[Air-L] cfp-Networked China

Randy Kluver rkluver at tamu.edu
Tue May 1 07:58:55 PDT 2012

Networked China
Transnational Networks and Civic Engagement In China
Wenhong Chen
Dept of Radio-TV-Film, College of Communication, UT Austin
Steve Reese
School of Journalism, College of Communication, UT Austin

Aim and Scope
The Internet and digital media have become conduits and locales where millions of Chinese share information and engage in creative expression and social participation. In China there are more than 400 million Internet users and more than 750 million mobile phone users (CNNIC 2011). The Arab Spring and the relative lack of response in China highlight once again the importance of understanding the implications of digital media and technologies in rich social and historical contexts.
Yet, compared to their growing prevalence and significance, research on the contingent, non-linear, and sometimes paradoxical impacts of digital media and technologies in Chinese societies remains theoretically underdeveloped and empirically understudied. Departing from existing studies centered on censorship or online activism, this proposed book would cast a wider net and explore how citizens in China navigate, negotiate, and transform social landscapes in the digital age.
Chapter authors are encouraged to update prevailing theoretical frameworks and revisit the prosumption of digital media and their implications for transnational networks and civic engagement. It aims to reveal both the transformative power and limitations of the Internet and other new communication technologies. The book calls for theory-driven empirical research with scholarly and policy relevance in China. It welcomes chapters engaging with diverse theoretical and empirical approaches, especially interdisciplinary and comparative research. Chapters would be organized around three components: digital media access and use, transnational networks, and civic engagement.

Mapping the Terrain: Digital Media Practices: What are the patterns of digital media access and use in China? What are the impacts of persistent censorship and aggressive marketization on digital media access and use in China?

Exploring Glocalized Transnational Networks: What are the patterns of glocalized transnational networks straddling boundaries of geography, identities, and issues? How do digital technologies and media allow local actors to form glocalized transnational networks in the cloud and on the ground? How do access to and memberships in such networks vary by class, gender, generation, urban-rural gap as well as differential digital media skills and literacy?
Understanding Civic Engagement online and offline: How do digital mediated communication and interactions contribute to an informed, connected, and engaged public in China? To what extent do digital media and technologies facilitate transparency and enhance the visibility of oppressed groups, in particular in comparison with print and broadcast media under tighter government control? To what extent do glocalized transnational networks affect access and mobilization of resources for social development and changes?

Chapter authors are invited to participate in a New Agendas conference at University of Texas at Austin in Fall 2013 to gather, present, and help strengthen each other's work for publication.  As such, a draft chapter submission is required from participants prior to the conference.  Travel and lodging expenses for participants will be covered.

Logistics and timeline
*         The book will be published in the New Agendas in Communication Series by Routledge in 2014.
*         The book would be about 250-300 pages, with 8-12 chapters. The final manuscript would be delivered by the end of 2013.
*         The New Agendas in Communication Series is intended to advance several important goals: (1) call attention to important new areas of study and stimulate needed forms of intellectual inquiry; (2) accelerate the research careers of the conference participants and build community across disciplinary divides for an important young cohort. Chapter authors should be junior scholars including recent tenured associated professors, assistant professors, and advanced Ph.D students.

Wenhong Chen

Assistant Professor

Department of Radio-TV-Film, College of Communication

1 University Station A0800, CMA 6.136

University of Texas at Austin


AUSTIN, TX  78712-1067

T: 512-471-4952

F: 512-471-4077

wenhong_chen at mail.utexas.edu<mailto:wenhong_chen at mail.utexas.edu>

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