[Asis-l] Fwd: call for papers -- MiT6: stone and papyrus, storage and transmission (abstracts evaluated on a rolling basis until Jan. 9, 2009)

Michael Zimmer zimmerm at uwm.edu
Wed Aug 6 16:18:25 EDT 2008

Of interest to many (and sorry for any duplicate postings).

Michael Zimmer, PhD
Assistant Professor, School of Information Studies
Associate, Center for Information Policy Research
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
e: zimmerm at uwm.edu
w: www.michaelzimmer.org

Begin forwarded message:

MIT Comparative Media Studies
The MIT Communications Forum
Media in Transition 6: stone and papyrus, storage and transmission

International Conference
April 24-26, 2009
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
CALL FOR PAPERS (deadline: Jan. 9, 2009)
In his seminal essay “The Bias of Communication” Harold Innis  
distinguishes between time-based and space-based media.
Time-based media such as stone or clay, Innis agues, can be seen as  
durable, while space-based media such as paper or
papyrus can be understood as portable, more fragile than stone but  
more powerful because capable of transmission,
diffusion, connections across space.  Speculating on this distinction,  
Innis develops an account of civilization grounded in the
ways in which media forms shape trade, religion, government, economic  
and social structures, and the arts.
Our current era of prolonged and profound transition is surely as  
media-driven as the historical cultures Innis describes.
His division between the durable and the portable is perhaps  
problematic in the age of the computer, but similar tensions
define our contemporary situation.  Digital communications have  
increased exponentially the speed with which information
circulates. Moore's Law continues to hold, and with it a doubling of  
memory capacity every two years; we are poised to reach
transmission speeds of 100 terabits per second, or something akin to  
transmitting the entire printed contents of the Library
of Congress in under five seconds.

Such developments are simultaneously exhilarating and terrifying. They  
profoundly challenge efforts to maintain access to
the vast printed and audio-visual inheritance of analog culture as  
well as efforts to understand and preserve the immense,
enlarging universe of text, image and sound available in cyberspace.
What are the implications of these trends for historians who seek to  
understand the place of media in our own culture?
What challenges confront librarians and archivists who must supervise  
the migration of print culture to digital formats and
who must also find ways to preserve and catalogue the vast enlarging  
universe of words and images generated by new technologies?
How are shifts in distribution and circulation affecting the stories  
we tell, the art we produce, the social structures and policies
we construct?
What are the implications of this tension between storage and  
transmission for education, for individual and national identities,
for notions of what is public and what is private?
We invite papers from scholars, journalists, media creators, teachers,  
writers and visual artists on these broad themes.
Potential topics include:
The digital archive
The future of libraries and museums
The past and future of the book
Mobile media
Historical systems of communication
Media in the developing world
Social networks
Mapping media flows
Approaches to media history
Education and the changing media environment
New forms of storytelling and expression
Location-based entertainment
Hyperlocal media and civic engagement
New modes of circulation and distribution
The transformation of television -- from broadcast to download
Cosmopolitanism backlashes against media change
Virtual worlds and digital tourism
The continuity principle: what endures or resists digital  
The fate of reading

Abstracts of no more than 500 words or full papers should be sent to  
Brad Seawell at seawell at mit.edu no later
than Friday, Jan. 9, 2009.  We will evaluate abstracts and full papers  
on a rolling basis and early submission is
highly encouraged.  All submissions should be sent as attachments in a  
Word format. Submitted material will
be subject to editing by conference organizers.
Email is preferred, but submissions can be mailed to:
Brad Seawell
MIT 14N-430
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Please include a biographical statement of no more than 100 words. If  
your paper is accepted, this statement will
be used on the conference Web site.
Please monitor the conference Web site at http://web.mit.edu/comm-forum/mit6 
  for registration information,
travel information and conference updates.
Abstracts will be accepted on a rolling basis until Jan. 9, 2009.
The full text of your paper must be submitted no later than Friday,  
April 17. Conference papers will be posted
to the conference Web site and made available to all conferees.

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