[Air-L] FW: Cfp: Freedom & Control of Digital Political Expression, Toulouse, France, October 2016‏

Nikos smyrnaios at hotmail.com
Wed Jan 27 04:10:05 PST 2016

Dear collegues, 

please consider the following call for papers. Thank you for circulating and posting widely. Apologies for Cross-posting.


Freedom and Control of Expression in the Digital Aftermath of the 2015 Paris Attacks, 
Workshop in Toulouse, France, October 13 & 14 2016 (website)

Call for papers
After the 
Charlie Hebdo newspaper offices were attacked in January 2015, debate 
and discussion flourished about freedom of expression, in France and 
abroad. This debate intensified after the Paris attacks of November 
13th. At the epicenter is the role of the Internet and free speech. An 
enormous wave of worldwide indignation expressed itself after both 
events, including a deluge of hashtag solidarity. But this social media 
storm eventually revealed cultural, political and social divides inside 
France, as well as globally. Much like after the 9/11 attacks, France 
passed laws allowing state surveillance of online communication. At the 
same time, social media censored posts about the attacks that were 
considered to be provocative or shocking. 


			The variety of 
reactions, including indifference or, on the contrary, the expression of
 very different points of view – sometimes even surveilled or censored –
 showed that one hashtag is neither unifying nor a universal view shared
 by everyone.  This event magnified the notion that the digital public 
sphere is a conflicting arena of not just what is being said (or kept 
quiet) online but also what the limits are. Undoubtedly, the Internet is
 the main means of massive public expression for millions. Yet it is 
still the result of a complex set of power relations established between
 professional media, amateur content producing communities, which 
sometimes defend particular interests, as well as corporate 
intermediaries. The resulting online content embodies rival editorial, 
political and industrial strategies. Recently, scholars have begun to 
question the idea of digital participatory democracy in terms of a level
 playing field.

This workshop aims to progress this debate by addressing the following central question:

Who controls freedom of expression and online content in the digital era, and how?

Embedded in this 
question are the challenges and constraints of expression, such as the 
tension between a bottom-up or top-down digital public sphere or who is 
left out as a digital player. Also central to this question are the role
 of three broad actors: the state, market and civil society. Possible 
topics for submissions include the following

 – What is the government’s role - from subsidizing digital 
participation to censorship and surveillance? What is the role of 
political ideology, broadly defined, in freedom of expression? What is 
the relationship between media institutions and the state when it comes 
to online free speech?
 - What is the interplay of market dominance, algorithms, censorship and
 Big Data? How are transformations in news production and consumption, 
especially in terms of platforms like Facebook, shaping freedom of 
expression? How do different types of capitalist economic systems shape 
freedom of expression? How do market constraints upon corporate media, 
and mainstream journalism shape freedom of expression?
			Civil society
 – Who is creating content, and if so, who is listening, watching and 
clicking? How does race, class, ethnicity and gender factor in? Who is 
marginalized?  How effective is Internet use as an extension or part of 
activist and social movement practices vis-à-vis political expression. 
What is the role of alternative, independent and citizen media in this 
digital era of online expression?


Target Audience and Scholars: This
 is an interdisciplinary workshop but geared toward sociologists, 
anthropologists, political scientists, economists and communication 
scholars. Scholars at all levels are encouraged to participate. A small 
number of travel grants may be available to permit outstanding junior 
scholars (under 35 years at the date of the conference) to attend. 
Please state in your paper submission whether you wish to apply for such
 a travel grant.

Dates: October 13 & 14, 2016

Format: The workshop will feature speakers, panels and paper presentations.

 Full paper submissions based on empirical research of conference topics
 (maximum 25 pages including references and tables/figures) due by 
Friday, April 1. Theoretical papers will also be considered. 

Please submit papers to https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=fceda15pa. We will notify you of acceptance by May 6. You will have to create an account in Easychair in order to submit.

Registration: Register for the conference by September 15. Space is limited. Registration information coming soon.

Cost: Free

Location: Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, Toulouse School of Economics, Toulouse, France.

Organizers: Jen Schradie (IAST), Sandra Vera Zambrano (Sciences Po Toulouse - LASSP), Nikos Smyrnaios (University of Toulouse – LERASS).

Email: freedomcontrol.conf at iast.fr

More information about the Air-L mailing list