[Air-L] Fwd: CALL FOR PAPERS: Media in Transition 8: public media, private media (May 3-5, 2013 at MIT)

Alexander Halavais halavais at gmail.com
Fri Aug 24 13:40:21 PDT 2012

Sorry if this already went out :). The MiT conferences I've been to (a
couple of them) have been great...\

- Alex

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Brad Seawell <seawell at mit.edu>
Date: Fri, Aug 24, 2012 at 7:45 AM
Subject: CALL FOR PAPERS: Media in Transition 8: public media, private
media (May 3-5, 2013 at MIT)
To: seawell at mit.edu

Sorry if you receive this more than once –

Media in Transition 8: public media, private media

International Conference

Conference dates: May 3-5, 2013 at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, Cambridge, MA.

Conference website: web.mit.edu/comm-forum/mit8 (watch for updates).


Submissions accepted on a rolling basis until Friday, March 1, 2013
(evaluations begin in November).
Please see the end of this call for papers for submission instructions.

The distinction between public and private – where the line is drawn
and how it is sometimes inverted,
the ways that it is embraced or contested – says much about a culture.
Media have been used to enable,
define and police the shifting line between the two, so it is not
surprising that the history of media change
to some extent maps the history of these domains. Media in Transition
8 takes up the question of the
shifting nature of the public and private at a moment of unparalleled
connectivity, enabling new notions
of the socially mediated public and unequalled levels of data
extraction thanks to the quiet demands of
our Kindles, iPhones, televisions and computers.  While this forces us
to think in new ways about these
long established categories, in fact the underlying concerns are
rooted in deep historical practice. MiT8
considers the ways in which specific media challenge or reinforce
certain notions of the public or the
private and especially the ways in which specific “texts” dramatize or
imagine the public, the private and
the boundary between them.  It takes as its foci three broad domains:
personal identity, the civic (the
public sphere) and intellectual property.

Reality television and confessional journalism have done much to
invert the relations between private
and public. But the borders have long been malleable. Historically, we
know that camera-armed Kodakers
and telephone party lines threatened the status quo of the private;
that the media were complicit in
keeping from the public FDR’s disability and the foibles of the ruling
elite; and that paparazzi and
celebrities are strategically intertwined in the game of publicity.
How have the various media played
these roles (and represented them), and how is the issue changing at a
moment when most of our
mediated transactions leave data traces that not only redefine the
borders of the private, but that
serve as commodities in their own right?

The public, too, is a contested space. Edmund Burke’s late 18th
century invocation of the fourth
estate linked information flow and political order, anticipating
aspects of Habermas’s public sphere.
>From this perspective, trends such as a siege on public service
broadcasting, a press in decline,
and media fragmentation on the rise, all ring alarm bells. Yet
WikiLeaks and innovative civic uses
of media suggest a sharp countertrend. What are the fault lines in
this struggle? How have they
been represented in media texts, enacted through participants and
given form in media policy?
And what are we to make of the fate of a public culture in a world
whose media representations
are increasingly on-demand, personalized and algorithmically-designed to please?

Finally, MiT8 is also concerned with the private-public rift that
appears most frequently in struggles
over intellectual property (IP).  Ever-longer terms of IP protection
combined with a shift from media
artifacts (like paper books) to services (like e-journals) threaten
long-standing practices such as book
lending (libraries) and raise thorny questions about cultural access.
Social media sites, powered by users,
often remain the private property of corporations, akin to the public
square’s replacement by the mall,
and once-public media texts, like certain photographic and film
collections, have been re-privatized by
an array of institutions. These undulations in the private and public
have implications for our texts (remix
culture), our access to them, and our activities as audiences; but
they also have a rich history of contestation,
evidenced in the copybook and scrapbook, compilation film, popular
song and the open source and
creative commons movement.

MiT8 encourages a broad approach to these issues, with specific
attention to textual practice, users,
policy and cultural implications.  As usual, we encourage work from
across media forms and across
historical periods and cultural regions.

Possible topics include:

Media traces: cookies, GPS data, TiVo and Kindle tracking
The paradoxes of celebrity and the public persona
Representing the anxieties of the private in film, television, literature
MMORPGs / identities / virtual publics
The spatial turn in media: private consumption in public places
Historical media panics regarding the private-public divide
When cookies shape content, what happens to the public?
Creative commons and the new public sphere
Big data and privacy
Party lines and two-way radio: amplifying the private
The fate of public libraries in the era of digital services
Methodologies of internet and privacy studies
Creative commons, free software, and the new public sphere
Public and civic WiFi access to the internet
Surveillance, monitoring and their (dis)contents

Submit an Abstract and Short Bio

Short abstracts for papers should be about 250 words in a PDF or Word
format and should
be sent as email attachments to mit8 at mit.edu no later than Friday,
March 1, 2013. Please
include a short (75 words or fewer) biographical statement.

We will be evaluating submissions on a rolling basis beginning in
November and will respond
to every proposal.

Include a Short Bibliography

For this year’s conference, we recommend that you include a brief
bibliography of no more
than one page in length with your abstract and bio.

Proposals for Full Panels

Proposals for full panels of three or four speakers should include a
panel title and separate
abstracts and bios for each speaker. Anyone proposing a full panel
should recruit a moderator.

Submit a Full Paper

In order to be considered for inclusion in a conference anthology, you
must submit a full version
of your paper prior to the beginning of the conference.

If you have any questions about the eighth Media in Transition
conference, please contact Brad Seawell at seawell at mit.edu.


Brad Seawell, Program Coordinator

MIT Communications Forum


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