SCMS 14: CFP Workshop: The State of New Media (Studies)

The State of New Media (Studies)

In his 2013 publication Software Takes Command Lev Manovich looks at media after its "softwarization." This term implies not only that software has been shaping media, but also that the media we experience now are different than a decade or two ago. Thus, Manovich asks the logical questions in a recent interview with Rhizome: "Do the concepts of media developed to account for industrial-era technologies, from photography to video, still apply to media that is designed and experienced with software? Do they need to be updated, or completely replaced by more appropriate concepts?"

Current concepts of new media, such as interactivity, hypertextuality, virtuality, convergence and remediation are based on the logic of old media. After all, multimedia and hypertext existed before there were computers and the Internet. A historical approach to conceptualize new media shows us how old "new media” is, but is it enough to grasp how new "new media” is? Moreover, how would this affect New Media Studies as a field in general?

Central questions the workshop would like to address:

• Are the concepts that have emerged so far (interactivity, hypertextuality, convergence, remediation etc.) sufficient to describe current and future new media phenomena?

• Is "new media" always imbricated in a study of "old media"?

• Do these questions encourage a general shift in the organization of what is loosely called New Media Studies?

• Is it time to generate a different term for the "field" per se?

• What is the difference of studying/organizing new media as a field in the humanities versus, for instance, the social sciences or the computing sciences?

• How do different institutions - colleges and universities of different kinds - locate and place new media, both within and outside the U.S.?

• What does "new media” mean outside of the academic discourse in the U.S. and in other countries?

If you are interested in participating in this workshop, please send a 200-300 word overview of what would like to contribute and a short bio by August 10th, 2013, to Verena Kick (vkick@uw.edu)

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