CFP: Digital Gender: Theory, Methodology and Practice

Posted on November 30, 2013 by michamaya

CALL FOR PAPERS: Digital Gender: Theory, Methodology and Practice

12-14 MARCH 2014

Confirmed keynote speakers:
Micha Cardénas, Electronic Disturbance Theater/b.a.n.g. lab, University of Southern California, USA
Annette Markham, Professor in digital Culture, Årrhus, Denmark

The rapid expansion of ICT in industry and academia has spawned a vast amount of research and practice on a variety of issues regarding the digital, from virtual identities to cyber-bullying and cyber-crime. Indeed, digital environments offer an overt space for political/institutional debate, education, cultural heritage as well as leisure, pleasure and consumption. In the same breath, they communicate gender representation, narratives, discourse, ideology, and performance; Alongside the emergence of the field of Digital Humanities, concepts of gender in digital culture have been underplayed in scholarship with very recent sporadic and rather discipline-specific exceptions (Coleman: 2012, Green and Adam: 2001, Jenkins: 2006, Kafai et al: 2011, Matrix: 2012- older scholarship and further initiatives can be found here: http://culturalpolitics.net/digital_cultures/gender). The argument for this is that technological innovations and ubiquitous technologies are undergoing such a fast-paced metamorphosis that any attempt to examine social profiles can reflect on current analogue environments and vice versa. There is, however, still debate whether digital communities and the use of technology are tangible and bound by traditional and communal criteria such as explicit group demarcations, governing rules, participatory culture, recognition by external authorities, political implications, and other mechanisms for monitoring behaviors and conflict resolutions.

For the proposed workshop, individual paper contributors and panelists will use a variety of traditional and innovative methodological and theoretical perspectives (gender theory, sociology, socio-cultural introspection, and virtual ethnography etc.) to explore the implications of gender in the digital realm. These perspectives will be compared to more empirical (for example technical and artistic) approaches to digital gender that can potentially accommodate or subvert current theoretical and methodological tools. While there are only partial manifestations of traditional characteristics in electronic communities, empirical evidence and practice indicates that the digital spaces have the potential to alter the way communities perceive gender as it encompasses a plethora of opinions. This workshop will address questions of theory and methodology and pair them with activist and/or artistic practice. We propose a balance between research and methodology and empirical, artistic and activist perspectives. Therefore, we aim to also include speakers that have a strong relation to activism and art to offer a more nuanced and practice-based aspect of the making of gender in digital contexts.

The workshop will flag out case-studies where current digital spaces retain or abort vestiges of traditional communities with analogue hierarchical and social linkages and class-structured relationships as well as the potentials of creating further egalitarian digital environments.

We aim to deploy (yet we are not limited) to four research themes/ groups.

1. Gender and the Social Media
2. Gender and Activism in Digital Contexts
3. Digital Gender Representation, Narratives, and Embodiment.
4. Digital Love and Sexuality.

Discussions should include (but are not limited to)
Proposed theoretical and methodological tools that can promote digital environments as a ‘virtual equalizers’ of social communities rather than exclusively escapist or voyeuristic spaces (remix, creativity, innovation, physics and big data research, data collection, analysis, generate play etc).

Introspection and analysis of the methodological tools used by digital cultural communities to perform gender and correspondence with analogue cultural communities. (The ways in which activism is actually embedded in and integrated in digital spaces, methods in different areas and uniqueness of methods, challenges and entrapments of methodology, projects and creative methodology etc.)

Methodology, practice, activism, and diversity.

The very real impact that gender representation, narrative and performance in digital culture can have in real-life urban and rural social environments.

Please email your abstracts (no more than 150 words for both 10 or 20 minute long papers to Viktor Arvidsson (vason@informatik.umu.se<mailto:vason@informatik.umu.se>) no later than the 15th of December 2013.

Please note that any submissions should be in word format, Times New Roman 12pt and should include:

Affiliation and position, title and length of presentation, as well as a bio of max. 100 words.

Example:
Professor Mia Una
Affiliation: University of Wisconsin
Presentation Title and Length: The Politics of Embodiment in the Digital Sphere (10 mins)
Bio: Loren ipsum dolor sin amet….

Any informal queries should be addressed to Dr. Anna Foka (anna.foka@humlab.umu.se<mailto:anna.foka@humlab.umu.se>)

Dr Anna Foka

Associate Senior Lecturer
HUMlab
Umeå University
SE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden
E: anna.foka@humlab.umu.se<mailto:anna.foka@humlab.umu.se>

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