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CALL FOR PAPERS: Contemporary Publics International Symposium
Researchers in media and communication, cultural studies, creative arts and visual ethnography, journalism and public relations, architecture and urban design; postgraduate students, educators, and emerging career researchers, are invited to submit an abstract for a major international symposium held at Deakin University on 24-25 February, 2014.

What is meant by the term ‘contemporary publics’ and how does that present new directions in thinking and research around the concept of ‘public’. New notions on publics come from a range of media and communication, social, political and artistic fields of inquiry. Networked publics and micro-publics arise from digital cultures and new media platforms; boundaries now blur amongst advertising, public relations and their targets in both physical and virtual space; journalists strive to redefine the role of public broadcasting within new and obsolete concepts of media. Blogs, personal websites, webzines and new forms of engagement emerge within the affordances of technology like mobile phones and within intra-organisational spheres like Facebook and Twitter.  Contemporary publics are transforming within urban, interior and installation spaces. Relentless inquiries into the new domains of public and private in the era of 21st century personalised capitalism and consumer culture reveal changing rhetorical and ideological values around of the notion of the public.
This Symposium, organised and hosted by the Persona, Celebrity, Publics (PCP) research group at Deakin University, invites you to address this complex topic from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives:


Online cultural challenges to Publics

The public(s) in public broadcasting?

Audiences/Publics tension

The nation-state and publics

Public Individuals

Status of opinion in the contemporary publics

The contemporary agora

Historical formation of the public/publics

Public intellectuals and public discourse in the 21st century

Propaganda, conflict and public opinion

Architecture and publics

Public art, space and publics

The Public, private, intimacy

Activism, agency and public spaces

Rethinking selective tradition

Affect and Publics

Public Control: Stigmatization of collectives classes, and publics

Surveillance and public space

Global publics and tourism

The contemporary crowd, flash mob and publics

The Socialisation of Publics

Public Images

Sound, noise and publics

What is public interest?

Popular culture and publics

The celebrification of public life

Politics, citizens and publics

Public scandal

Spectacle and publics

Green publics

Children, play and publics

Screening publics

Viral publics



Confirmed Keynote Speakers include:


·      John Frow, ARC Professorial Fellow, School of English, University of Sydney;

·      Tania Lewis, Vice Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow in the School of Media and Communication, RMIT;

·      Felicity Collins, Associate Professor, School of Communication and Critical Enquiry, La Trobe University;

·      Andrew Tolson, Professor of Media and Communication, School of Media and Communication, De Montfort University, UK.



Deadline for Abstracts: 4 November 2013 – please send a 250 word abstract for consideration before the due date to Kristin Demetrious: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>(with the subject line “Contemporary Publics International Symposium: abstract submission”)



Determination of the success of your proposed paper/abstract will be conveyed to you before the end of November 2013. Registration/Fees/ Accommodation details: to be posted on the PCP web site in the coming weeks. Accepted papers need to be submitted in complete form to the organisers by 1 April 2014.



A selection of the best papers from the symposium will go into an edited collection provisionally titled Contemporary Publics. Palgrave has expressed an interest in receiving the proposal for such a volume.



Kristin Demetrious and Sean Redmond

On behalf of the PCP Organising Committee



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