CFP: Communication Technologies and American Cultural Practice (5/15/07; 11/7/07-11/10/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Pawel Frelik (PAAS)
contact email: 

Call for Papers

2007Annual PAAS Conference

7-10 November 2007


        We invite proposals of approximately 300 words (one page) for 20 minute presentations exploring the role of communication technologies during the last 150 years in American cultural practice. By communication technologies we mean audio and visual reproduction technologies, analogue telecommunications such as traditional telephony, radio and television broadcasts, digital telecommunications, computer-mediated communications, telegraphy, and computer networks.
      The study of the impact of telecommunication technologies is a way to explore the various flows and tensions of American culture. How have communication technologies shaped American history? How has American society molded communication technologies? Who decides about developing and using telecommunication technologies and to what purpose? How are these purposes circumvented institutionally? How do America's cultural, ethical, and economic assumptions determine and limit the ways in which telecommunications function in American society?
      How do contemporary telecommunications transform the sense of America's timespace? If mass media have failed to breed cultural and political conformity, to what extent have the newest digital technologies failed to produce diversity and difference? We invite presentations on electronic communities--how new media have transformed the patterns of social interactions in terms of politics, religion and sexuality. Does the Internet and the Web foster the heterogeneous character of the U.S.? We expect papers examining the forms and significance of many-to-many communication via e-mail, Internet forums, blogs and chat rooms. What are some of the new interventions in the social construction of emerging telecommunications and the innovative uses of the new and not-so-new, analogue and digital technologies?
      Last but not least, we welcome presentations of how analogue and digital telecommunications are represented in literature. What may be the import of digital reading and writing—digital re-reading of old literature, hypertexts, cybertexts and e-literature? How has the terseness of telecommunications shaped telephone/sms/email novels? Where do video games enter literary and cultural practice as narratives?
        The deadline for the proposals is 15 May 2007. Proposals may be sent to Jadwiga Maszewska at Acceptance of proposals can be expected by June 15. For anyone interested in organizing a panel on a specific topic, please propose the topic of the panel, and list the names of anticipated panel members.

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Received on Tue Jan 16 2007 - 17:19:16 EST