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Call for Papers

Posted By Administrator, Monday, November 21, 2016

Lifestyles o Lifeworlds o Lifeworks: What is Life?
University of Oregon in Portland o April 6-8, 2017

Today, media constitute and permeate all avenues and forms of life - scale, pace, and pattern interact in private, public, and organic systems. As technology encompasses more and more practices and agents, and becomes evermore malleable and fungible - What is Life? And, how is life mediated?

In 2017 the seventh annual "What is...?" conference-experience investigates, imagines, and enacts everyday lifestyles and lifeworks by emphasizing the lifeworlds we inhabit. Our aim is to build bridges through multidisciplinary networks along with discovering how communication is instrumental in and for living systems.

The event will bring together scholars, government and community officials, industry professionals, alumni and students, as well as scientists, artists, filmmakers, grassroots community organizations, and the public. It will feature plenary speakers, roundtables, paper presentations, installations, and special events.

Presentations/panels/installations may include the following topics (as well as others):

Communication and Media

  • What is media life? How is life mediated? How is life a medium? How do media shape everyday life's habits?
  • How do science communication and ecology inform each other? What is public and/or solutions journalism?
  • What are approaches to civic media, engagement, and action for the environment? What is ecosophy?
  • How do media draw attention to and motivate certain lifestyles and livelihoods (e.g. crowdsourcing)?
  • What ways do technology/media act as life-support/sustaining systems? What is life in an "always-on culture"?
  • How do apps, games, and immersive worlds help us to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of mediated life?
  • Where are boundaries (dis)integrating between databases and life (e.g. social media and/or bioinformatics)?
  • How are language, meaning, mind, and thought grounded in life processes? What is new materialism?
  • What are relationships between media archaeology and nature (Geologies of Media and Insect Media)?
  • Is life an algorithm (materially and/or symbolically) in big data and data visualization?
  • Media and The Environment

  • How are ecological education and media related (e.g. ecomedia, ecocriticsm, ecodesign, and/or ecoliteracy)?
  • How are communication/media and the natural and life sciences coming together (e.g. ecosystem analysis)?
  • How is media metabolized (e.g. e-waste)? How can we repair the world (e.g. bio-remediation)?
  • What are emerging issues in environmental humanities research? What is biomedia and/or bioart?
  • How are place and space (environments) related to media and life? What is life enhancement (H+)?
  • How does an embodied (material) account of media and science/art contribute to integrative thinking?
  • What are indigenous peoples' rights and issues (e.g. natural resources, autonomy, environmental degradation)?
  • Sustainability, Responsibility, and Beyond

  • What are sustainable cities and livability? What is biourbanism? What is social ecology?
  • How do sustainable housing and/or placemaking foster habitats? What are DIY (design) & SLOW (e.g. food)?
  • How can sustainability cultivate more diversity and inclusivity (e.g. gender, race, age, socioeconomic class)?
  • How are sustainable business and systems thinking intertwined (e.g. triple bottom line, biomimicry)?
  • What is corporate social responsibility in public relations? What is social entrepreneurship (e.g. L3C, B-corp)?
  • How does advertising enhance/obsolesce sustainability trends (e.g. life-cycle assessment, greenwashing)?
  • What are incubators for social, economic, and political change? What is an evolutionary political economy?
  • How are collaborative and cooperative projects facilitating ecological praxis (e.g. open source ecology)?
  • Are there accounts of aesthetics and ethics that can assist in our understanding of life processes?
  • What comes after sustainability? How do we differentiate sustaining from thriving (communities of practice)?
  • Emergence, Synergy, and Regeneration

  • What is biodiversity? What is biocommunication, biosemiotics, bioculture, or bioethics?
  • What is biopower, biopolitics, bioeconomics, and/or biosecurity? What is ecofeminism and/or ecospirituality?
  • What is artificial life/intelligence and/or synthetic biology? How is life being incorporated?
  • How do microbes change our conception of life? How does microbial health relate to the built environment?
  • What are black swan events? Who controls life, death, birth and aging? What is integrative medicine?
  • Conference Organizers: Janet Wasko (U of Oregon) and Jeremy Swartz (U of Oregon)

    Send 100-150 word abstracts/proposals by 21 November 2016, to: Janet Wasko o
    School of Journalism and Communication o University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, 97405-1275, USA

    Media in the Circumpolar Region - A Comparative Perspective

    The media is a significant player in shaping popular understandings of the Arctic region. With new stakeholders involved in circumpolar affairs, a "global Arctic" scene also translates into a growing interest from the media in many languages, whether from Arctic states (English, French, Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish, Danish, Icelandic, Russian) or non-Arctic states (Chinese, Korean, Japanese to name only a few). Few studies, however, seek to empirically demonstrate when and how media influences understandings of the Arctic region and, by extension, political decision-making.

    To address this research and analytical gap, we hope to initiate comparative discussion and enhance collaboration across different national communities of scholars about how the Arctic is represented in the media. Our call for paper solicits theoretical as well as empirical contributions, and we will welcome both quantitative and qualitative studies.

    Areas of focus include but are not limited to:

  • Media influence on public opinion
  • Historical cases of media perceptions on Arctic crises, events, realities, or actors
  • Agenda-setting function of the media on Arctic issues
  • Studies of metaphorical images occurring in the media
  • Coverage of the Arctic region on social media
  • Framing of Arctic actors and events
  • Visual representations of the Arctic (documentaries, cartoons, etc.)
  • Diffusion of expert opinions in different media venues
  • Special attention will be given to diversity of languages and national contexts, in order to maximize comparative insights. All communications must be submitted in English. The objective is to publish an edited book by early 2018.

    For more information or to submit a brief abstract about your potential contribution, please contact Dr. Mathieu Landriault ( and/or Dr. Whitney Lackenbauer ( Abstracts need to be submitted before 15 January 2017 in order to be considered for the edited volume. Final papers are expected for early June 2017.

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