100-250 words and a brief biography to the issue editors. Abstracts should include the article title and should describe your research question, approach, and argument. Biographies should be about three sentences (maximum 75 words) and should include your institutional affiliation and research interests. Articles should be 3000 words (plus bibliography). All articles will be refereed and must adhere to MLA style (6th edition).
- Article deadline: 14 Aug. 2015
- Release date: 14 Oct. 2015
- Editors: Bjorn Nansen and Tama Leaver
Please submit articles through this Website. Send any enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Needless to say, enquiries are welcome, and early submissions, too!