Tag Archives: mobile media

CFP: Differential Mobilities: Movement and Mediation in Networked Societies

Pan-American Mobilities Network May 8-13, 2013

Conference website and abstract submission (deadline November 21st): mobilities.ca/pamnet-4/

From May 8-11, 2013 the Mobile Media Lab in the Communication Studies department of Concordia University in Montreal will be hosting an international conference sponsored by the Pan-American Mobilities Network in collaboration with the European Cosmobilities Network.

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CFP: 10 years on: looking forwards in mobile ICT research

ICA Communications and Technology Division                                                                      Mobile Communications 10th Anniversary Pre-Conference Workshop

16th and 17th June 2013
London School of Economics and Political Science
Media and Communications Department

Lead Organisers:
Leslie Haddon (Senior Researcher LSE)
Jane Vincent (Visiting Fellow University of Surrey Digital World Research)

We are pleased to invite papers for the Mobile Communications ICA Pre-Conference Workshop. In celebration of its 10th Anniversary Year we also announce the introduction of an Award for the Best Paper. We look forward to receiving your submissions and to welcoming you in London in June 2013!

Abstracts 250 ­ 500 words to be sent to Jane Vincent by 16 November 2012. Please include a 50 word max biography. Confirmation of acceptance will be sent by 4 January 2012. Only Full Papers (max 8000 words) submitted by 31 March 2013 will be considered for the Best Paper Award.

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Materiality Matters at the Association of Internet Researchers Conference

In October I attended the 13th annual Association of Internet Researchers conference (AoIR or IR13) which was held in Salford, England at the University of Salford in the heart of the new home of the BBC, Media City UK. As a conference, AoIR has always been at the cutting edge scholarship on internet research and digital cultures. This year, the presence of Conference Chair Lori Kendall – author of Hanging Out in a Virtual Pub, one of the very first ethnographies of online communities — significantly shaped conversation by productively highlighting issues of gender and the changing relationship between various dichotomies (real/virtual, online/offline) emerging in everyday practice.

While I was not able to attend all of the sessions (there were up to seven simultaneous tracks on October 19th and 20th!! See the programme), a few key themes emerged that are worth sharing with the Material World community. The first was the centrality of ‘materiality’ as a concept for understanding digital media and technology. From Mary L. Gray’s discussion gay youth in rural America and the politics of visibility to Larissa Hjorth’s metaphor of the caravan as a way to rethink and move away from domestication theory to Susanna Paasonen’s analytical paper focused upon defining the ‘object’ of study in internet studies in an age of networked technologies, there was a concerted effort to understand the relationship between the qualities, properties and affordances of new media as they emerge through use. Subsequent talks by Daniel Miller, Zizi Papacharissi and an impassioned talk by Theresa M. Senft further highlighted how materiality matters in current debates in Internet studies.

Throughout the conference it became evident that part of the reason why materiality is so consequential to researchers at AoIR  revolves around the fact that what we previously understood as ‘internet research’ is changing. The dilemma of the object of inquiry in Internet research is no longer only about whether to study “online” or “offline” (although there are still important arguments for taking these perspectives and positions – see the recently released book Ethnography and Virtual Worlds). Rather, the various sessions and papers focusing upon mobile phones, mobile media, locative media (e.g. Jason Farman’s Mobile Interface Theory: Embodied Space and Locative Media won the annual book prize), mobile internet, mobile markets, mobile apps and so on (over 200 mentions of “mobiles” in the conference program) highlighted how ‘the Internet’ and digital media generally have become intertwined in everyday practice. How we understand, move between and relate to the various apps on our phones, what significance the places that are created through mobile phones, webcams, social network sites or virtual worlds mean for our varied relationships and sense of being human, and how the platforms, apps, data plans, regulatory environments and so on we use to access our friends, colleagues and acquaintances mediate our publics and politics – these all demand attention to the materiality of the various objects, tools and relationships we develop and maintain.

As someone who sees their work embedded within material culture studies, the focus upon materiality was an unexpected but welcome addition to the study of internet and digital media at AoIR this year. Indeed, there is a growing sense of revitalisation and excitement around our understanding of materiality, immateriality and material culture across a range of disciplines. These include the emergence of Platform and Software Studies, conversations around infrastructure in Ubiquitous Computing by scholars such as Paul Dourish and Genevieve Bell, media and digital anthropology (e.g. the AAS Conference entitled “Culture and Contest in a Material World”), Cultural Studies (CSAA’s forthcoming conference “Materialities: Economies, Empiricism and Things”), to name but a few recent events, books and conversations. What was quite clear at an interdisciplinary conference like AoIR, however,  was that the concept of ‘materiality’ in play embodied a diverse set of debates and histories from Actor Network Theory, Critical Studies, Material Culture Studies and elsewhere. These debates and histories, of course, define how we approach the study of materiality, what the relationship between materiality and immateriality might be for digital media and the internet (and whether this dichotomy, as Tom Boellstorff suggested in the plenary discussion at AoIR, should persist at all) and the consequences of focusing upon ‘materiality’ for our practice. One hopes such a conversation might begin here.

Note: Next year’s conference, chaired by Lynn Schofield Clark (who has done fabulous work on media, religion and families), will be held in Denver in October 2012.

3-year PhD Scholarship (Understanding Mobile and Social Media in the Pacific) – Deadline 31 October 2012

School of Media and Communication, RMIT University Australia

Application deadline: 31 October 2012

This three-year scholarship is for a PhD candidate will contribute to the fieldwork for an ethnographic study of mobile and social media in 1-2 Pacific countries. S/he will spend at least 12 months over the three years of candidature documenting, archiving and analysing mobile and social communication practices and infrastructure. As a discrete case study, but key component of the comparative study, the PhD candidate will participate in and contribute to a recently funded Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant “Mobilising Media for Sustainable Outcomes in the Pacific Region” (see below for project summary). They will also become a PhD Member of the Digital Ethnography Research Centre: www.digital-ethnography.net

Eligible candidates will have a BA, BA with Honours or MA/MSC in Communication, Anthropology, Sociology, Science and Technology Studies, Informatics, Media Studies or other related discipline. They must be willing to undertake ethnographic fieldwork in up to two countries in Melanesia, Micronesia or Polynesia with a focus upon online and mobile media. Ideal candidates will have linguistic expertise and/or be willing to learn the language(s) of their fieldwork site(s). International and Australian nationals are eligible to apply. The Scholarship, which covers tuition, fees, a small stipend and other research expenses, will begin in March 2013.

Initial expressions of interest should be sent to Dr. Heather Horst at heather.horst@rmit.edu.au

Please note that all applicants will need to apply for and be accepted to the PhD program in Media and Communication at RMIT University. The Application deadline is 31 October 2012. Application details can be found here.

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CFP: Mobility and Mobile Media in Latin America, Special Issue

Convergence: The international journal of research into new media technologies
SPECIAL ISSUE CALL FOR PAPERS

Mobility and mobile media in Latin America

Edited by:
Adriana de Souza e Silva (North Carolina State University)
Isabel Froes (IT University of Copenhagen)

Important dates:
Papers must be sent in English by September 10th, 2012. We strongly encourage prospective authors to send papers as soon as possible.

· All papers (7000/11000 words) will undergo a double blind-review process;
· Submissions may be in the form of empirical research studies or theory-building papers;
· For formatting guidelines, please see: www.uk.sagepub.com/msg/conv.htm#HOWTOSUBMITYOURMANUSCRIPT
· Papers must also include:
o Name and a brief biography of the author(s) (50 word) in a separate sheet,
o 150-word abstract, and
o Up to 10 keywords.
Proposals and inquiries should be sent electronically to Isabel Froes (icgf@itu.dk).
Early submissions are greatly appreciated!

By the second decade of the 21st century, mobile phones have reached saturation levels in many countries in the world, surpassing the number of landlines and personal computers. Although initial scholarly interest on the social use of mobile phones focused on Europe, Asia, and the United States, the impact of mobile phone on the developing world (or Global South) is increasingly evident and perhaps much more profound. For many, the mobile device is the first phone, the first internet connection, the first TV set, and the first global positioning system.

Among developing nations, Latin America is a key area for studying the social dimension of mobile technologies. According to ITU statistics, the Americas had a total of 989 million mobile subscriptions as per 2011. However, numbers alone reveal little if not analyzed within a broader social, cultural, and economic framework. The focus on a homogeneous large-scale market leads to overly sanguine perspectives that often obscure how socioeconomic diversity causes and reflects mobile phone use. Latin American countries have astounding income gaps among different sectors of the population, which influence and are influenced by technology development and use. For example, the use of high-end services such as mobile banking, and location-based services like Foursquare and Yelp is an intrinsic part of the daily mobile practices of the high-income population in Brazil. Conversely, the lower-income population in the country is familiar with the diretão—a mobile phone that allows users to make clandestine calls to anywhere in the world with the use of an illegal sim card. Brazil has also been at the forefront of an experimental and innovative approach towards new technologies, forecasted in cultural events that focus on art, music and film festivals dedicated to new and creative uses of mobile technologies, such as the Mobilefest and Arte.mov. This socio-economic and cultural diversity is also characteristic of other Latin American countries.

Despite this cultural and socio-economic diversity, and the relevance of its marketing, the social use and development of mobile phones in Latin America is largely under theorized and poorly studied. With the goal of contributing to bridge this gap, this special edition invites essays that critically investigate the inter-relations among mobile technologies, culture, and social development in Latin American countries.
Submitted manuscripts are encouraged (but not limited) to focus on:

(1) History of mobile phones in Latin America. Essays are encouraged to explore the development of mobile phones in Latin American countries, comparing them to the landline infrastructure and internet growth within the socio-economic and political framework. Authors may explore the development and use of new mobile services, such as the mobile internet, text messaging, mobile apps, etc.

(2) Social uses and appropriation of mobile phones. We welcome essays as empirical or theoretical studies dealing with the use and appropriation of technology by low-income communities. Of special interest are essays that explore how mobile and wireless technologies reconfigure the life of community dwellers and how people find new and unexpected uses for existing technologies.

(3) Mobile art and games. We invite essays that investigate mobile phones as artistic and gaming interfaces, including essays that explore uses of hybrid reality, location-aware and pervasive activities in educational contexts, media arts, and gaming.

(4) Location-based services. Submitted essays should investigate the uses and development of location-based services in Latin America, such as mobile annotation, location-based social networks, and mobile mapping.
About the editors:

Adriana de Souza e Silva is Associate Professor at the Department of Communication at North Carolina State University (NCSU), affiliated faculty at the Digital Games Research Center, and Interim Associate Director of the Communication, Rhetoric and Digital Media (CRDM) program at NCSU.Dr. de Souza e Silva’s research focuses on how mobile and locative interfaces shape people’s interactions with public spaces and create new forms of sociability. She teaches classes on mobile technologies, location-based games and internet studies. Dr. de Souza e Silva is the co-editor (with Daniel M. Sutko) of Digital Cityscapes—Merging digital and urban playspaces (Peter Lang, 2009), the co-author (with Eric Gordon) of the book Net-Locality: Why location matters in a networked world (Blackwell, 2011), and the co-author (with Jordan Frith) of Mobile interfaces in public spaces: Control, privacy, and urban sociability (Routledge, 2012).

Isabel Fróes has received her Masters degree from the Interactive Telecommunications Programme at New York University (NYU) and a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pontifícia Universidade Católica, Rio de Janeiro, PUC-RJ in Brazil. She is a lecturer and assistant researcher at the IT University of Copenhagen (Denmark), where she works both as a practitioner and scholar in the fields of communication, mobility, art and design. With a focus towards valuable interactions between people and technology, her research analyzes the future implications and current uses of digital media. In her courses she taps into the value of interactive elements in every arena and explores how they could affect the ways new concepts and activities are developed in distinct fields. She has presented some of these thoughts at various events such as the AAM conference (2009), and the IXDA South America (2010). She has taught various courses at Danish institutions such as IT University of Copenhagen, University of Copenhagen and Kolding School of Design as well as Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Querétaro in Mexico.
Proposals and inquiries should be sent electronically to Isabel Froes (icgf@itu.dk).