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April 1999, Week 4


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"by way of Jeremy Butler <[log in to unmask]>" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 24 Apr 1999 11:03:20 -0500
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A National Conference
October 8-10, 1999

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA

To celebrate the launch of our graduate program in Comparative Media
Studies, we invite your participation in a conference on the topic of "Media
in Transition."

This conference will also mark the conclusion of the Media in Transition
Project,  a series of lectures, forums and conferences begun in 1997 by the
MIT Communications Forum and funded by the John and Mary R. Markle Foundation.

We intend this culminating conference to address the defining themes of the
project by situating our current experience of media and cultural
transformation in the perspective of earlier periods of technological and
social change.

The Media in Transition Project aims to nourish a pragmatic, historically
informed discourse about the significance of new communications technologies
and the role of economic, political, legal, social and cultural institutions
in mediating and partly shaping technological change.

A good deal of work on such topics has emerged in recent years across a
range of academic disciplines.  But one consequence of this intellectual
diversity has been that scholars of comparative media have had little
contact with each other.  The Media in Transition conference hopes remedy
this isolation by bringing together an interdisciplinary roster of scholars
committed to understanding the past, present, and future of media.

We encourage papers that address the following themes:

        The transformation of the book and book culture in the digital age
        Conceptions of intellectual property
        Democratic culture and new media
        The aesthetics of transition -- technological change and the arts and
        The "virtual community" as an historical construction
        Media change and central institutions (schools, libraries, banks,
corporations, etc.)
        Privacy, public safety, surveillance
        Global media and local or national cultures
        Media audiences
        "Vernacular theory" -- the role of science fiction, popular journalism, and
other popular discourse in explaining emerging media
        Technology and journalism -- the impact of technological change on
journalism; newspapers and local readership
        Social and cultural factors influencing the use and diffusion of new media
        Childhood and adolescence in a mediated culture
        Hypertexts: history, theory, practice

SUBMISSIONS: 1-2 page abstract to be submitted no later than July 1, 1999.
Papers should be sent to: Media in Transition Conference, CMS office,
14N-430, MIT, Cambridge, MA 02139.

For more information about the Media in Transition Project:

Henry Jenkins

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