Theorizing the Web: Call for Papers

Theorizing the Web 2016
April 15–16 in New York City
Venue: the Museum of the Moving Image, in Queens

Abstract submission deadline: 11:59 pm (EST), January 24, 2016

Theorizing the Web is an annual event featuring critical, conceptual discussions about technology and society. We began in 2011 to advance a different kind of conversation about the Web, one which recognizes that to theorize technology is also to theorize the self and the social world. Given that technology is inseparable from society, the ideas and approaches that have historically been used to describe social reality must not be abandoned. Instead, these historical approaches must be applied, reworked, and reassessed in light of the developing digitization of social life.

We are now seeking presentations for our sixth annual event, which will take place on April 15 and 16 at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City. We invite submissions that engage with issues of social power, inequality, vulnerability, and justice from a diverse range of perspectives. Theorizing the Web is not an event just for academics or “tech” thinkers: activists, journalists, technologists, writers, artists, and folks who don’t identify as any of the above are all encouraged to submit a presentation abstract.

We are looking for abstracts that feature clear conceptual arguments and that avoid jargon in favor of more broadly accessible critical insight. Submissions on any topic are welcome, but some specific topics we’d like to address this year include:

  • moving images, gifs, video, live streaming, copcams
  • social photography, filters, selfies, posing
  • race, racism, race posturing, ethnicity, #BlackLivesMatter
  • sex, gender, feminism, queer and trans* politics
  • sexuality, sexting, sex work, consent
  • mental health, illness, neurodiversity
  • (dis)ability and ableism
  • non-Western Web(s), language barriers, hegemony, globalization
  • social movements, protest, revolution, social control, censorship
  • hate, harassment, intimidation, trolling, bullying, resistance
  • pain, sickness, loss, death and dying
  • parenting, birth, life course
  • bodies, cyborgs, wearables, trans/post-humanism, bots
  • the self, identity, subjectivity, (in)authenticity, impression management
  • privacy, publicity, surveillance
  • encryption, anonymity, pseudonymity
  • presence, proximity, face-to-face, (dis)connection, loneliness
  • capitalism, Silicon Valley, venture capital
  • crowd funding, micro currencies, crypto currencies, blockchains
  • work, labor, “gig” or “sharing” economy, “Uber for”, exploitation
  • transportation, self-driving cars, drones, cities
  • code, affordances, infrastructure, critical design
  • knowledge, “big” data, data science, algorithms, positivism
  • memes, virality, metrics, (micro-)celebrity, fame, attention, click-baiting
  • underground markets, child porn, revenge porn, the extra-legal web
  • fiction, literature, visual narratives, storytelling, self-publishing, fandoms
  • time, (a)temporality, ephemerality, history, memory, right to forget
  • games, gaming, gamification, free-to-play, fantasy sports, gambling
  • elections, campaigns, presidential politics

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