This looks like a very interesting panel:

We are looking for a few additional people who might be interested in contributing to an AoIR panel exploring critical questions and issues surrounding algorithmic agency, power and publics.

Researchers and media commentators alike are seemingly fascinated with the magic-like and opaque properties of algorithms. Algorithms are touted as responsible for, or implicated in, a range of diverse outcomes and opportunities – from the mundane to the transformative – for individuals, corporations and communities.

Questions around how to critically frame and understand algorithmic agency in contemporary life and where and how to situate questions about power and accountability are raised. This panel is interested in addressing and reframing some of these issues, including the challenges in locating agency in the first place, the politics of making agential claims, and the possible social, political and ethical implications of algorithmic agency (however defined) within and towards publics.

If you are interested in participating please send a 1200 word abstract following the AoIR template to Michele (m.willson@curtin.edu.au<mailto:m.willson@curtin.edu.au>) and Taina (wfg568@hum.ku.dk) by the 25th February outlining your specific contribution to a discussion of algorithmic agency, power and publics.  Short queries about the suitability of topic can be sent to either one of us before that date.

Those contributors whose topic fits the panel mix will be contacted  by late 27th Feb. (given the impending deadlines, it is a tight turnaround). Depending on the range and mix of submissions,  we may also  explore a possible special issue publication. Please only submit should your attendance at the conference be a likely outcome.

Apologies for this very short notice, we tried sending this message out a week ago but it somehow got stuck along the way.

This is interesting. I’m instinctively sceptical of it for a number of reasons but I’m very interested to see how it unfolds:

Meetup has always served as an organizing platform for a wide range of political views, welcoming everyone from the Howard Deaniacs to the Tea Party. Meetup will always welcome people with different beliefs.

But after the recent executive order aimed to block people on the
basis of nationality and religion, a line was crossed. At a time when core democratic ideals feel under attack, we feel a duty to spark more civic participation.

Last week, we created 1,000+ #Resist Meetup Groups to act as local hubs for actions on behalf of democracy, equality, human rights, social justice, and sustainability. Already 50,000+ people have joined.

These #Resist Meetups are open to anyone who want to create a bright future that’s rich with opportunity and freedom for all.

Meetup exists to connect people so they create opportunity and make the world they want. We hope members take these Meetups forward to be powerful together.

This looks like a great conference. I long for a travel budget:

Conference website: http://internetbeyond.net/en/

Key questions

– The history of the internet: the development of the networks, local
cases of technology adoption
– The alternative networks, intranet, Fidonet as well as local small
networks
– Anthropological and ethnographic studies of the internet: how to prove
or refute the quantitative rates
– Critical understanding of working with quantitative data: ethical and
methodological problems
– Mixed methods using digital tools

We welcome participants to submit proposals on these topics and arrange an
English-speaking session. The deadline is March, 31.

Our mail:* info@internetbeyond.net <info@internetbeyond.net>. *The
application should be written in Russian or English and include: title,
five keywords, annotation (approximately 300-500 words), information about
the author: full name, position / year of study, the name of the
organisation/university.

Call for contributions

“DIGITAL EXISTENCE II: Precarious Media Life”

Conference October 30-November 1, 2017, at the Sigtuna Foundation, Sweden

Digital media have the power to transform our existence, raising particular questions and vulnerabilities as part of the experience of being human in the digital age. Big data and hyperconnectivity, tracking and trolling, digital life and digital death are only some of the issues that require an existential media analysis that underscores the precarity of human existence. This conference will be devoted to critically mapping the various digital vulnerabilities that face us in our contemporary media age.

Confirmed keynote speakers:

Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Brown University, USA
Jeremy Stolow, Concordia University, Canada
Beverley Skeggs, Goldsmiths College, UK

Endnote speaker: Peter-Paul Verbeek, University of Twente, Holland

Following on from the conference “Digital Existence: Memory, Meaning, Vulnerability” organised by DIGMEX and the Nordic Network for Media and Religion in October 2015 (et.ims.su.se), which successfully opened up the field of existential media studies, the second Digital Existence conference will specifically focus on the precarity and vulnerability of the digital human condition.

Focusing on the keyword vulnerability raises a number of questions that invite fresh answers. For instance: does hyper-connectivity imply a heightened sense of connective presence – through social media, tagging, and sharing selfies – and/or is anxiety and loneliness saturating our mundane being-in-and-with-the-digital-world? How do big data, tracking and mass surveillance affect our sense of ‘existential security’? What is the role of technological affordances for producing cultures of affirmation and shared celebration – as well as cultures of trolling and hate? What existential challenges are involved when our selves are distributed? What kind of human being and types of sociality are normatively forged in digital culture? And what regimes of knowledge, truth and belief are prompted by digital means for measurement, recording and visualization? How are digital tools meaningful (or not) for those exposed to extreme conditions of precarity, such as displaced and refugee populations?  How does the internet shape how we are born and celebrate, die and mourn? And if digital technologies mediate transcendence, what are the exposures and values of such forms of technospirituality? Such questions will need to be engaged within a reframing of the digital beyond the prevailing frameworks of  social, cultural, political and economic analyses. They invoke existential issues that require an existential media analysis that foregrounds the precarity of human existence (Lagerkvist 2016). This conference will therefore unearth the diverse renditions of vulnerability that face us in digital existence.

In Precarious Life, Judith Butler (2004) argues for conceiving of vulnerability as a precondition of being and becoming human – as an ontological given – bound by the fact that we are relational beings, exposed to one another. We are exposed, that is, by virtue of being finite, dependent and limited; and that exposure and vulnerability are what constitutes us as moral beings. The utterance of vulnerability, she holds, will enact its very acknowledgement, and such a performance will bring about something important: “Vulnerability takes on another meaning at the moment it is recognized and recognition wields the power to reconstitute vulnerability“ (2004: 43). This conference takes this acknowledgement as its point of departure: naming vulnerability as part of the preconditions for being human in the digital age, may similarly forge a fresh and timely perspective on our precarious media life. Our very being is one of limits and incompleteness. Human communication itself is limited (cf. Pinchevski 2005). The boundedness by limits also applies to the limitations (and vulnerabilities) of technologies themselves, due to breaches of and glitches within the systems. Digital existence is constituted both of and within limits. In Karl Jasper’s philosophy the limit-situation of crisis, loss or guilt (Jaspers 1932) in itself constitutes a space that also brings forth or enables new possibilities; these are today entangled with the digital. The conference will therefore also seek to highlight the enabling aspects of limitation and vulnerability. While concurring with a cautious universalist position, conceiving of vulnerability and suffering as transformative existential experiences that create a “tenuous ‘we’ of us all” (Butler, 2004: 20), the conference will simultaneously stress the diverging, unevenly distributed, locally specific, and often culturally-variable dimensions of our digital vulnerability. Thus, our inescapable existential uncertainty is amplified both by the technological culture and socio-political order (Bauman 2007). And aspects of digital media expose us differently in different national and cultural settings across the world, and with different racialized and gendered implications (Citron 2014, Chun & Friedland 2015). Hence, in conversation with existential philosophy, the interrogation of the ways in which our media societies and technologies position us as vulnerable, may furthermore harness broader debates on vulnerability, frailty and debility in feminism, crip theory, posthumanism, sociology, postcolonial theory etc.

We are looking for contributions in the shape of position papers that highlight various thematic aspects of digital vulnerability, relating for instance to birth, death, presence, memory, trauma, selfhood, agency, sociality, ethics, religiosity, exile, trolling, hate, surveillance, virality, automation, mental illness, debility or the precariousness of technologies themselves.

Conference format
The conference will adopt an exploratory workshop format with the aim of creating new trajectories of thought. This is by deliberately veering away from conventional paper presentations followed by a discussion toward a more open-ended but at the same time intellectually intensive framework.  The success of the conference will therefore depend on participants’ commitment, which will involve a fair amount of in advance preparation.  First, each participant is required to submit beforehand a concise position or ‘provocation’ paper consisting of 1000 words, or 2 pages. These position papers will be used as a starting point for opening the discussion, and need not include polished statements or comprehensive conclusions/arguments but should present ideas or cases in relation to the overarching theme.

All participants will be expected to read all positions papers, which will be made available electronically well before the conference. Participants are also expected to come well prepared with comments and feedback. A chair will be assigned for each session, and those selected for the job will be contacted with specific instructions.  Each session will begin by a short recap of relevant position papers, followed by invited responses by 2-3 discussants, continuing with an open discussion. The overall idea is to build on previous reading and preparation by participants in order to advance in our thinking on the conference themes as far as possible.

During Day II of the conference there will be a walk-and-talk session where participants will be encouraged to step outside and walk in groups through the magnificent Sigtuna area while continuing the conversation. These walking-and-talking discussion groups will then reconvene to a full plenum discussion.  Later that day there will be a screening or performance in relation to the theme of digital vulnerability. On the final day there will be a writing session. The conference will end with a final plenary with keynote speakers and respondents, and an assigned discussant who will be asked to also round up the conference in a brief endnote. This will be followed by an open discussion with a focus on how to move further within DIGMEX in terms of conferences, workshops, publications and research collaborations.

Important dates
Deadline for abstracts of 200 words, bio and contact details: March 15, 2017 (Send them to katerina.linden@ims.su.se)
Notification of acceptance: April 15, 2017
Deadline for confirmation of attendance:  April 30, 2017
Deadline for submitting position papers: August 20, 2017

Practical information
The Sigtuna Foundation is a beautiful venue, located in medieval Sigtuna. only 15 minutes from Stockholm’s main airport (Arlanda). http://www.sigtunastiftelsen.se/?lang=en

No fee will be charged for this event, and lodging and food for attendees presenting a position paper will be covered by the conference budget. There is an option to participate without presenting and this would imply covering the expenses by other means. Presenters will cover their own trips to Sigtuna! A limited number of master students may receive a scholarship covering their travels.

The organising committee consists of Amanda Lagerkvist (Head of programme), Katerina Linden (Conference co-ordinator), Michael Westerlund, Timothy Hutchings, Amit Pinchevski, Charles Ess, Mia Lövheim, Anna Reading and Tony Walter.

Funding
The conference is organised by DIGMEX, a network within the research programme EXISTENTIAL TERRAINS: Memory and Meaning in Cultures of Connectivity (2014-2018) and funded by Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation and Stockholm University, in collaboration with Sigtunastiftelsen. The programme is headed by Amanda Lagerkvist, PhD. Associate Professor, Wallenberg Academy Fellow in The Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University. Questions about the research programme may be directed to Amanda Lagerkvist:  amanda.lagerkvist@ims.su.se<mailto:amanda.lagerkvist@ims.su.se>

*DIGITAL INEQUALITIES AND DISCRIMINATION IN THE BIG DATA ERA*

*Preconference of the International Communication Association ’17*

May 25, 2017, San Diego Hilton Bayfront, San Diego, California (USA)

Co-sponsored by the Pacific ICTD Collaborative, the School of
Communications (University of Hawaii at Manoa), and the Institute for
Information Policy (Penn State University)

*Abstracts due: February 10, 2017 *

*CALL FOR PAPERS*

A growing number of ordinary objects are being redesigned to include
digital sensors, computing power, and communication capabilities – and new
objects, and processes, are becoming part of the Internet. This emerging
Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem – networks of physical objects embedded
with the ability to sense, and sometimes act upon, their environment, as
well as related communication, applications, and data analysis, enables
data to be collected from billions of everyday objects. The emerging
datasphere made possible by these developments offers immense potential to
serve the public good by fostering government transparency, energy
conservation, participatory governance, and substantial advances in medical
research and care. On the other hand, a growing body of research addresses
emerging privacy and civil liberties concerns related to big data,
including unjust discrimination and unequal access to data and the tools
needed to make use of it.

For example, big data analytics may reveal patterns that were previously
not detectable. Data about a variety of daily tasks that seem trivial is
increasingly being federated and used to reveal associations or behaviors,
and these analyses and the decisions made based on them pose potential
harms to individuals or groups. Many transactions that seemed innocuous can
now be used to discriminate – one’s movement throughout the day, items
purchased at the store, television programs watched, “friends” added or
looked at on social networks, or individuals communicated with or who were
in close proximity to the subject at various times, can all be used to make
judgements that affect an individual and his or her life chances. With the
advent of artificial intelligence and machine learning, we are increasingly
moving to a world where many decisions around us are shaped by these
calculations rather than traditional human judgement. For example,
sensitive personal information or behaviors (e.g., political or
health-related) may be used to discriminate when individuals seek housing,
immigration eligibility, medical care, education, bank loans or other
financial services, insurance, or employment. At the same time,
individuals, groups, or regions may also be disadvantaged due to a lack of
access to data (or related skills and tools) to make use of big data in
ways that benefit their lives and communities.

This preconference session seeks to advance understanding of digital
inequalities and discrimination related to big data and big data analytics.
*Papers between 5,000-8,000 words and position papers between 1,000-2,000
words are welcomed.*

*TOPICS OF INTEREST*

We welcome scholarly and applied research on, but not limited to, the
following:

• Social, economic, and ethical implications of big data analytics in a
variety of contexts (e.g., access to housing, immigration, medical care,
education, bank loans or other financial services, insurance, or
employment).

• Perspectives on big data from scholars from emerging economies or
traditionally marginalized groups.

• Predictive analytics, algorithmic discrimination, and
artificial-intelligence-based decision making.

• Digital inequalities, such as unequal access to big data sets, skills, or
tools.

• Emerging data literacies.

• Use of big data to counter social and economic inequality (e.g.,
promoting civil rights and social justice).

• Disclosure of algorithms, algorithmic transparency, and the public good.

• Big data, security and encryption (potential for hacking, theft,
third-party abuse).

• Government and corporate surveillance.

• Big data brokers and sale of personal data (is privacy a commodity or a
right?)

• International norms and standards for big data.

• Policy/legal analysis related to big data and the preconference theme
(e.g., standards of liability for injury and defective work products
(algorithms/burden of proof), the challenge of Notice and Consent,
liability for bad or false or slanted or insufficient data collection,
government regimes for supervision of big data policies).

• Consumer bill of rights for big data.

• Big data and anonymity, re-identification of anonymous data.

• Big data vs. privacy as an essential condition for safeguarding free
speech, intellectual property (i.e., how IP laws impact big data), or
Constitutional rights of freedom of assembly and association.

Papers may include empirical research as well as policy analyses, new
methodological approaches, or position papers addressing the preconference
theme.  Submissions by graduate students working in this area are welcomed.

*The costs of the workshop are heavily subsidized by the participating
Institutes, to keep fees for participants at a nominal level.*

*IMPORTANT DATES*

*Abstracts due*: February 10, 2017

*Notifications to submitters*: February 27, 2017

*Full papers due*: May 12, 2017

*SUBMISSION GUIDELINES*

Abstracts of up to 500 words and a short bio of the author(s) should be
emailed to pictdc@hawaii.edu  by  February 10, 2017. Please include
“Digital Inequalities ICA 2017” in the subject line.

Full papers accepted for presentation at the preconference will, with the
consent of the authors, be submitted to the Journal of Information Policy (
http://www.psupress.org/Journals/jnls_JIP.html/) for consideration for a
Special Issue curated by guest editors from the field. The papers will be
blind peer-reviewed, to assure their academic value to both authors (for
academic credit) and readers.

Very pleased to be keynoting this fantastic BSA PhD conference in a couple of months:

What is the role of the researcher outside the academy? This event invites Postgraduate and Early Career Researchers to innovate and critically reflect on three related areas of public sociology: academic activism, public engagement, and participation and co-production. It encourages researchers to articulate and address diverse challenges, such as neutrality, networking, and whether activism can be considered a form of public engagement.

This event includes a keynote lecture from distinguished speaker Dr Mark Carrigan, Digital Fellow, The Sociological Review, presentations by invited speakers, a film created using participatory methods, a participatory session, and the chance to network and discuss work with fellow researchers. The aim is to provide an environment in which participants have the space to be questioning, to have a lively exchange of ideas, and to be inspired to explore the potential of these ideas in their own research.

Call for Abstracts and Posters

We would like to invite Postgraduates to take part in a five-minute PechaKucha presentation and/or a poster presentation: the call for abstracts is now open. Given the brevity of the presentations, abstract submissions should be no longer than 200 words. Abstracts for presentations are due on 24 February 2017 and poster confirmation is needed by 1 March 2017. There are small prizes for the best poster and the best presentation.

Oral presentations and posters may cover any aspect of Public Sociology, including, but not limited to:

  • dissemination of knowledge beyond academia;
  • participatory research methods and challenges;
  • positionality of the researcher and relationships of power;
  • approaches and practice in the co-production of knowledge;
  • academic activism.

Competitions

Participants are encouraged to submit a poster for a poster competition, which will be judged by the conference organisers. All posters will be accepted. Please contact the organiser for details.

There will also be a small prize for the best PechaKucha/Standup presentation, selected by a ballot of the conference participants.

I’m very excited that the Digital Geographies working group of the Royal Geographical Society is now up and running. Find out more on their website here.

Our aims are to:
  • Provide a platform and intellectual community for geographers to engage in discussions of the digital and geography
  • Help stimulate and deepen critical engagement and conceptualisation of the digital, both within Geography and beyond
  • Offer a focal point within Geography to showcase the relevance of geographical research in contemporary discussions of the digital
  • Nurture discussion of how digital technologies are changing the methods of geographical research, scholarship, teaching, writing and impact work
  • Develop links to other disciplines, networks and practitioner communities related to “the digital”

The Digital Everyday: Exploration or Alienation?

This international conference aims at exploring the digital everyday, understood as the transformation of everyday life practices brought about by digital technology. From how we buy, walk around, get a cab, love, break up, go to bed, meet new people and sexual partners to the way we rate services, turn on the fridge, exercise, eat, use social media and apps, Big Data is reshaping some of the most basic activities in our lives.

The conference will explore these digitally enabled transformations by looking at a number of domains affected by these shifts, for instance: of work and leisure, of friendship and love, of habits and routines. We will also explore a number of overarching dynamics and trends in the digital world that contribute to these transformations, including: processes of digital individualisation and aggregation; the elisions of spatial and temporal barriers; trends towards quantification and datafication; and the dialectic between control and alienation.

The conference will comprise two plenary sessions and 4 breakout panels, and will host internationally acclaimed scholars as keynote speakers.

Call for papers

We invite participants from various intellectual traditions and streams of research including media studies, sociology, psychology, information science, computing and anthropology. Together, we will explore a number of key questions.

How, for example, is digital transformation affecting everyday life? To what extent is this process one of increasing individualisation of social experience? Or might there be something more complex happening? What are the new psychological and social pathologies that result from the digital transformation of everyday life and from processes of datafication and quantification? Is digital technology allowing for new forms of control over our everyday life or is it increasing alienation, making us overly dependent on infrastructures beyond our grasp? Is digital technology contributing to extending our freedom to choose, or is it stifling us with an overabundance of options? Is it guiding us towards who we ‘really’ are or want to be, or is it plunging us into a hall of mirrors that only reinforces our isolation and narcissism? Is it facilitating exploration, serendipity and curiosity, or is it installing us into a pre-programmed and predictable world, into a filter bubble where choices can be more easily measured and manipulated?

Proposed paper abstracts may address the following topics: transformations of work patterns; changes in everyday life routine (sleep, meals, etc.); fitness and sport activity; love and sexual interactions; friendship and acquaintanceship; consumption and entertainment; sense of place and time; transportation and tourism; play and leisure.

Abstracts are due by 31 January  2017

Abstracts should be 250 words maximum, and include the author(s) name and position, and a short title. They should be submitted via EasyChair https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=digitaleveryday17

Acceptance notices will be given on 28 February 2017.

Extended abstracts of 1,500 words are due on 15 April 2017 to be sent digitalculture@kcl.ac.uk

By the beginning of the twenty-first century, it has become “second nature” of sorts for social theorists to be reluctant to address explicitly the future of western societies, capitalism, modern democracy, and human civilization. After postmodernist critics in the social sciences and the humanities, had highlighted the affinity between utopianism and forms of totalitarianism, social theorists began to refrain from recognizing as part of their distinguishing responsibility efforts to refine existing and to delineate new perspectives on the future. The emphasis shifted to avoiding the kind of ideations that could be construed to be conducive to the types of socially, politically and economically induced catastrophes as they characterized social, political, and economic change during the twentieth century, in different parts of the world, at different times.

Today, however, under conditions of globalization and neoliberalism, the imminence of change has pushed itself aggressively to the forefront of social-theoretical concerns. The inevitability of change is undeniable, and its centrality to modern civilization increasingly disconcerting. Many working assumptions that informed concerns of social theorists during the twentieth century, and especially since the 1950, have become questionable. Totalitarianism is rearing its ugly head again, on all continents. Popular support for democracy has been on the decline for decades, especially among younger people. Ecological and climate crises demand strategies for addressing intended and unintended consequences that democratic processes and institutions do not appear to be able to develop, not to mention implement. Another wave of automation is taking shape threatening to lead to mass unemployment. The list goes on and on. Thus, the imperative to engage in informed and critically reflexive discourses about the kind of world we will, should, or might live in, continues to intensify rapidly. At the same time, proliferating economic and financial crises appear to lead to greater public and critical awareness. While some interpret these crises as indications of the prospects of revolutionary change “improving society” (e.g., Occupy Wall Street), many more appear to be drawn to authoritarian “solutions” to imminent problems.

This conference will provide a venue for engaging in interdisciplinary constructive and critical exchange regarding the future – in a field of tensions defined by conflicting forces pushing and pulling for and against progress and regression, utopia and dystopia, social justice and proliferating inequalities.

Organizers:

Harry F. Dahms, Sociology, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, USA
Frank Welz, Sociology, University of Innsbruck, Austria

The organizers welcome proposals on any topic in social theory, and request submission of abstracts (between 150-250 words), 5-page outlines, papers, or proposals for panels. Papers will receive preferred consideration. For list of conference theme-related topics, submission deadline, and registration fee, see the following page.

List of possible session topics:

1. “The End of History” Revisited
2. Globalization or Empire?
3. Affinities and Tensions between Philosophy and Social Science
4. The Future of “Democracy”
5. The Trump Presidency
6. Critical Theory: The Problem of Praxis
7. Feminist Futures
8. Resurgence of Authoritarianism and Totalitarianism
9. Critical Theories and Intersectionality: Race, Class, Gender
10. Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy
11. Social Justice under Attack
12. Environmental Challenges and Social Theory
13. Utopia & Dystopia
14. The End of Work in Philosophy and Social Science
15. Planetary Sociology
16. European Integration: Failure or Continuing Promise?
17. An End or The Future (or End?) of Progress
18. Posthumans and the End of Nature

SUBMISSION DEADLINE:
MARCH 15, 2017
Early submissions strongly encouraged!

Acceptance decisions will be made on a continuous basis.

(If acceptance notifications are needed prior to the official submission deadline,
please contact Harry F. Dahms directly, at hdahms@utk.edu.)

Papers accepted for inclusion in the program will be considered for publication in

Current Perspectives in Social Theory (ed. Harry F. Dahms)

For submission of proposals and inquiries, please contact:

email: istc2017@socialtheory.org
Registration Fee: $75

For additional information, visit http://socialtheory.org

Wednesday 7th December 2016, 13:00
The Oxford Internet Institute 1st Giles Oxford, OX1 3JS

The concept of Digital Sociology has been in circulation for around five years now. But if the British Sociological Association’s annual conference is anything to go by, ‘the digital’ is still on the periphery of British Sociology. Perhaps problematically, Digital Sociology shares a stream with STS at the conference. We are taking this marriage of convenience as an opportunity for anyone interested in the future of Digital Sociology and STS to get together and discuss the following questions:

Why do we need Digital Sociology when we have STS?

What are their affinities and disaffinties?

Are digital methods and digital ontologies transformative for STS?

What distinguishes Digital Sociology from all the other disciplines that claim to study the relationship between society and social media, the Internet, the Web and digital data?

What use is the concept of Digital Sociology?

How can we join forces across institutions to progress the project of Digital Sociology?

To help us address these questions and similar questions that may arise on the day we are very pleased to have presentations from:

Professor Susan Halford, Director of Southampton University’s Web Science Institute; Professor Will Housley, Vincent Wright Chair, Sciences Po & University of Cardiff; Dr Mark Carrigan, Research Fellow in the Centre for Social Ontology at the University of Warwick and Digital Fellow at The Sociological Review; Dr Karen Gregory and Dr Kate Orton-Johnson Lecturers in Digital Sociology at the University of Edinburgh; Kate-and Dr Des Fitzgerald Lecturer in Sociology from the University of Cardiff (with more speakers to be confirmed).

Each speaker will talk for around 10-15 minutes before we open-up the discussion to the floor. If you have any thoughts on those questions above or would like to get involved in the study groups please come along. It’s our intention to solicit your input for a plan of action. The meeting will be followed by a free drinks reception.

Spaces are very limited please reserve your place as soon as possible.

Booking your place

Booking is essential. Venue numbers are restricted and it is advisable to book early.

Registration Fees: BSA member £10 / Non-BSA member £15

Register Online at

https://portal.britsoc.co.uk/public/event/eventBooking.aspx?id=EVT10616

For administration enquiries, please contact events@britsoc.org.uk

Special Issue, State Crime Journal (May 2018)

STATE CRIME AND DIGITAL RESISTANCE

Sign up for 6th January 2017 workshop here: http://statecrime.org/state-crime-research/call-for-papersworkshop-special-issue-of-state-crime-journal/

This special issue of State Crime seeks to investigate how changing patterns of state crime are being shaped by the massive growth of a digital communications infrastructure which permeates everyday life for billions of people through the explosive spread of networked mobile devices, social media platforms and cloud computing systems. It will also highlight how and to what extent these same technologies and infrastructures can be repurposed to expose and resist state crime. The long-standing entanglement between monopolistic digital media corporations, the government and military has facilitated the creation of privatized systems of mass surveillance, alongside the expansion of mass surveillance systems controlled by states. Is this leading to the development of a ‘networked authoritarianism’, which in turn is altering state-society relations and creating a fertile environment for unaccountability, corruption and human rights violations?

While amateur, user-generated digital content can be used to challenge the information monopoly of professional media conglomerates, a more nuanced understanding of verification methodologies is needed to enrich the critical discourse on citizen participation in human rights reporting. More importantly, emergent forms of digital activism can highlight how civil society can serve as a counterweight to the political and economic hegemony of states and corporations. Here, case studies of digital resistance from below can further demonstrate the extent of civic engagement in (1) naming, defining, exposing and challenging state crime (Green and Ward, 2004); and (2) developing a more open, democratic and participatory digital architecture which facilitates ‘unmasking the crimes of the powerful’ (Tombs and Whyte, 2003).

We welcome submissions for this special issue on ‘State Crime and Digital Resistance’ with a focus on the following three sub-themes:

   – The state / corporate / crime nexus from the perspective of digital infrastructure and the political economy of digital media and services

   – Issues in digital verification and evidence

   – Digital activism and resistance

We will be convening a workshop at QMUL for potential contributors to the special issue on 6 January 2017. This will provide a valuable opportunity to present and discuss research which will form the basis of accepted articles. The workshop will also serve as a forum for the exchange of ideas with other contributors to shape the intellectual agenda of the special issue.

Please indicate if you would like your paper to be considered for inclusion in the workshop.

All submissions will be subject to a full peer review process. The timetable for submission and publication is as follows:

Submission of abstracts (up to 500 words): 30th November 2016

Response to abstract submissions: 7th December 2016

Workshop Date: 6th January 2017 (Sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/state-crime-and-digital-resistance-workshop-tickets-29274521883)

Submission of full article: 31st April 2017

Decisions/Reviewers’ Responses to Author(s): 31st June 2017

Submission of Final Versions: 31st January 2018

Publication: May 2018

A joint Digital Sociology Study Group and STS Study Group Event at the Oxford Internet Institute

Wednesday 13 December 2016, 13:00

The Oxford Internet Institute 1st Giles Oxford, OX1 3JS

The concept of Digital Sociology has been in circulation for around five years now. But if the British Sociological Association’s annual conference is anything to go by, ‘the digital’ is still on the periphery of British Sociology. Perhaps problematically, Digital Sociology shares a stream with STS at the conference. We are taking this marriage of convenience as an opportunity for anyone interested in the future of Digital Sociology and STS to get together and discuss the following questions:

Why do we need Digital Sociology when we have STS?

What are their affinities and disaffinties?

Are digital methods and digital ontologies transformative for STS?

What distinguishes Digital Sociology from all the other disciplines that claim to study the relationship between society and social media, the Internet, the Web and digital data?

What use is the concept of Digital Sociology?

How can we join forces across institutions to progress the project of Digital Sociology?

To help us address these questions and similar questions that may arise on the day we are very pleased to have presentations from:

Professor Susan Halford, Director of Southampton University’s Web Science Institute; Professor Will Housley, Vincent Wright Chair, Sciences Po & University of Cardiff; Dr Mark Carrigan, Research Fellow in the Centre for Social Ontology at the University of Warwick and Digital Fellow at The Sociological Review; Dr Karen Gregory and Dr Kate Orton-Johnson Lecturers in Digital Sociology at the University of Edinburgh; Kate-and Dr Des Fitzgerald Lecturer in Sociology from the University of Cardiff (with more speakers to be confirmed).

Each speaker will talk for around 10-15 minutes before we open-up the discussion to the floor. If you have any thoughts on those questions above or would like to get involved in the study groups please come along. It’s our intention to solicit your input for a plan of action. The meeting will be followed by a free drinks reception.

Spaces are very limited please reserve your place as soon as possible.

Booking your place

Booking is essential. Venue numbers are restricted and it is advisable to book early.

Registration Fees: BSA member £10 / Non-BSA member £15

Register Online at

https://portal.britsoc.co.uk/public/event/eventBooking.aspx?id=EVT10616

For administration enquiries, please contact events@britsoc.org.uk

An update on forthcoming events from this fascinating interdisciplinary research network:

THREE CAFÉS: EXPERIENTIAL ARTISTIC RESEARCH EXPLORING INTER-RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY AND WELLBEING – 23 November & 28 November, Cambridge

Anglia Ruskin University’s Marina Velez, Davide Natalini, and Debby Lauder are leading a trio of experimental interventions, designed to open up discursive spaces for interactive and experiential research as to how digital technology increasingly serves to shape our perception, determine our communication, frame our identity, inform our self-awareness and underpin our social interactions. The three events will be  “Embracing Technology” (23 Nov, 4-6pm, Espresso Library, Cambridge), “Refusal of Technology” (23 Nov, CB2 Cafe, 6-8pm, Cambridge) and “Discussion and Co-production”  (28 Nov, 6-8pm, Thirsty, Cambridge). For more information contact Marina.

ICT SKILLS AND ONLINE PLATFORMS FOR SOCIAL INCLUSION, workshop and evidence-based paper, workshop: 28 November afternoon, Coventry

Dr Sally-Anne Barnes and Professor Anne Green of University of Warwick and Professor Leela Damodaran of Loughborough University are drafting an evidence-based paper focusing on the skills and attributes needed to successfully gain and sustain work via online platforms. A workshop with experts and local/national policy makers will be held as part of this project. For more information, and if you are interested in contributing, contact Sally-Anne.

THE ROLE OF MICRO BOUNDARIES FOR WORK-LIFE BALANCE, individual diary studies & intervention workshops, workshops: 1, 3 & 5 December, London,

Marta E. Cecchinato, PhD student, and Dr Anna L. Cox of UCL have received funding to gain insight into the use of “microboundaries” by knowledge workers who are experiencing work-life balance challenges. Microboundaries limit the negative effects of work-life cross-overs, such as the interrupting effect of notifications at inopportune moments.  The diary studies will be organized in November with the Intervention workshops in December.  There are websites set up to learn more about both the diary studies and workshops. For more information, contact Marta.

WORK-LIFE BALANCE WITHIN THE IT PROFESSION, half-day seminar with the British Computer Society, 7 December afternoon, Portsmouth

Dr Penny Hart, Dr Penny Ross and Dr Carl Adams of the School of Computing at University of Portsmouth received funding to attend the World IT project committee meeting in August.  They will be running a Balance Network seminar co-hosted by the British Computer Society (BCS) on 7 December. The team will be analysing the World IT project’s extensive survey of IT professionals, which captured cultural and contextual differences across the technology workforce, from a work-life balance perspective.  For more information, visit their registration page or contact Penny H.

MANAGING TECHNOLOGY AROUND WORK AND LIFE: DESIGN CHALLENGES, design workshop, 13 December, Sheffield

Dr Luigina Ciolfi and Dr Eleanor Lockley of The Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute at Sheffield Hallam University will design and lead research and networking activities regarding various strategies of technology appropriation that individuals implement to handle work and life demands. These activities will include a series of interviews followed by a design workshop on 13 December in Sheffield, featuring a keynote presentation by Professor Susanne Bødker (Aarhus University, Denmark). At the workshop participants will help create technology concepts to support work and home lives. Following the event, an interest group on work-life technology design will be established. For more information, visit the website or contact Luigina.

DIGITAL SCHOLARS IN A MOBILE WORLD, one-day research symposium exploring work-life balance in academic lifeworlds, 14 December, Kingston-upon-Hull

This symposium in early December, led by Josef Ploner & Anastasia Gouseti of the University of Hull, will gather UK-based early career academics from across the disciplines, working in the areas of higher education research, academic mobility and new/digital technologies within professional contexts. Speakers will include: Dr. Aparecido Fabiano Pinatti de Carvalho of Universität Siegen, Dr Jude Fransman of Open University, Dr Emily F. Henderson of University of Warwick and Prof Gail Kinman (University of Bedfordshire). At the event, participants will share current and ongoing research into work-life balance within academic contexts and begin to build a collaborative network in view of future research activities. For more information, contact Josef.

CONVERSATION PIECES, series of two-hour design workshops, 12, 13 or 14 December, 10 am to midday, London

A poster for this activity can be dowloaded below. Paulina Yurman, a PhD Student in Goldsmiths Design Department, will be hosting a series of two hour workshops in early December.  At each event, novel design proposals will be presented to participants, as semi-working artefacts or as images. The proposals will revolve around the tensions and ambivalences brought by digital devices in families with young children, as they blur the boundaries between work and play. For more information, contact Paulina.

BALANCING WORK AND MILITARY SPOUSE LIFE IN THE DIGITAL AGE, 19 December, Northamptonshire

Dr Lisa Wood of Lancaster Medical School at Lancaster University, will lead a one-day workshop in collaboration with Tracy Hauver, a student at University of Liverpool. The workshop will explore opportunities and barriers in socio-digital support for military spouses and families. The hypermobility of this group provides a valuable site for exploration of new patterns of working and family life, the impacts of hyper mobility and the everyday use of digital technologies in family life.  During the workshop, participants will discussion possible digital futures and help generate priorities for future research.  After the New Year, Lisa and Tracy will continue the project with on-line focus groups. Spaces are extremely limited, but for more information, contact Lisa.

CO-DESIGNING SMART OBJECTS FOR HEALTHIER OFFICE WORK BEHAVIOURS, half-day workshop on 19 October in Nottingham

A poster for this activity can be dowloaded below. Yitong Huang, a PhD student from the Horizon CDT, hosted a half-day workshop on October 19 to engage stakeholders of work health in co-designing novel behaviour change interventions, delivered with smart office objects that are digitally augmented with sensing and computing capabilities and connected to each. She introduced accessible tools for intervention development and rough prototyping techniques (e.g. ideation card, sketches, plug-and-play sensors) to facilitate collaborative thinking and exchange of multidisciplinary perspectives to this issue. For more information, contact Yitong.

Mini-Conference on Digital Sociology

Call for Abstracts

Eastern Sociological Society

2017 Annual Meeting,

Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown
Philadelphia, PA, February 23-26

The Eastern Sociological Society’s theme of “The End of the World as We Know It?,” references the rise of digital sociology in the following:

“Technology is revolutionizing everyday life: powerful hand-held computers are ubiquitous, communications are much easier, and commercial drones will soon fill the skies. Yet the consequences for social life are contradictory. People can be in touch with many more people, yet they are often not fully present in personal interaction. Racism and class inequality persist or worsen. The life-long career with one employer may be giving way to a “gig economy,” in which people offer their own assets or temporary labor for hire.” 

The Digital Sociology Mini-Conference seeks papers that address the many ways digital media technologies are “revolutionizing” everyday life.  Suggested topics, include, but are not limited to, the following themes:

  • Critical Theories of Everyday Digital Life: How have we theorized everyday life, and how are these theories being challenged by digital transformations? What challenges does the digital pose to epistemologies underlying sociological theories of the everyday?
  • Digital Labor: How is the “gig economy” shifting the means of production, alienation from labor, and wages? How is creating online content a form of labor and who benefits from this? What are the consequences for social life of temporary labor done primarily online?
  • Digital Citizenship: Given the changing landscapes of public and private life, what does it mean to be a citizen in the digital era? Do the affordances of ditigal technologies changes our responsibilities as citizens? How do citizens respond to moves toward “open government” in an era of pervasive government surveillance?
  • Digital Structures, Digital Institutions: The datafication of everyday life is posing unique challenges to the composition of social institutions and giving rise to new instantiations of education, finance, labor, and governance. How do we theorize, study, and conceptualize the re-composition of these institutions?
  • Digital Sociological Methods: How do traditional, analog sociological methods become digital? Are there new, “born digital” sociological methods? Is knowledge production different now? Will big data replace survey methodology?
  • Identity, Community, and Networks: How do sociological concepts of micro and macro, personal and public, “front stage” and “back stage,” evolve as digital and mobile technologies increasingly blur these boundaries? How do digital environments shape identities of race, gender, sexuality and queerness?
  • Social Movements, Digital Technologies: Given the increasing attention to social media as a tool used by both political and social movements and campaigns in the U.S. and abroad, we invite papers that address the connections between movements and media. Topics may include but are not limited to comparisons of online and offline activism, risks and costs associated with online activism, comparisons of traditional and social media, online activist identity, and ways in which social media platforms transmit movement content such as frames.
  • Digital Pedagogy: How are educators using digital tools to teach in innovative ways?

We encourage submissions from scholars at all levels, and are particularly enthusiastic to support the work of graduate students and early career researchers. We welcome submissions for individual papers and for entirely constituted sessions. The organizers share a commitment to creating a field that honors diverse voices, and as such are excited to see scholars from groups that are typically underrepresented in sociology. When proposing entirely constituted panels, please keep this commitment to diverse voices in mind.

If you have any questions about proposals, topics, or session ideas please contact one of the organizers: Leslie Jones (lesjones@sas.upenn.edu), Rachel Durso (rdurso2@washcoll.edu)  or Jessie Daniels (jdaniels@hunter.cuny.edu).

Please submit to https://www.meetingsavvy.org/ess/frmLogin.aspx an abstract of no more than 250 words, as well as the title of the paper, name of presenter as it should appear in the ESS program r , institutional affiliation and contact details. The deadline is October 15, 2016.  In the “Submission Details” window, select “Paper” for “Type of Submission,” and select keyword: “miniconference: digital sociology” for “Select the topic area that best describes your submission.”  Be sure to include a paper title along with your abstract of 250 words or less, your name as it should appear in the ESS program, institutional affiliation, and contact information

Proposals not accepted for the Mini-Conference will be submitted to the ESS general call for submissions.

Trans/Gender-Nonconforming College Students Project

Abbie Goldberg, a Professor of Psychology at Clark University in Worcester MA, is conducting a survey oftrans/gender-nonconforming college students (including recent graduates) regarding their perspectives and experiences on a range of topics, including trans advocacy and needed supports/services on college campuses.Students with non-binary gender identities are particularly encouraged to participate, as their experiences are rarely represented in research. Students may participate if they identify as trans, gender-nonconforming, gender questioning, genderqueer, agender, or anywhere on the gender-nonconforming spectrum. The survey, which was informed by focus groups and consultation with trans/gender nonconforming college students, takes about 25-30 minutes to complete. All responses are anonymous. Individuals can elect to be entered in a lottery for one of 10 $50.00 Amazon gift cards; individuals’ names and email addresses will not be connected to or traceable to the data that they provide.

Please contact the principal investigator of the study, Abbie Goldberg, with any questions or feedback, or to request to be informed of study findings: agoldberg@clarku.edu. Feel free to learn more about her research on sexuality, gender, and families. Or visit the project Facebook page: www.facebook.com/transgnc.

This study has been approved by the Clark Committee for the Rights of Human Participants in Research and Training Programs (IRB).  Any questions about human rights issues should be directed to the IRB Chair, Dr. James P. Elliott:(508) 793-7152 or by e-mail (humansubjects@clarku.edu).

To participate, please follow the link:

https://clarku.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_1ZbVuLudzxQyWdn

 

An interesting opportunity, though personally the language of ‘assistant’ and one year would put me off a little bit:

*Apologies for crossposting*

Dear Colleagues,

Since its launch in August 2014, the Twitter account for Sociology has become a popular and important means of promoting the journal to a wide academic and non-academic audience. Social media are also proving to be a practical way to link the work of the journal to topical news and debates in the media. Sociology is therefore creating the new voluntary role of Social Media Assistant and seeks applicants with an interest in contributing to the current and ongoing development of the journal’s presence on Twitter and other social media platforms.

The role will commence on Monday 3rd October and run for a one-year fixed-term period in the first instance.

For details about the role and the link to the online application form, please see the full call for applications on the BSA site. The deadline for applications is 5pm GMT Friday 22 July. 

 If you have any queries about the role, please contact Sociology Editor, Kath Woodward: Kath.Woodward@open.ac.uk 

This looks like a fascinating call for papers:

Anarchist Technologies Repair Manual
fixing the world through resistance and repair

CFP: Call for Papers for an Edited Book

Anarchism is experiencing a renaissance in locations all across the
world. Facilitated by information technologies, new anarchist
communities are forming and more established ones are gaining greater
recognition. The decentralized, non-hierarchical, peer-to-peer nature of the relationships and social bonds which characterize these communities has inspired a recent surge of interest within both scholarly geographic and activist circles. Articles, conference sessions, and special issues of geographic journals have all appeared in recent years provoking debate and research within scholar-activism. Meanwhile, on the streets, these social forms which have recently become a subject of geographic study are broadening their scope, coalescing to form non-hierarchical movements which directly enable more equitable resource distribution while demanding an end to structural violence.

Anarchism in its most basic form is the theory and practice of
resisting, organizing, living and creating worlds without domination.
Anarchist practice of resistance is twofold: firstly, fighting the range of exploitations and oppressions imposed by nation-states, corporations, international oligarchies and other systems of domination. Secondly, applying techniques of self-critique, acknowledging that the exercise of power results in an internalization of oppressive mechanisms, and fighting these as well. Organizing in spaces where the state does not provide reliable basic services such as health care, education, or access to food and clean water, collectives of people practicing horizontal decision-making work to meet basic needs and repair their communities.

Within the domain of information technologies anarchism has also driven projects to protect populations from structural violence by creating security infrastructures which shelter their communications from surveillance. Rather than approaching internet surveillance with a “nothing to hide” attitude, anarchists understand governments as
oppressive institutions; based on an arcane calculus of power justified as morality, governments are liable to arbitrarily categorize any number of activities sanctioned one day as prohibited the next. As people living on lands that have been privatized by capitalist property relations backed with state force, we are constantly subject to the whimsical decisions of those in power about who will constitute the oppressed class, be that on gender, class, racial, sexual, ethnic or spiritual lines.

Information technologies have largely facilitated communication across many regions of the Earth, inspiring new ways of approaching problems, increasing access to resources and forming a new space for radical subjectivities to emerge. With the exponential expansion of information technologies over the past decades we have seen the practices of resisting violence and oppression change in spontaneous, dramatic and creative ways that have captured the attention and inspired the imagination of people all around the world. We need not describe here the manifold ways in which the networked world enables collaborationsand intersections only dreamed about in the past, but it is important to be reminded of the material base it is built upon. Alluded to in the saying “there is no cloud, it’s just other people’s computers,” data centers share with popular movements the fact that there are actual physical locations where they exist. Counterposed to this, the non-physicality of internet communications creates a theoretical and practical space like none we have known before.

However, alongside growth of information technologies it is important to also recognize that the creation of these technologies themselves are subject to the often blood-drenched flows of capitalist commodity
production and distribution. From the war-zones of coltan ore-mining
operations in the Congo to the sweatshop conditions of the Shenzhen
assembly line, the construction of the microchip leaves in its wake a
fallout of both human and environmental destruction. The use of these
devices enables massive industries to capture billions of dollars even with business models based solely on metadata, creating a massive concentration of wealth and new lines of exclusion. And finally when the machines are discarded, toxins are released damaging and transforming both the living and non-living environment.

This book requests proposals for chapters exploring anarchism in both
theory and practice as it relates to all aspects of information
technologies for audiences that include the general public, activists
and early career scholars. While the call is open, preference will be
given to proposals for chapters that specifically focus on anarchism and information technologies within repair (in all metaphorical and material aspects), security, communications, organizing resistance movements, access to hardware and approaches to dealing with the destruction of both the human and more-than-human that occurs from creation to wasting.

Please submit abstracts of up to 350 words, a short bio of up to 200
words and any other pertinent information to the editors by July 1st,
2016. Authors will be informed of selection by September 1st, 2016.
First drafts of chapters will be due February 28, 2017, then following
revisions, a final publication date will be around September 1st, 2017.
Please feel free to contact the editors with any questions.

Contact information:

Erin Araujo: ela120 <at> mun <dot> ca
Bill Budington: bill <at> inputoutput <dot> io

About the Editors:

Erin Araujo is a PhD Candidate in the department of Geography at the
Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada as well as a member of the Cambalache Collective, a money-less economy located in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas as well as other parts of Mexico. She has resided in Chiapas for around nine years, is a life long anarchist and artist and has participated in a number of resistance movements throughout the
Americas.

~~~~ https://www.embersrekindled.org/cfp/

I can’t wait for this end of conference event for Bev Skeggs and Simon Yuill’s Facebook project:

“Value and Values”
Saturday December 3rd 2016
9.30-18.30, followed by a wine reception at 18.30
Goldsmiths, University of London 

This event is the final symposium for the ESRC Professorial Fellowship project “Value and Values” (ES/K010786/1) conducted between 2013-2016 by Bev Skeggs and Simon Yuill.

Facebook represents a new form of capitalist capture, one based on monopolization and rent that shapes our current connectivity as it monetises us and opens us up to forms of financialization, including increased indebtedness. This form of capitalist capture moves us into a new regime of accumulation, of profit without production, in which the command of surplus value is via the control of surplus information.

Speakers:

Will Davies, Natalie Fenton, Mark Fisher, Matthew Fuller, Olga Goriunova, Sarah Kember, Gholam Khiabany, Costas Lapavitsas, Adrian MacKenzie, Johnna Montgomerie, Alberto Toscano and Joanna Zylinska.

Project website: https://values.doc.gold.ac.uk

This event has been sponsored by the: ESRC, Goldsmiths, University of London and The Sociological Review Foundation.

This event is free but it is essential that you register. To register please go to: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/value-and-values-final-symposium-for-the-esrc-professorial-fellowship-project-tickets-26071878691

For event organisational enquiries, please contact Jenny Thatcher: events@thesociologicalreview.com