CFP: media in transition 5: creativity, ownership and collaboration in the digital age (1/5/07; 4/27/07-4/29/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Margaret Weigel
contact email: 

CFP: media in transition 5: creativity, ownership and collaboration
in the
digital age

April 27-29, 2007
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

CALL FOR PAPERS (submission deadline: Jan. 5, 2007)

Our understanding of the technical and social processes by which
culture is made and reproduced is being challenged and enlarged by
digital technologies. An emerging generation of media producers is
sampling and remixing existing materials as core ingredients in their
own work. Networked culture is enabling both small and large
collaborations among artists who may never encounter each other face
to face. Readers are actively reshaping media content as they
personalize it for their own use or customize it for the needs of
grassroots and online communities. Bloggers are appropriating and
recontextualizing news stories; fans are rewriting stories from
popular culture; and rappers and techno artists are sampling and
remixing sounds.

These and related cultural practices have generated heated contention
and debate. What constitutes fair use of another's intellectual
property? What ethical issues are posed when sounds, images, and
stories move from one culture or subculture to another? Or when
materials created by a community or religious or ethnic tradition are
appropriated by technologically powerful outsiders? What constitutes
creativity and originality in expressive formats based on sampling
and remixing? What obligations do artists owe to those who have
inspired and informed their work and how much creative freedom should
they exercise over their borrowed or shared materials?

One source of answers to such questions lies in the past - in the
ways in which traditional printed texts - and films and TV shows as
well - invoke, allude to and define themselves against their rivals
and ancestors; and - perhaps even more saliently - in the ways in
which folk and popular cultures may nourish and reward not
originality in our modern sense, but familiarity, repetition,
borrowing, collaboration.

This fifth Media in Transition conference, then, aims to generate a
conversation that compares historical forms of cultural expression
with contemporary media practices. We hope this event will appeal
widely across disciplines and scholarly and professional boundaries.
For example, we hope this conference will bring together such figures

* anthropologists of oral and folk cultures
* historians of the book and reading publics
* political scientists and legal scholars interested in alternative
approaches to intellectual property
* media educators who aim to help students think about their ethical
responsibilities in this new participatory culture
* artists ready to discuss appropriation and collaboration in their
own work
* economists and business leaders interested in the new relationships
that are emerging between media producers and consumers
* activists and netizens interested in the ways new technologies
democratize who has the right to be an author

Among topics the conference might explore:

* history of authorship and copyright
* folk practices in traditional and contemporary society
* appropriating materials from other cultures: political and ethical
* poetics and politics of fan culture
* blogging, podcasting, and collective intelligence
* media literacy and the ethics of participatory culture
* artistic collaboration and cultural production, past and present
* fair use and intellectual property
* sampling and remixing in popular music
* cultural production in traditional and developing societies
* Web 2.0 and the "architecture of participation"
* creative industries and user-generated content
* parody, spoofs, and mash-ups as critical commentary
* game mods and machinima
* the workings of genre in different media systems
* law and technological change

Short abstracts of no more than 200 words for papers or panels should
be sent via email to Brad Seawell at no later than
January 5, 2007. Brad can be reached by phone at 617-253-3521. Email
submissions are preferred, but abstracts can be mailed to:

Brad Seawell
Cambridge , MA 02139

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Received on Sun Nov 12 2006 - 23:14:20 EST