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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!
[Image: 4/366: Beginning by Magic Madzik CC BY]
State of the Art: Science Fiction Histories (Perth, Western Australia, 22 & 23 March 2008)
CALL FOR PAPERS – STATE OF THE ART: SCIENCE FICTION HISTORIES
Perth, Western Australia, 22nd-23rd March 2008
In his recent history of the genre, Roger Luckhurst argues that the marginalisation of Science Fiction (SF) from the literary establishment helped readers and writers to identify its conventions. Fandom blossomed from this liminal space, its culture providing a unique history of the relations between texts and their readers. While fans were the first historians of SF, other communities have since established their own versions of the genre. The rise of national SF in countries such as Brazil and the old Soviet Union, China and Japan de-centre its Anglo-American bias. Feminist and queer writers work to unravel its phallocentrism and heterosexism. Histories of black and Aboriginalist fiction point out the political uses of the form. The genre has itself been shaped by its reception by these communities. In Anglo-American SF, the genre’s intimacy with fandom has transformed the way its fiction (and history) has been written. It is with a view to thinking through such developments that this symposium seeks work on what SF has been to different audiences at different times, on rewriting generic history to arrive at a better understanding of the state of the art today.
Papers are invited on the following or related topics:
[X] Histories of the SF community
[X] Intersections and interactions between fan and popular cultures, and between fandom and the general public.
[X] Political histories in SF, such as Marxist, anarcho-capitalist, etc
[X] Intersection of SF with feminist & queer theories
[X] Postcolonial approaches to SF
[X] National histories of SF
[X] Non-Anglo-American traditions of SF
[X] History of race in SF
[X] The collapse of genre: slipstream, new weird, etc
Sponsored by Curtin University of Technology, the symposium will be held as part of State of the Art: Swancon 2008, the National Australian convention of science fiction, fantasy and horror.
Swancon 33 guests of honour are:
[X] Ken McLeod (Scotland)
[X] Paul Cornell (UK)
[X] Glenda Larke
[X] Zara Baxter
Confirmed Speakers for the Symposium are:
[X] Mark Bould (The University of the West of England)
[X] Andrew Milner (Monash University)
[X] Sylvia Kelso (James Cook University)
[X] Stephen Dedman (University of W.A.)
Submissions are sought for both individual papers and panel presentations.
Papers –submit 300-500 word abstract
Panels – submit 300 word description of the panel theme and short abstracts / details of panel participants
PUBLICATION OF PAPERS
Selected papers from the symposium will be published in a special journal issue. To be considered for publication, draft papers must be submitted before the symposium.
Abstracts due: December 7. 2007
Draft papers (for publication) due: March 14, 2008
Sonia Marcon, Swancon Academic Stream
Darren Jorgensen, Media, Society & Culture, Curtin University of Technology
Helen Merrick, Media, Society & Culture, Curtin University of Technology