Call for Contributions/Abstracts
A unique event for networking, presentation of critical ideas, critical engagement, and featuring leading critical scholars in the area of Critical Internet Studies and Critical Studies of Media & Society.
Confirmed Keynote Speakers
* Andrew Feenberg (Simon Fraser University, Canada): Great Refusal and Long March: How to Use Critical Theory to Think About the Internet.
* Charles Ess (Aarhus University, Denmark): Digital Media Ethics and Philosophy in 21st Century Information Society
* Christian Christensen (Uppsala University, Sweden): WikiLeaks: Mainstreaming Transparency?
* Christian Fuchs (Uppsala University, Sweden): Critique of the Political Economy of Social Media and Informational Capitalism
* Graham Murdock (Loughborough University, UK): The Peculiarities of Media Commodities: Consumer Labour, Ideology, and Exploitation Today
* Gunilla Bradley (KTH, Sweden): Social Informatics and Ethics: Towards a Good Information Society
* Mark Andrejevic (University of Queensland, Australia): Social Media: Surveillance and Exploitation 2.0
* Nick Dyer-Witheford (University of Western Ontario, Canada): Cybermarxism Today: Cycles and Circuits of Struggle in 21st Century Capitalism
* Peter Dahlgren (Lund University, Sweden): Social Media and the Civic Sphere: Perspectives for the Future of Democracy
* Tobias Olsson (Jönköping University, Sweden): Social Media Participation and the Organized Production of Net Culture
* Trebor Scholz (New School, USA): The Internet as Playground and Factory
* Ursula Huws (University of Hertfordshire, UK): Virtual Work and the Cybertariat in Contemporary Capitalism (TBC)
* Vincent Mosco (Queen’s University, Canada): Marx is Back, but Will Knowledge Workers of the World Unite? On the Critical Study of Labour, Media, and Communication Today
* Wolfgang Hofkirchner (Vienna University of Technology, Austria): Potentials and Risks for Creating a Global Sustainable Information Society
This conference provides a forum for the discussion of how to critically study social media and their relevance for critique, democracy, politics and philosophy in 21st century information society.
We are living in times of global capitalist crisis. In this situation, we are witnessing a return of critique in the form of a surging interest in critical theories (such as the critical political economy of Karl Marx, critical theory, etc) and revolutions, rebellions, and political movements against neoliberalism that are reactions to the commodification and instrumentalization of everything. On the one hand there are overdrawn claims that social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, mobile Internet, etc) have caused rebellions and uproars in countries like Tunisia and Egypt, which brings up the question to which extent these are claims are ideological or not. On the other hand, the question arises what actual role social media play in contemporary capitalism, power structures, crisis, rebellions, uproar, revolutions, the strengthening of the commons, and the potential creation of participatory democracy. The commodification of everything has resulted also in a commodification of the communication commons, including Internet communication that is today largely commercial in character. The question is how to make sense of a world in crisis, how a
different future can look like, and how we can create Internet commons and a commons-based participatory democracy.
This conference deals with the question of what kind of society and what kind of Internet are desirable, what steps need to be taken for advancing a good Internet in a sustainable information society, how capitalism, power structures and social media are connected, what the main problems, risks, opportunities and challenges are for the current and future development of Internet and society, how struggles are connected to social media, what the role, problems and opportunities of social media, web 2.0, the mobile Internet and the ubiquitous Internet are today and in the future, what current developments of the Internet and society tell us about potential
futures, how an alternative Internet can look like, and how a participatory, commons-based Internet and a co-operative, participatory, sustainable information society can be achieved.
Questions to be addressed include, but are not limited to:
The conference is the fourth in the ICTs and Society-Conference Series (http://www.icts-and-society.**net <http://www.icts-and-society.net>). The ICTs and Society-Network is an international forum that networks scholars in the interdisciplinary areas of Critical Internet Studies, digital media studies, Internet & society studies and information society studies. The ICTs and Society Conference series was in previous years organized at the University of Salzburg (Austria, June 2008), the University of Trento (Italy, June 2009) and the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (Spain, July 2010).
About Uppsala, Uppsala University and the Department of Informatics and Media:
Uppsala University (http://www.uu.se) was founded in 1477 and is the oldest university in the Nordic countries. Every year 45 000 undergraduate and graduate students enroll for classes. Uppsala is an academic and students-oriented city with old academic tradition. The Department of Informatics and Media (http://www.im.uu.se) is a newly established institution at Uppsala University. Its research focuses on understanding and designing digital media in the information society. Among its educational programmes is a new master’s programme in Digital Media & Society that will start in August 2012.
Early May is a particularly nice time to come and visit Uppsala. It is the time of spring festivities and the awakening of nature and the city. The end of April has since medieval times been a time of celebrating the spring, especially in Eastern Sweden. Uppsala and especially Uppsala’s students have participated in this tradition, especially on the last of April (“sista april”, Valborg,
http://www.valborgiuppsala.se/**en<http://www.valborgiuppsala.se/en>) that features various celebrations and special activities all over the town.
February 29th, 2012, 17:00, Central European Time (CET): Abstract
Until March 11th, 2012: information about acceptance or rejection of
March 30th, 2012, 17:00, CET: registration deadline
May 2nd-4th, 2012: Conference, Ekonomikum, University of Uppsala,
Kyrkogårdsgatan 10, Uppsala
a) For submission, please first register your profile on the ICTs and
b) Please download the abstract submission form:
insert your presentation title, contact data, and an abstract of 200-500
words. The abstract should clearly set out goals, questions, the way taken
for answering the questions, main results, the importance of the topic for
critically studying the information society and/or social media and for the
Please submit your abstract until February 29th, 2012, per e-mail to
Marisol Sandoval: firstname.lastname@example.org
Uppsala University, Department of Informatics and Media, Kyrkogårdsgatan
10, Box 513, 751 20 Uppsala, Sweden http://www.im.uu.se
Contact for academic questions in respect to the conference:
Prof. Christian Fuchs, email@example.com , Tel +46 18 471 1019
Contact for questions concerning conference organization and administration:
Marisol Sandoval, firstname.lastname@example.org
* ICTs and Society Network
* European Sociological Association – Research Network 18: Sociology of
Communications and Media Research
* tripleC – Open Access Journal for a Global Sustainable Information Society
* Unified Theory of Information Research Group (UTI), Austria
* Department of Information and Media Studies, Aarhus University, Denmark
* Institute for Design & Assessment of Technology, Vienna University of
* Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, Sweden
Conference Board and Organization Committee:
Charles Ess, Aarhus University
Christian Christensen, Uppsala University
Christian Fuchs, Uppsala University + UTI Research Group
Göran Svensson, Uppsala University
Marisol Sandoval, Unified Theory of Information Research Group
Sebastian Sevignani, Unified Theory of Information Research Group
Sylvain Firer-Blaess, Uppsala University
Thomas Allmer, Unified Theory of Information (UTI) Research Group
Tobias Olsson, Jönköping University
Verena Kreilinger, Unified Theory of Information Research Group
Wolfgang Hofkirchner, Vienna University of Technology + UTI Research Group
Welcome to Uppsala in Spring 2012!