Surveillance, Social Media, and Identity–Closes August 30, 2018

Law & Humanities Blog: Call For Papers: Surveillance, Social Media, and Identity–Closes August 30, 2018

Call For Papers: Surveillance, Social Media, and Identity–Closes August 30, 2018

Social Media, & Identity 
24th –
25th October 2018 
Montfort University, Clephan Building, Bonners Lane, Leicester
SUBMIT: 250-word
abstract to by 30th August
2018 with name/title/affiliation 
6,000-8,000 words to by
8th October 2018 (peer reviewed material will be considered for
IJMD, see
Conference is free, with lunch provided, but register at Eventbrite link
(See below for suggested content, and
confirmed panel keynotes and speakers from the Media Discourse Centre)
Journal Launch: IJMD,
2019, International Journal of Media Discourse
Social Media, & Identity
Attitudes to the growth and use of Social
Media have evolved, from broadly positive conceptions of their role as
instruments/sites of democratic exchange, to less favourable assessments that
identify their part in the reproduction of an inequitable and fractious social
order. In recent years, greater emphasis has been placed on the Faustian
bargain that the ‘consumer-citizen’ (Needham, 2003; Clarke and Newman, 2007)
has been forced to strike with the ‘platform capitalists’ (Srnicek, 2016) who
control access to this domain of sociability, and more attention has been
devoted to the role of the state in monitoring online behaviour (Trottier,
2015). This observation should not suggest that ‘new’ media forms are solely
responsible for the destruction of privacy, the repression of dissent, or the
enlargement of individual egos, because technological developments throughout
history can be subjected to the same kind of critical analysis. 
One of the key questions is, therefore,
the particular role of social media in both facilitating and regulating
expressions of human agency, as people attempt to build networks of like-minded
individuals, establish forms of intimacy, and intervene in political
controversies. The promotion of the ‘self’ as a cultured, capable, autonomous
and yet connected being, requires the careful maintenance of online profiles
and the constant revision of ‘status’. In addition, those driven by the goal of
professional attainment try to draw attention to their ‘marketable’ skills and
abilities. Yet, if the price of entry to this new sphere of influence is
self-exposure, then these selves are composed of elements that are, in part,
specifically chosen in anticipation of the scrutiny that they will receive (not
only from the ‘weak ties’ established between fair-weather Facebook friends,
but from intelligence agencies and corporate power).
This conference examines the ways in which
mediated identity is constructed and monitored, which can encompass the
circulation of communal identity, the reproduction of gendered personas, and
the role of state and corporate formations in the segmentation of individuals
through their political allegiance and ‘lifestyle’ choices. It also engages
with recent revelations that describe the attempted manipulation of opinion and
electoral preferences, and the rise of forms of surveillance designed to
pre-empt the supposed ‘radicalisation’ of disaffected groups. 
Papers may include, but need
not be confined, to the following:
Workplace surveillance and forms of
Corporate surveillance of the
Self-promotion in the digital
Histories of surveillance
Counter-surveillance and political
Protest events and policing
‘Securitisation’ and public insecurity
The contested identity of the ‘refugee’
Feminist identities and politics 
Collective identities and ‘cultural’
Online rumour and state intervention
Confirmed speakers from the
Media Discourse Centre (panel keynotes in italics):
Electronic Music Collectives
(Zoe Armour)
‘Breaking’ Cambridge Analytica
(Alice Gibbs)
Surveillance and political
identity (Ben Harbisher)
Greece & Cyprus: Political Agency,
Identity and Gender (Nayia Kamenou)
Online Feminist Identities
(Claire Sedgwick)
Iraq: Gender and Online Identity
(Ahmed Bahiya)
UK: Child sexual abuse, surveillance, control (Jason
Process Theory (Rusi Jaspal)
Brazil: Collective identity and resistance
(Fernanda Amaral)
China: Misinformation and
mistrust: rumours on Chinese social media (Yu Sui)
Italy: Autonomy, Surveillance and Power
(Marco Checci)
Sociopolitical digital heritage
in Israel-Palestine (Gil Pasternak)
Spain: Leftism, Nationalism and Identity
(Stuart Price)
Identity, Class and
Intergenerational Change (Gurvinder Aujla-Sidhu)
UK R10 Studio:
Surveillance, Re-appropriated Post War Technologies
and Evotronics (Paul Mazzitelli)
launch in 2019:
Journal Launch: IJMD,
2019, International Journal of Media Discourse
The IJMD is devoted to the peer-reviewed, open-access publication of
critically-informed research, focussed on the role of discourse in the
material/symbolic constitution of the contemporary social order. This goal does
not mean that a specific methodological or political position is preferred, nor
should it suggest that the Journal is restricted to the analysis of political,
as opposed to cultural events. Media Discourse is understood, therefore, as a
broad category of ‘value-laden’ practices, animated and circulated by
institutions, platforms, workers, ‘publics’ and other formations, rather than
as a distinct mode of communication that subjects other social forces to its
own agenda.
IJMD also maintains (as the title
suggests!) a decidedly International focus, inviting contributions from
academics who consider themselves part, not only of a ‘global’ academy, but of
a wider political and social constituency. This trans-national group is
composed of citizens, journalists, academics, activists, and any others whose
primary concern is the pursuit of social justice. A serious engagement with the
challenges of the current period must take into account the various
manifestations of sociopolitical activity, based on an understanding of class,
gender, ethnicity, and other forms of subaltern identity. In other words, IJMD
encourages the submission of research that interrogates the iniquities and
myths perpetuated by the cheerleaders of patriarchal capitalism, as well as the
resistive practices of those subjected to its power.
In sum, IJMD provides an interdisciplinary
forum for the generation of new insights into the contested production of
public meaning. The Editors are particularly interested in the intersection
between empirical and theoretical work, in which an author is able to suggest
advances within (or beyond) a particular field, tradition or mode of enquiry,
by offering evidence from interviews, participant observation, social media
surveys, data analysis, or other forms of enquiry. This does not, however,
preclude the submission of material (such as an extended essay) that tries to
advance academic thought by engaging with contemporary developments in theory.
(Editors: Ruth Sanz Sabido, CCCU; Ben
Harbisher, DMU; Stuart Price, DMU)


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