Conference at Miami University, Oxford OH
April 20-21, 2012
Call for Papers (submissions due November 29, 2011)
This conference will bring together scholars and practitioners to explore
the resonances between digital networks and “older” (perhaps still emergent)
systems of circulation; from roads to cables, from letter-writing networks
to digital ink. Drawing on recent research in media archaeology, we see
network archaeology as a method for re-orienting the temporality and
spatiality of network studies. Network archaeology might pay attention to
the history of distribution technologies, location and control of
geographical resources, the emergence of circulatory models, proximity and
morphology, network politics and power, and the transmission properties of
media. What can we learn about contemporary cultural production and
circulation from the examination of network histories? How can we
conceptualize the polychronic developments of networks, including their
growth, adaptation, and resistances? How might the concept of network
archaeology help to re-envision and forge new paths of interdisciplinary
research, collaboration, and scholarship?
The conference will trace continuities and disjunctures between a variety of
networks, including telecommunication networks, distribution systems for
both digital and non-digital texts, transportation routes, media storage
(libraries, databases, e-archiving), electrical grids, radio and television
broadcast networks, the internet, and surveillance networks. We seek to
address not only the technological, institutional, and geopolitical
histories of networks, but also their cultural and experiential dimensions,
extending to encompass the histories of network poetics and practice. The
proceeds of the conference will form the basis for a substantial publication
on Network Archaeology.
This conference is organized by the Miami University Humanities Center and
is the final event in a year-long series entitled “Networked Environments:
Interrogating the Democratization of Media.” It is a companion to our Fall
2011 symposium, “Networks and Power,” on November 17-18th featuring panels,
interventions, and keynote presentations by Wendy Chun (Brown University)
and Lisa Parks (UC Santa Barbara), that interrogate the interrelationships
between networked environments, both old and new, and varied forms of power.
The “Networked Environments” series, involving an interdisciplinary group of
ten humanities scholars, seeks to show how the network dynamics so crucial
to contemporary political developments have deep and perhaps unexpected
roots in the histories of earlier forms of information production and
We welcome presentations of academic research and artistic projects on
contemporary and historical network studies. Please send abstracts of 250
words and a short bio to cris cheek ([log in to unmask]) and Nicole
Starosielski ([log in to unmask]) by November 29, 2011.
Keynote speakers include:
Lisa Gitelman, Associate Professor of Media and English at New York
University, and author of *Scripts, Grooves, and Writing Machines:
Representing Technology in the Edison Era* (2000), *New Media,
*Always Already New: Media, History, and the Data of Culture* (2008).
Richard R. John, Professor of Journalism at Columbia University, and author
of *Spreading the News: The American Postal System from Franklin to
*Network Nation: Inventing American Telecommunications* (2010).
Alan Liu, Professor of English at the University of California, Santa
Barbara, and author of *The Laws of Cool: Knowledge Work and the Culture of
Information* (2004) and *Local Transcendence: Essays on Postmodern
Historicism and the Database *(2008).
Jussi Parikka, Reader in Media & Design at Winchester School of Art
(University of Southampton), and author of *Digital Contagions: A Media
Archaeology of Computer Viruses* (2007), *Insect Media: An Archaeology of
Animals and Technology *(2010), and *Media Archaeology: Approaches,
Applications, Implications *(2011).
Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite