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communication +1 invites submissions for its upcoming issue, “Machine Communication.”
Edited by David Gunkel and Zachary McDowell
With this special issue we hope to explore the boundaries of communication beyond the human subject and the restrictions of humanism by considering that which is radically other – the machine. We seek articles that interrogate the opportunities and challenges that emerge around, within, and from interactions and engagements with machines of all types and varieties. By examining the full range of human-machine interactions, machine-machine interactions, or other hitherto unanticipated configurations, we hope to assemble a collection of ground-breaking essays that push the boundaries of our discipline and probe the new social configurations of the 21st century. Topics may include but are not limited to:
Please submit short proposals of no more than 500 words by December 13th, 2015 to email@example.com.
Upon invitation, full text submissions will be due April 5th, 2013, with expected publication in September, 2016.
About the Journal
The aim of communication +1 is to promote new approaches to and open new horizons in the study of communication from an interdisciplinary perspective. We are particularly committed to promoting research that seeks to constitute new areas of inquiry and to explore new frontiers of theoretical activities linking the study of communication to both established and emerging research programs in the humanities, social sciences, and arts. Other than the commitment to rigorous scholarship, communication +1 sets no specific agenda. Its primary objective is to create is a space for thoughtful experiments and for communicating these experiments.
communication +1 is an open access journal supported by University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries and the Department of Communication
Editor in Chief: Briankle G. Chang, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Managing Editor: Zachary J. McDowell, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Kuan-Hsing Chen, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan
Bernard Geoghegan, Humboldt-Universität, Germany
Lawrence Grossberg, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
David Gunkel, Northern Illinois University
Catherine Malabou, Kingston University, United Kingdom
Jussi Parikka, University of Southampton, United Kingdom
John Durham Peters, University of Iowa
Johnathan Sterne, McGill University
Ted Striphas, University of Colorado, Boulder
Greg Wise, Arizona State University
For more information or to participate in the communicationplusone.org project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
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.
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. http://www.computationalculture.net/
I don’t often write about textbook publishing, but with the start of the new school year I thought it appropriate to say a few more words on the subject. I say more because I blogged about the changing student textbook market around this time last year, exploring how the rental market in particular had started to affect the ways college students acquire and think about their course texts.
Well, that was a year ago, and paper books are soooooo 2011. The big push this year (which, admittedly, has been building over the course of several years) is for electronic course texts or, in some cases, the bundling of electronic resources with traditional paper textbooks. I can’t stop hearing about the subject both on my own campus and in the periodicals I follow, including The Chronicle of Higher Education.
To wit: this week’s Chronicle included a story entitled “With ‘Access Codes,’ Textbook Pricing Gets More Complicated Than Ever.” (Apologies in advance: you’ll have to be a subscriber to read the full text.) It focuses on a business student at the University of Maine, Luke Thomas, who, last semester, needed to buy a (paper) textbook for his introductory English course. Expensive — but so far, so good. The complication occurred when Thomas discovered that the book, published by textbook giant Cenage, came bundled with a code he would need to access supplementary materials, which were only available online. He and his wife had been planning to use the course text together, effectively cutting the net cost of the overpriced book in half. But because each code was tied to one, and only one, student, they were unable to do so — that is, unless one of them was willing to forgo participation in the class’ online element and potentially jeopardize her or his grade. You can read Thomas’ great, muckraking blog post about the incident here.
I’m sure there are myriad instances of college students confronting these types of dilemmas right now, and not only the married ones. I remember friends during my undergraduate years (this was the early 1990s) routinely buying course texts that they’d then share for the semester. I’m pretty sure I did this once myself, in a Communication course my roommate and I had both enrolled in. But what I see, in the emerging age of e-publishing, is a deliberate attempt on the part of textbook publishers, suborned either by greedy or willfully ignorant faculty, to mitigate and even eliminate these types of arrangements.
What makes this situation all the more startling is the language that’s typically used to sell e-learning materials to professors and students. Over and over again we hear how e-texts are “cheaper” than their printed, paper counterparts and how supplementary online materials add real value to them. What the marketing departments won’t tell you is that that “cheaper” isn’t an absolute term and that value-added actually comes at a cost.
Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that a student can buy a $50 e-version of a course text whose paper edition would cost $100 brand new. That’s a 50% savings, right? Well, not exactly. If two friends wanted to share the cost of the book together, that cost savings is already matched — bettered, actually, since there exists a robust used market for paper textbooks that would probably net the students at least a few dollars at the end of the term. (You generally can’t “sell back” an e-text, since you license rather than own the content.) As for the so-called value-added e-features, Thomas’ story makes abundantly clear how, in fact, this value isn’t added as much as paid for.
I don’t doubt that large textbook publishers like Cenage want to follow what they perceive to be industry and cultural (some might say generational) trends in making such an aggressive move into e-publishing. But it’s not only about that. It’s also about hammering away at the first-sale doctrine, which is the legal principle that allows the owner of copyrighted material to share it with or resell it to someone else without fear of legal reprisal. The move into e-publishing is also a way to effectively destroy the market for used textbooks, which, admittedly, has long been difficult to sustain given publishers’ efforts to issue “revised” editions of popular texts every few years pop over to this site.
Bottom line: if you believe in the free market, then you should be opposed many of these types of e-publishing initiatives. There’s no such thing as a free lunch — or even a cheap one, for that matter.
So with that, then, I want to bestow my first ever Late Age of Print Hero Award on Luke Thomas, for his courageous efforts to bring these important issues to public attention. Thank you, Luke.
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; http://www.culturemachine.net
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:
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 (http://www.culturemachine.net) 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!!!