Issue of Biography on Online Auto/Biography (7/1/2014)

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Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly
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Call for Submissions: Issue of Biography on Online Auto/Biography

The editors of the journal Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly seek contributions to an issue devoted to the various modes of online auto/biography that have emerged in the decade following the journal's Winter 2003 special issue "Lives Online," which brought together scholars examining online diaries, personal home pages, and some of the earliest manifestations of blogs.

Web 2.0 technologies have given rise to a welter of other powerful formats for online self-representation, including social media like Facebook, Mixi and Twitter and media sharing services like YouTube, Tumblr, and Vine. Robust blogging platforms like Wordpress and Movable Type, and virtual worlds like Second Life and The Sims have continued to develop their interactive platforms. These media are affording users myriad possibilities for documenting their lives, organizing social movements, gaining access to print publication, contributing to others' self-representations, and crafting (and inventing) identities.

We invite submissions that engage these developments within the framework of life writing studies. We are particularly interested in articles that address theoretical and/or methodological questions pertaining to the study of online life writing:

-- how does online auto/biography present challenges to traditional research methods, particularly for qualitative scholars?

-- how must scholars in the field reformulate perennial questions about authorship, genre, subjectivity, truth, power, ethics, and politics to account for forms of auto/biographical cultural production that are in many ways unprecedented?

-- how are researchers coping with the mercurial and ephemeral nature of some manifestations of online auto/biography?

-- what ethical questions do scholars in this in this area confront?

-- how are these media transforming practices of ethnography and oral history?

Other welcome topics include

-- social media platforms and practices outside North America and Europe (for example, Mixi and Sina Weibo)

-- the use of online channels to mobilize life stories in conjunction with social and political movements, political campaigns, human rights activism, and other collective initiatives

-- the role of the Internet in negotiating identities and affiliations within and across minority, indigenous, and diasporic communities

-- intersections of the digital and the embodied (for example, the lived experience of race, gender, sexuality, disability, and/or illness)

-- the creation of communities through online life narrative practices, including Internet-based support groups and collaborative projects

-- the place of visual media in online life writing

-- the impact of the constraints and affordances of specific programming languages, algorithms, platforms, and interface designs on online auto/biographical practices

-- self-representation in networked multiplayer games and simulations

-- corporate promotion and control of social media services and user information

-- privacy and security issues related to online auto/biography

-- hoaxes and scams based on deceptive online self-representations

-- new approaches to writing biography in digital media

Please submit complete essays no longer than 9000 words by July 1, 2014, to John David Zuern and Guest Editor Laurie McNeill expect to respond to authors by September 1, 2014. Final revisions will be due by December 15, 2014.