19 November 2008

AoIR 10.0, Milwaukee

After a great conference in Copenhagen last October, The Call for Papers for AoIR 10.0 has been released:

Call for Papers

Internet Research 10.0 - Internet: Critical

The 10th Annual International and Interdisciplinary Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR)

October 7-11, 2009
Hilton Milwaukee City Center
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

As the Internet has become an increasingly ubiquitous and mundane medium, the analytical shortcomings of the division between the online and the offline have become evident. Shifting the focus to the fundamental intermeshing of online and offline spaces, networks, economies, politics, locations, agencies, and ethics, Internet: Critical invites scholars to consider material frameworks, infrastructures, and exchanges as enabling constraints in terms of online phenomena.

Furthermore, the conference invites considerations of Internet research as a critical practice and theory, its intellectual histories, investments, and social reverberations. How do we, as Internet researchers, connect our work to social concerns or cultural developments both local and global, and what kinds of agency may we exercise in the process? What kinds of redefinitions of the political (in terms of networks, micropolitics, participation, lifestyles, resistant or critical practices) are necessary when conceptualizing Internet cultures within the current geopolitical and geotechnological climate?

To this end, we call for papers, panel proposals, and presentations from any discipline, methodology, and community, and from conjunctions of multiple disciplines, methodologies and academic communities that address the conference themes, including papers that intersect and/or interconnect the following:

* critical moments, elements, practices
* critical theories, methods, constructs
* critical voices, histories, texts
* critical networks, junctures, spaces
* critical technologies, artifacts, failures
* critical ethics, interventions, alternatives.

Sessions at the conference will be established that specifically address the conference themes, and we welcome innovative, exciting, and unexpected takes on those themes. We also welcome submissions on topics that address social, cultural, political, legal, aesthetic, economic, and/or philosophical aspects of the Internet beyond the conference themes. In all cases, we welcome disciplinary and interdisciplinary submissions as well as international collaborations from both AoIR and non-AoIR members.

We seek proposals for several different kinds of contributions. We welcome proposals for traditional academic conference PAPERS and we also welcome proposals for ROUNDTABLE SESSIONS that will focus on discussion and interaction among conference delegates, as well as organized PANEL PROPOSALS that present a coherent group of papers on a single theme.

Call for Papers Released: 17 November 2008
Submissions Due: 1 February 2009
Notification: 15 March 2009

All papers and presentations in this session will be evaluated in a standard blind peer review.

* PAPERS (individual or multi-author) - submit abstract of 600-800 words
* FULL PAPERS (OPTIONAL): For submitters requiring peer review of full papers, manuscripts of up to 8,000 words will be accepted for review. These will be reviewed and judged separately from abstract submissions
* PANEL PROPOSALS - submit a 600-800 word description of the panel theme, plus 250-500 word abstract for each paper or presentation
* ROUNDTABLE PROPOSALS - submit a statement indicating the nature of the roundtable discussion and interaction

Papers, presentations and panels will be selected from the submitted proposals on the basis of multiple blind peer review, coordinated and overseen by the Program Chair. Each individual is invited to submit a proposal for 1 paper or 1 presentation. A person may also propose a panel session, which may include a second paper that they are presenting. An individual may also submit a roundtable proposal. You may be listed as co-author on additional papers as long as you are not presenting them.

Selected papers from the conference will be published in a special issue of the journal Information, Communication & Society, edited by Caroline Haythornwaite and Lori Kendall. Authors selected for submission for this issue will be contacted prior to the conference.

All papers submitted to the conference system will be available to AoIR members after the conference.

On October 7, 2009, there will be a limited number of pre-conference workshops which will provide participants with in-depth, hands-on and/or creative opportunities. We invite proposals for these pre-conference workshops. Local presenters are encouraged to propose workshops that will invite visiting researchers into their labs or studios or locales. Proposals should be no more than 1000 words, and should clearly outline the purpose, methodology, structure, costs, equipment and minimal attendance required, as well as explaining its relevance to the conference as a whole. Proposals will be accepted if they demonstrate that the workshop will add significantly to the overall program in terms of thematic depth, hands on experience, or local opportunities for scholarly or artistic connections. These proposals and all inquiries regarding pre-conference proposals should be submitted as soon as possible to both the Conference Chair and Program Chair and no later than March 31, 2009.


* Program Chair: Susanna Paasonen, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
* Conference Co-Chairs and Coordinators: Elizabeth Buchanan, Michael Zimmer, UW-Milwaukee School of Information Studies and Center for Information Policy Research; Steve Jones, University of Illinois-Chicago

11 November 2008

Writing in the margins

An interesting project started yesterday at the Institute for the Future of the Book: a close reading of Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook by seven women, who will conduct a conversation in the margins.

This was very intriguing for someone who spends her life writing in margins of books (but only in pencil, only as a murmured comment, which can be retracted easily should the book pass on to another reader). The comments on the Golden Notebook are in a way similar to comments on a blog post, except that they belong to the text because of their position in the same screen:

The question they are trying to answer is the following:

What do you hope to learn?
We don’t yet understand how to model a complex conversation in the web’s two-dimensional environment and we’re hoping this experiment will help us learn some of what we need to do to make this sort of collaboration as successful as possible.

They also note that

Good conversations are messy, non-linear and complicated. The comment area, a chronological scrolling field just isn’t robust enough to follow a conversation among an infinite number of participants. Seven may even be too many.

Real conversations are not very common in comments sections of blogs, and they usually include the blog post as conversation starter, and the blogger as an integral part of the conversation. Their conversations will be about the text, but without the input and guidance of the author of the text, and as such will be very interesting to watch.

Interesting too that they should choose Doris Lessing, who famously warned against the ïnanities"of the Internet in her Nobel prize acceptance speech:

we never thought to ask, How will our lives, our way of thinking, be changed by this internet, which has seduced a whole generation with its inanities so that even quite reasonable people will confess that once they are hooked, it is hard to cut free, and they may find a whole day has passed in blogging etc.