CFP: Convergence, Engagement and Power - Digital convergence and the challenge to global hegemony (Leeds, May, ‘12)
The innovation of technologies like Facebook, Twitter and blogs originates in a global hegemonic system which retains their ultimate ownership in and through existing mass media and telecommunications conglomerates. How do people, through their engagement with this technological and cultural convergence, really influence or alter political, corporate, and social power structures?
Abstracts due Feb 28, 2012.
Convergence, Engagement and Power: Digital convergence and the challenge to global hegemony. 24-25 May 2012. The 6th Annual PhD Conference at the Institute of Communication Studies University of Leeds.
From Iran to China, Cairo to Oakland, Chechnya to Tunisia, emergent technologies are playing critical roles in the emergence, sustenance, and viability of populist upheavals against autocratic and despotic authorities and institutions. Empowered by the prosthetics of advanced technical devices, the other ‘99%’ appear to have broken the monopolistic access to creating and disseminating information, ideas and political expression. As such, the authority, legitimacy, and hegemony of traditional elites seem to be challenged.
Focusing on the role of technology, these events are visibly mediated by popular social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and blogs. These incredibly popular new forms of social media permeate every aspect of everyday life, revivifying the possibility of a more democratic discourse. At the same time, the innovation of these technologies originates in a global hegemonic system which retains their ultimate ownership in and through existing mass media and telecommunications conglomerates. Amidst this hybridity, there is a multifaceted and multi-layered convergence which is influencing the ways old and new media are produced. This begs the question of how, and to what extent, people, through their engagement with this technological and cultural convergence, are really influencing or altering political, corporate, and social power structures. Optimistic expectations and pessimistic disdain are polarizing the debate. Hence, this conference poses the question; to what extent are engagements with convergent media challenging or influencing hegemonies in the digital age?
In the light of these technological, cultural, social and political events, we invite research students from any related discipline to submit their papers to the 6th Annual PhD Conference at the Institute of Communications Studies at the University of Leeds. This international conference aims at fostering debate among graduate students, along with keynote addresses and practical workshops.
Submissions related (but not limited) to the following questions are warmly welcomed:
- To what extent has media convergence changed the concept or perception of political and/or economic power?
- Who now holds power?
- To what extent is information or knowledge power?
- In what ways are social structures changing?
- Is technological change facilitating social change?
- How are the current dimensions of power organised: horizontal, vertical, or rhizomatic?
- Other dimensions of power?
- Is there a relationship between convergence and culture?
- How does convergence relate to cultural identity?
- Will the next war be cultural?
- Is convergence ethnocentric/anthropocentric? Is it creating a new unseen digital divide?
- How does media convergence affect power structures?
- Bottom up versus top down: is a reassessment needed?
- When convergence occurs, who balances power?
- Has the power balance between human and technology changed?
- Who owns - or who should own - symbolic texts in new media?
Please email a 300 word abstract plus institutional affiliation and short bio to the following email address by February 28, 2011 (earlier submissions welcome!) email@example.com
Abstracts and papers are submitted to peer-review.
Author Notification of Abstracts accepted