CFP: What is Information? (2020)

deadline for submissions: 
January 24, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Janet Wasko
contact email: 




What is Information? (2020) will investigate conceptualizations and implementations of information via material, representational, and hybrid frames. The conference-experience will consider information and its transformational effects and affects—from documents to data; from facts and fictions to pattern recognition; from physical information to differential equations; and from volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity to collective intelligence and wisdom.

The tenth annual What is…? examines tapestries, temperaments, and topologies of information lenses and practices—including—social and technical, mathematical and semantic, physical and biological, economic and political, cultural and environmental information. Information can thus be understood as physical, for instruction, and about epistemic systems.Scholars, government and community officials, industry professionals, scientists, artists, students, filmmakers, grassroots community organizations, and the public are invited to collaborate. We welcome submissions for papers, panels, roundtables and installations.

Presentations / panels / installations may include the following topics:
• What is information? Is it synonymous with data? What distinguishes information from knowledge and wisdom?
• What is truth, misinformation, or disinformation? Is information material/concrete, symbolic/abstract, or both?
• What are information science and information art? What are relationships between STEAM+ and ICT?
• How are the natural sciences and information sciences continuing to converge (e.g. bioinformatics, bioinspiration)?
• How do quantum computers differ from binary computers? What are the scales and speeds between bits & qubits?
• Is information at the core of music, architecture, design, craft, and/or science and technology studies?
• Is biology itself information or only a representation? What are data science, cultural analytics & visualization?
• How are informatics enhancing medicine and the environment via regenerative systems?
• What is the philosophy of information? What are information literacy, ethics, education, & aesthetics?
• What are networks? What are relationships between information, technology/media, and communication?
• What are information ecologies, information environments, and how do/can they facilitate public good?
• What is political economy of information? How do information and socio-cultural factors æffect each other?
• What are current approaches to the study of information professions, audiences, and psychology?
• How does information highlight gender, race, indigenous, and/or global environmental concerns?
• How can contemplation, empathy, kindness, and/or responsibility be studied via information?
• What are patterns of digital divides? What comes after an era of meta-data, post-truth, and pattern recognition?
• What are data-mining, threat detection, and privacy in a cyber-physical defense and cybersecurity age?
• Can AI, machine learning, and/or MR help us to adapt to the ever-changing transdisciplinary landscape?
• What laws/regulations/policies are appropriate for information? How are information and value(s) related?

Conference Organizers: Janet Wasko and Jeremy Swartz (University of Oregon)

Send 150-word abstracts for papers, panels, installations, and exhibits by JANUARY 24, 2020, to:
 Janet Wasko • 

University of Oregon • 97403-1275 • USA