Following ECREA’s Barcelona event, the Digital Culture and Communication Section is calling for papers for its next conference in Berlin, November 20-21, 2009. The conference Digital Media Technologies Revisited: Theorising social relations, interactions and communication aims to look backwards as well as forward to explore old and new theories to explain current media transformations and digital technologies innovations. It beats on an interdisciplinary perspective that puts the social and the cultural at the core of the communicative technological change and opens different fields of inquiry such as human computer interaction, body, identity, online media and audiences.
This two-day conference on ’Digital Technologies Revisited’ aims to look backwards as well as forward. It does so to explore an in-between time: a time, when much of the hype concerning digital media has died down, much research material has been gathered and analyzed and quite a bit about the possibilities and limitations of digital media especially in comparison to older media forms) has been understood. Digital media have become an important and ever-increasing part of our everyday lives. They suffuse our communication, information and entertainment spheres. Not surprisingly, the perceived connection between the internet and many areas of social life, from work to play, has steadily increased in recent years. However, even as digital media become pervasive, ubiquitous, common and mundane, innovation continues to become an integral characteristic of digital media forms, the proliferation of which is challenging to map.
The conference would therefore like to return to earlier models and theories that attempted to explain new (digital) media in its ’first wave’ forms. Additionally, we would like to address the question of what kind of alterations and additions can be used to adapt existing models and theories for current purposes (e.g. mediated person-to-person communication; para-social interactions with virtual agents; pseudo-social interactions with intelligent machines, etc.). The range of models and theories that can be used, re-visited, or adapted is wide (i.e. communication studies, cultural studies, sociology and anthropology, etc.). We want to encourage papers that explore tensions between older and new approaches and older and newer ‚new media’ formations. Where has there been movement, where not, and are there in fact new theories emerging? The social world sits at the heart of these diverse concerns.