Currents in Electronic Literacy Spring 2012 Issue - Memories, Technologies, Rhetorics

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Call for Papers

Currents in Electronic Literacy (ISSN 1524-6493) solicits submissions related to the theme below:

Spring 2012 issue: Memories, Technologies, Rhetorics

At least since Plato, western rhetorical traditions have contemplated the problematic relation between memory and technology. In the Phaedrus, the Egyptian god Theuth attempts to convince the god-king Thamus that writing is a potion that will improve one’s memory and wisdom. Thamus retorts that writing weakens one's memory and provides only a simulacrum of truth in argument. The terms of this debate recur in scholarly assessments of technology and memory in the digital age: some fear that increasing techno-reliance will deform our cognitive architecture, result in memory loss, or degrade public discourse, while others celebrate the digital for enabling human memory to embrace new possibilities in the practice of rhetoric and elsewhere. Other scholars have sought altogether different modes of investigating and understanding the intersection of memory, technology and rhetoric.

The 2012 issue of Currents in Electronic Literacy invites submissions of scholarly work that will further expand the rhizomatic connections and contentions among memory, technology, and rhetoric. In addition to traditional written essays, Currents invites compositions using media such as websites, online memorials, videos, digital presentations, interviews, archives, or other forms. However, digital or technological submissions in non-traditional formats should include a 500-word document explicating the artifact presented.

Some lines of scholarship for the 2012 issue include—but are not limited to—the following:

• How do new media transform theories of subjectivities (memories)? What do such transformations entail in specific cases (e.g., in pedagogy, politics, etc)?

• What political or cultural outcomes can online memorials and monuments bring about? How do traditional “stone and mortar” memorials produce similar or different outcomes?

• Are digital technologies having a negative effect on human memory? If so, what are the implications for teachers of rhetoric and new media?

• How might research into multicultural rhetorics benefit (or not) from the digitization of archives, online video testimonies, and so on?

• Given the volume and seemingly unlimited power of digital memory in the form of archives and other tools, what promising or discouraging implications might one draw for pedagogy, research, rhetoric or politics?

• Does the massive volume of digital memory serve to preclude “public forgetting” in the sense, for instance, that Bradford Vivian outlines in Public Forgetting: The Rhetoric and Politics of Beginning Again?

• In an age of digital memory, how are conceptions of “the human” and “the machine” affected? What other links might exist between digital memory and humanism, or posthumanism?

• What kind of student projects involving technology and memory might offer students the chance to consider the intersections of memory, technology, and rhetoric?

• How is the rhetorical canon of memory transformed or “rescued” by the prevalence of digital media? What effects might this change have on the discipline at large?

• How did technological innovations of the past (such as the development of print culture) activate issues of memory and forgetting, and what can such historical encounters tell us about our own technological moment?

• Does the increasing size, scope, and accessibility of digital memory change the scholar's fundamental relationship to his or her own scholarly production? How is research inflected by the awareness that scholars are creating digital memories?

• How do questions of technological (in)accessibility limit, expand, or reclaim the "forgotten" histories of traditionally marginalized groups of people, or those who navigate virtual worlds from different sensory positions?

Currents in Electronic Literacy is internally peer-reviewed by a cohort of graduate students and faculty at the University of Texas at Austin according to Ebsco Publishing’s policy for “Editorial Board Peer-Review.” All submissions to Currents should adhere to MLA style guidelines for citations and documentation. Submissions should state any technical requirements or limitations. Currents reserves all copyrights to published articles and requires that all of its articles be housed on its own Web server. It is the policy of Currents that all accepted contributions meet Section 508 accessibility standards (e.g., captioning for video and transcripts for audio). While all Currents articles are accessible, readers are advised that these same articles may contain links to other websites that do not meet accessibility guidelines.

Please direct all submissions and questions to: The deadline for submissions is January 20, 2012.

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