Archive for Calls for Papers

Call for Papers – EJCS on Data Mining & Analytics

 Call for Papers: The European Journal of Cultural Studies
Special issue on Data Mining/Analytics

Editors: Mark Andrejevic (University of Queensland, Australia); Alison Hearn (University of Western Ontario, Canada); Helen Kennedy (University of Leeds, UK)

The widespread use of social media has given rise to new forms of monitoring, mining and aggregation strategies designed to monetize the huge volumes of data such usage produces. Social media monitoring and analysis industries, experts and consultancies have emerged offering a broad range of social media intelligence and reputation management services. Such services typically involve a range of analytical methods (sentiment analysis, opinion mining, social network analysis, machine learning, natural language processing), often offered in black-boxed proprietary form, in order to gain insights into public opinion, mood, networks and relationships and identify potential word-of-mouth influencers. Ostensibly, these various forms of data mining, analytics and machine learning also are paving the way for the development of a more intelligent or ‘semantic’ Web 3.0, offering a more ‘productive and intuitive’ user experience. As commercial and non-commercial organisations alike seek to monitor, influence, manage and direct social media conversations, and as global usage of social media expands, questions surface that challenge celebratory accounts of the democratizing, participatory possibilities of social media. Remembering that Web 2.0 was always intended as a business manifesto – O’Reilly’s early maxims included, after all, ‘data is the next Intel inside’, ‘users add value’ and ‘collaboration as data collection’ – we need to interrogate social media not only as communication tools, but also as techno-economic constructs with important implications for the management of populations and the formation of subjects. Data mining and analytics are about much more than targeted advertising: they envision new strategies for forecasting, targeting, and decision making in a growing range of social realms (employment, education, health care, policing, urban planning, epidemiology, etc.) with the potential to usher in new, unaccountable, and opaque forms of discrimination, sorting, inclusion and exclusion. As Web 3.0 and the ‘big data’ it generates moves inexorably toward predictive analytics and the overt technocratic management of human sociality, urgent questions arise about how such data are gathered, constructed and sold, to what ends they are deployed, who gets access to them, and how their analysis is regulated (boyd and Crawford 2012).

This special issue aims to bring together scholars who interrogate social media intelligence work undertaken in the name of big data, big business and big government. It aims to draw together empirically-grounded and theoretically-informed analyses of the key issues in contemporary forms of data mining and analytics from across disparate fields and methodologies. . Contributions are invited that address a range of related issues. Areas for consideration could include, but are not limited to:

  • Political economy of social media platforms
  • Algorithmic culture
  • User perspectives on data mining
  • The politics of data visualisation
  • Big data and the cultural industries
  • Data journalism
  • The social life of big data methods
  • Inequalities and exclusions in data mining
  • Affective prediction and control
  • Data mining and new subjectivities
  • Ethics, regulation and data mining
  • Conceptualising big/data/mining
  • Social media intelligence at work
  • Social media and surveillance
  • Critical histories of data mining, sorting, and surveillance

Prospective contributors should email an abstract of 500-700 words to the issue editors by 9th December 2013 (to Full articles should be submitted to Helen Kennedy ( by 12th May 2014. Manuscripts must be no longer than 7,000 words. Articles should meet with The European Journal of Cultural Studies’ aim to promote empirically based, theoretically informed cultural studies; essayist discussion papers are not normally accepted by this journal. All articles will be refereed: invitation to submit a paper to the special issue in no way guarantees that the paper will be published; this is dependent on the review process.

Abstract deadline: 9th December 2013 (to;
Decisions on abstracts communicated by 13th January 2014;
Article submission deadline: 12th May 2014 (to;
Final submission/review process complete: 13th October 2014;
For publication in 2015.


Call for Papers – Rhetoric and Computation

If you’re interested in algorithmic culture, etc., then you might want to consider submitting to this special issue of Computational Culture—an excellent, peer-reviewed open access journal.

Call for Papers: Special Issue of Computational Culture on Rhetoric and Computation

Rhetoric has historically been a discipline concerned with the ways that spoken and written language shape human activity. Similarly, emerging work in digital media studies (in areas such as software studies, critical code studies, and platform studies) seeks to describe the ways that computation shapes contemporary life. This special issue of Computational Culture on “Rhetoric and Computation” merges these two modes of inquiry to explore how together they can help us to understand ways that our communication and computational activities are now constituted by both human and computer languages.

Coupling the analysis of rhetoric with computation provokes a number of questions: How is the rhetorical force of computational objects different from or similar to that of language, sound, or image? What new modes of communication open up when we view computation as an expressive medium? How does computation shape or constrain rhetorical action? What new tropes, figures, and strategies emerge in computational environments? How do programmers deploy rhetoric at the level of code and interface? These questions are not exhaustive, and we welcome papers or computational projects that pursue these questions and others like them.
Topics or projects might include:

  • Computational artifacts (such as video games or art installations) designed to make procedural arguments and model systems or phenomena
  • Analysis of multiple choice tests processed by computers as rhetorical artifacts, aimed at both human (citizens, students) and nonhuman (machine) audiences.
  • How computational strategies such as surveillance supercede more traditional spheres of rhetorical deliberation such as written law
  • The ways in which computational data interpellate individuals and define citizenship
  • Strategies of the “quantified self” as a way of shaping human behaviour
  • Rhetorical analysis of computational systems used by governmental, educational, and political entities
  • How computational systems are described for different audiences from groups of expert programmers to the general public
  • The use of software algorithms to simulate and evaluate various activities, such as writing and conversation
  • Rhetorical strategies deployed by communities of programmers and designers in marginal comments, online forums or physical workplaces
  • Analysis of computational machines as rhetors (i.e., understanding the actions of such machines in terms of the tropes, figures, and strategies they deploy)

300 word abstracts are due November 25, 2013. Abstracts will be reviewed by the Computational Culture Editorial Board and the special issue editors. Authors of selected abstracts will be notified by January 31, 2014 and invited to submit full manuscripts by April 1, 2014. These manuscripts are subject to outside peer review according to Computational Culture’s policies. The issue will be published Fall 2014.

Please send abstracts and inquiries to Jim Brown and Annette Vee.
James J. Brown, Jr., Assistant Professor
Department of English and Program in Digital Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Annette Vee, Assistant Professor
Department of English, University of Pittsburgh

Computational Culture is an online open-access peer-reviewed journal of inter-disciplinary enquiry into the nature of cultural computational objects, practices, processes and structures.


Call for Papers – Platform Politics

I’ve taken some extended time off from blogging to finish up the semester and a writing project — both of which are now wrapped up.  Expect more regular content from me again, soon.  For now, here’s a call for papers from one of my favorite journals, Culture Machine.  The topic of the special issue is “platform politics,” which is very much in keeping with Tarleton Gillespie’s work on “The Politics of Platforms” and my own, ongoing writings on algorithmic culture.  It promises to be a timely and important issue, in other words.

CALL FOR PAPERS – “Platform Politics”

Special issue of Culture Machine, vol. 14;

edited by Joss Hands (Anglia Ruskin University) Greg Elmer (Ryerson University) Ganaele Langlois (University of Ontario Institute of Technology)

This special issue of the peer-reviewed, open access journal Culture Machine on the concept of ‘Platform Politics’ will explore how digital platforms can be understood, leveraged and contested in an age when the ‘platform’ is coming to supplant the open Web as the default digital environment.

Platforms can be characterized as resting on already existing networked communication systems, but also as developing discreet spaces and affordances, often using ‘apps’ to circumvent any need to access them via the Internet or Web. For this issue of Culture Machine we are seeking papers that explore the nature and distinctive aspects of the ‘platform’: as something that can be positioned as more than just a neutral space of communication; and as a complex technology with distinct affordances that have powerful political, economic and social interests at stake. In this respect the platform constitutes a zone of contestation between, for example, different formations and configurations of capital; social movements; new kinds of activist networks; open source and proprietary software design. Platforms also constitute spaces of struggle between mass movements and governments, users and the extractors of value, visibility and invisibility: witness the various debates over the role of ‘social media’ in the Arab Spring, anti-austerity, student and occupy movements. Such struggles entail a compelling intersection between technology and design, capital, multitude, the democratization of technology and ‘subversive rationalization’.

The platform represents not just a question of software and control, then; it also connects to wider social struggles in the sense that ‘platform’  can refer to a ‘political platform’, and can thus take on the agenda setting or framing role of political discourse more generally. Accordingly, this special issue will look to understand ‘platform politics’ as a broad social assemblage, complex or form of life. Linking particular platforms across the molecular and molar, it will think about platform politics as a distinct new context of power operating at the intersection of technological development, software design, cognitive/communicative capitalism, new forms of social movement and resistance, and the attempts to contain them by the exiting democracies. As such, platform politics requires a distinct mode of engagement, which this special issue of Culture Machine will endeavour to encourage and provide.

We invite contributions on topics such as:

  • Protocols as machinery of the platform – its common language, including ideas of control and/or the possibilities and limitations of open, non-proprietorial platforms.
  • The specific relationship between networks and platforms (including the discussion of whether the former are being subsumed by the latter), and distribution vs centralization/aggregation — not least in terms of user created content and content management systems (code politics of algorithms, and the use of APIs).
  • The question as to whether a process of enclosure is taking place via the struggle over the creation and expropriation of ‘network value’, or whether it entails a more parasitical engagement with, and enhancement of, the existing network architectures.
  • Visibility/invisibility: platforms as political spaces to be seen/heard, or indeed tactically escaped and eluded.
  • Resistance: how the above described issues relate to the potential for cultural, political, social and economic praxis, which in turns opens up a space from which to address recent global events. (See, for example, RIMs (Blackberry Messaging’s) enclosure, which ironically creates spaces of resistance as well as disturbance and securitization.)
  • New software possibilities: for example, Drupal’s opening up and democratization of content management, which perhaps creates a kind of ‘platform commons’? The potential of ‘Diaspora’, the open source social network, to offer a viable alternative to proprietary social media.
  • The role of intrinsic network tendencies, as opposed to political and economic decision-making, taking in explorations of the relevance of graph theory, the role of power laws and the network-specific characteristics of ‘communication power’.

Deadline for submissions of complete articles: 1st November 2012

Please submit your contributions including contact details by email to Joss Hands:

Culture Machine’s Guidelines for Authors:

All contributions will be peer-reviewed.

Established in 1999, CULTURE MACHINE ( is a fully refereed, open-access journal of cultural studies and cultural theory. It has published work by established figures such as Mark Amerika, Alain Badiou, Simon Critchley, Jacques Derrida, N. Katherine Hayles, Ernesto Laclau, J. Hillis Miller, Bernard Stiegler, Cathryn Vasseleu and Samuel Weber, but it is also open to publications by up-and-coming writers, from a variety of geopolitical locations.

!!! New 2012 issue on attention economy coming out soon!!!