[Air-L] Call for Papers: The Platform University

Mark Carrigan mark at markcarrigan.net
Sun Jul 21 09:02:45 PDT 2019

Call for Papers for the Second Annual Conference: Capitalism, Social
Science and the Platform University

28 – 29 November 2019 at Lancaster University

Higher education is increasingly ‘platformised’. Indeed, digital platforms
have become ubiquitous. They are dominant intermediaries not only in our
social, economic and political life, but have become central forms of
capitalist accumulation. While platforms differ in terms of openness to
developers and public access to data, they operate on similar principles.
Some have grown to the extent that have become infrastructures in their own
right such as Facebook, while others ‘plug-in’ and become parts of the
digital infrastructural backbone. The technical and business aspects of
platforms are two sides of the same coin – the market-making aspect of
platforms is thus driving technological development, and the technical
aspect is configuring markets. These processes, as well as their fast
growth and complexity, pose methodological challenges including even
identifying appropriate units of analysis.

Higher education is increasingly subject to platformization processes. Yet,
in the growing scholarship on platforms, there is a lack of focus on
universities and their constituents. Especially scarce is work that would
critically examine what platforms are in higher education, what they do,
and what is the impact on the sector. The inaugural ‘Platform Universities’
conference, organised at the Faculty of Education in Cambridge in December
2019, opened these questions. This year’s conference at the University of
Lancaster will take the debate forward.

We invite papers addressing the full range of questions posed by these
considerations, including:

   - Platforms and infrastructures
   - Theorising platforms in higher education
   - Big data, analytics and platforms
   - The politics and political economy of platforms
   - Methodological and analytical challenges in studying platforms
   - Platform education and the platform university

There will be keynotes from Bev Skeggs
<http://www.lse.ac.uk/International-Inequalities/People/Beverley-Skeggs> (LSE)
and Sam Sellar

Please send abstracts of 500 words or less by July 31st 2019, sent to
j.komljenovic at lancaster.ac.uk. Please include a brief biographical note, as
well as three keywords to categorise your submission. We also plan to
publish a select set of papers as a special issue or edited book and are in
conversation with journal editors and publishers. The conference is free to
attend. Unfortunately, we do not have any financial support for travel and
accommodation costs.

This event is co-organised by the Culture, Politics and Global Justice
cluster at the University of Cambridge <https://cpgjcam.net/> and the Centre
for Higher Education Research and Evaluation at Lancaster University

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