CFP: Computer Culture (SWPACA Conference, February 19-22, 2014)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 9:00am to Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 5:00pm

Computer Culture area

35th Annual Southwest Popular / American Culture Association Conference

February 19-22, 2014

Hyatt Regency, Albuquerque, NM

We are accepting papers and forming panels for the area of Computer Culture, as one of the many areas within the 35th annual conference of the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association (SWPACA).

The conference was formerly named the Southwest/Texas Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association (SW/TX PCA/ACA).

Computer is broadly defined as any computational device, whether smartphone or abacus, and any form of information technology, including the origins of concepts of interactive text which may predate computational devices as traditionally conceived.

Culture is rooted in the concept of cultural meaning. We ask not just operational questions such as, "How do people communicate using computers?" but questions of meaning such as, "What does it mean when people communicate using computers instead of using pre-computer approaches to communication?"

"Computer Culture" can be understood in a variety of ways:

  • the culture of the computer, that is, as computers interact with each other, what culture do they have of their own?

  • the culture around the computer, that is, (sub)cultures associated with the production, maintenance, use, and destruction of computers

  • the culture through the computer, that is, explicit treatment of how computer mediation influences cultural phenomena that exist or has existed in forms that did not involve computer mediation, and what these influences mean

  • the culture by the computer, that is, the ways in which new (sub)cultures or (sub)cultural phenomena have arisen because of computers and understandings of these given awareness of the nature and/or workings of computers

Example questions associated with Computer Culture would include, but not be limited to:

  • What implications are there because of the powerfulness of (computer/information) technology ___ and are these implications beneficial, detrimental, inevitable, or avoidable?

  • What are the cultural origins of computers, computer/information technologies, and practices (such as ____) associated with them? What is the descriptive and prescriptive outlook for the conditions of those cultural forces associated with those cultural origins?

  • How do cultural forces (such as changes from one generation to the next, trends in education or society, or other cultural phenomena) impact (and are impacted by) computer/information technologies/market-forces, and what do these impacts (in either direction or both) mean?

Paper topics might include (but are not limited to) those that address:

  • issues of (re)presentation through computers (Web site analysis and design),

  • methods of discourse involving computers (blogging, Twitter, social networks, viral video, live feeds),

  • theories focused on the relationship between computers and culture,

  • uses of computers in particular contexts and the impacts thereof (computers and pedagogy, online literary journals),

  • the relationship between computers and cultural forces (such as news, politics, and terrorism),

  • security/privacy/fraud and computers (online security issues, spam, scams, and hoaxes),

  • and others.

While we will consider any relevant paper, we have a preference for those that involve transferable methodological approaches. This is an interdisciplinary conference, and other conference attendees would benefit from being able to adapt your research methods to their future research.

Scholars, teachers, professionals, artists, and others interested in computer culture are encouraged to participate.

Graduate students are also particularly welcome with award opportunities for the best graduate papers. More information about awards can be found at
Specifically, we would like to highlight the following award opportunities:

  • The "Computer Culture and Game Studies Award"

  • The "Heldrich-Dvorak Travel Fellowships"

Given how papers may often fall into multiple categories, there may be other award opportunities listed at which would be appropriate for your paper.  (However, each presenter may only apply for one – not including the Travel Fellowships, which can be in addition.)

If you wish to form your own panel, we would be glad to facilitate your needs.

This conference is a presentation opportunity. For a publication opportunity, we encourage you to consider submitting your paper to the Southwest PCA/ACA’s new journal, Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy, at

Please pass along this call to friends and colleagues.

For consideration, submit 100-200 word abstracts and proposals for panels before

Friday, November 1, 2013

to the conference’s electronic submission system which can be found at:

If you have any questions, contact the Computer Culture area co-chairs,

Andrew Chen ( and Joseph Chaney ( 


1 comment

The deadline is soon! This is a wonderful opportunity and I wouldn't want you to miss it!