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Call for papers MiT7 "unstable platforms : the promise and peril of transition", May 13-15, 2011 at MIT.

Has the digital age confirmed and exponentially increased the cultural instability and creative destruction that are often said to define advanced capitalism ? Does living in a digital age mean we may live and die in what the novelist Thomas Pynchon has called “a ceaseless spectacle of transition” ? The nearly limitless range of design options and communication choices available now and in the future is both exhilarating and challenging, inciting innovation and creativity but also false starts, incompatible systems, planned obsolescence.
For this seventh Media in Transition conference we want to focus directly on our core topic – the experience of transition. Our first conference in 1999 considered this subject, of course. But that was before Facebook, iPhones, BitTorrent, IPTV and many other changes.
How are we coping with the instability of platforms ? How are the classroom, the newsroom, the corporate office exploiting digital systems and responding to the imperative for constant upgrades. Our libraries and archives ? Our public entertainments ? Are new technologies changing the experience of reading ? The experience of watching movies or television programs ? How stable, how durable are current or emerging systems ? How relevant are earlier periods of media change to our current experience of ongoing instability and transformation ?
We welcome submissions from scholars and teachers in all fields as well as media-makers, producers, designers and industry professionals.

Possible topics include :
Technologies of reading
The future and fate of media studies
Narrative across media
Analog media in the connected era
Emerging forms of journalism and community engagement
New questions, new paradigms for media history
Reappraising divides, digital, generational, and gendered
Television : a medium of constant change ?
Rethinking access and restriction in the digital age
The migration of print culture to digital form : promises and problems
Oral cultures and digital cultures
The advent of the book
Corporate strategies for the digital age

Short abstracts of about 250 words for papers or panels can be sent via email to mit7@mit.edu no later than Friday, March 4, 2011.

While emailed submissions are preferred, abstracts can be snail-mailed to :
Brad Seawell
MIT 14N-430
77 Mass. Ave.
Cambridge , MA 02139

Please include a short (75 words or less) biographical statement. We invite submissions of full papers and proposals of full panels. Panel proposals should include a panel title and one-sentence description of the panel as well as separate abstracts and bios for each panel speaker.
Anyone submitting panel proposals should take it on themselves to identify and recruit a moderator.
Our expectation is that speakers will submit full versions of their presentations before the conference begins so that all conferees will have a chance to preview the materials.

We will be evaluating submissions on a rolling basis. The final deadline for submission will be Friday, March 4, 2011.

Media in Transition conferences are free and open to the public. A registration link will be added to the conference site.

Conference website : web.mit.edu/comm-forum/mit7/

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