CFP for Computer Culture (SWPACA Conference, February 15-18, 2017)

deadline for submissions: 
November 1, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Natasha Chuk, Computer Culture Area Chair, SWPACA
contact email: 


38th Annual Conference


Southwest Popular / American Culture Association


February 15-18, 2017


Hyatt Regency, Albuquerque,








Proposals for papers are now being accepted for the area of Computer Culture, as one of the many areas within the 38th annual conference of the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association (SWPACA). Please consider submitting.




COMPUTER is broadly defined as any computational device, whether smartphone or abacus, and any form of information technology, including the origins of concepts of interactive text that may predate computational devices as traditionally conceived.




CULTURE is rooted in the concept of cultural meaning. We ask not just operational questions such as, "How do people communicate using computers?" but questions of meaning such as, "What does it mean when people communicate using computers instead of using pre-computer approaches to communication?" Along these lines, we are interested in communication as well as creative practices/applications and how computer technologies shape them.


"Computer Culture" can be understood in a variety of ways:




  • the culture of the computer, that is, as computers interact with each other, what culture do they have of their own?
  • the culture around the computer, that is, (sub)cultures associated with


the production, maintenance, use, and destruction of computers


  • the culture through the computer, that is, explicit treatment of how computer mediation influences cultural phenomena that exist or have existed in forms that did not involve computer mediation, and what these influences mean
  • the culture by the computer, that is, the ways in which new (sub)cultures or (sub)cultural phenomena have arisen because of computers and understandings of these given awareness of the nature and/or workings of computers




Example questions associated with Computer Culture would include, but not be limited to:




  • What implications are there because of the powerfulness of (computer/information) technology; and are these implications beneficial, detrimental, inevitable, or avoidable?
  •  What are the cultural origins of computers, computer/information technologies, and practices associated with them? What is the descriptive and prescriptive outlook for the conditions of those cultural forces associated with those cultural origins?
  •  How do cultural forces (such as changes from one generation to the next, trends in education or society, or other cultural phenomena) impact (and how are they impacted by) computer/information technologies/market-forces, and what do these impacts (in either direction or both) mean?




Paper topics might include (but are not limited to) those that address:




  • issues of (re)presentation through computers (website analysis and design);
  • methods of discourse involving computers (blogging, Twitter, social networks, YouTube, viral video, live feeds);
  • theories focused on the relationship between computers and culture, uses of computers in particular contexts and the impacts thereof (such as computers and pedagogy, online dating, virtual currencies, commerce, marketing, entertainment, etc.);
  • the relationship between computers and social forces (such as journalism, community engagement, social change, politics, social media alternatives, etc.);
  • security/privacy/fraud/surveillance and computers (such as security breaches, spam, scams, hoaxes, terrorism, etc.);
  • creative practice, web art, generative and digital art, virtual performance;
  • the self, the “second self,” identity formation/negotiation, anonymity;
  • “cyberkids,” internet youth cultures;
  • data visualization and digital geographies;
  • hashtag thinking, data organization and archives, search predictions/autocomplete functions;
  • cultural markers (such as social media trends, memes, internet fame);
  • digital divides (such as internet inclusion/exclusion, user diversity, interface/software architectures, etc.);
  • the general mediascape (such as issues of governance, mediation, ownership, the ‘public sphere’, crowdsourcing, etc.)




While we will consider any relevant paper, we have a preference for those that involve transferable methodological approaches. This is an interdisciplinary conference, and other conference attendees would benefit from being able to adapt your research methods to their future research.




Scholars, teachers, professionals, artists, and others interested in computer culture are encouraged to participate. Graduate students are also particularly welcome, with award opportunities for the best graduate papers. More information about awards can be found at




Specifically, we would like to highlight the following award opportunities:


  • The "Computer Culture and Game Studies Award"
  • The "Heldrich-Dvorak Travel Fellowships"




Given how papers may often fall into multiple categories, there may be other award opportunities listed at would be appropriate for your paper. (However, each presenter may only apply for one – not including the Travel Fellowships, which can be in addition.)




For consideration, submit 100-200 word abstracts and proposals for panels by Tuesday, November 1, 2016 to the conference’s electronic submission system, which can be found at:




If you wish to propose forming your own panel, we would be glad to help facilitate your needs. This conference is a presentation opportunity.




Visithttp://journaldialogue.orgfor information about the organization's new, peer-reviewed journal, Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy.




Please pass along this call to friends and colleagues.




If you have any questions, please contact the Computer Culture area chair, Natasha Chuk (