Digital Americas

48TH CONFERENCE OF THE

AUSTRIAN ASSOCIATION FOR AMERICAN STUDIES

LATEST NEWS


OCTOBER ??-30, 2021

ONLINE CONFERENCE

OCTOBER 30-31, 2021

ON-SITE WORKSHOP
  • Conference Dates
    Online: October ??-30, 2021

    Part of the idea to stretch the main part of the conference over several days is to limit "live" conference time to a few hours per day in time slots that are "doable" in various parts of the world—between 5pm and 10pm GMT. In addition to the synchronous discussion sessions (of entire tracks/parts of tracks, not individual presentations), we will also have a comment function on our conference website, which will allow the audience to interact with speakers.

    On-Site Workshop: October 30-31, 2021

    This workshop will take place in Graz. We will make a (preliminary) decision as to whether the on-site workshop will take place in early July 2021. Since COVID-19 vaccinations have started to roll out, we are positive that the on-site component can take place.

  • Content / Call for Participation

    In addition to exposing a variety of vulnerabilities (the topic of the 2020 AAAS conference), the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made us all all-too aware of our entanglements with digital technologies, as seemingly never-ending video calls and remote teaching have joined technologies that feel nearly antiquated by now: emails, literature searches in databases, writing your latest manuscript in a word processor, drafting the budget for your next project in spreadsheets, preparing the slides for your next (online or face-to-face class)—our work is, in many respects, interconnected with the digital.

    While the "digital turn" has had a tremendous impact on academic work, it has also led to the emergence of new objects of inquiry and methodologies, ranging from the digital humanities and questions of digital literacies to video games, social media, slacktivism, and streaming platforms.

    The conference "Digital Americas" seeks to take stock of "the digital" within the context of American studies. We understand "America" broadly here—the United States, the Americas, and the Americas' global entanglements. We are thus interested in contributions on digital pedagogy, digital methodologies, digital culture and digital media as objects of critical inquiry, and digital scholarship.

    Accordingly, topics may include (but are by no means limited to):

    • social movements and/vs. slacktivism;
    • digital politics/the politics of the digital (e.g. cybercrime and cyberattacks, disinformation, election interference, the weaponization of social media);
    • augmented realities and the re-conceptualization of American cities;
    • video games, American myths, and "Americanness";
    • the digital and the changing character of American sports (e.g. e-sports, virtual crowds);
    • film/television, digital visual effects, and the (re-)construction of space;
    • cyberlabor and the digital divide separating the US/Canada from Latin America;
    • moving through digital archives;
    • cyberpoetry and media affordances;
    • digital media, fan labor, and performance (e.g. vlogging, vidding, influencer culture);
    • teaching history and/with virtual reality;
    • streaming, performances, and the ongoing pandemic;
    • digital media/networks and ecological questions (e.g. Google's fiber optic subsea cables);
    • digital media and/vs. representing/simulating nature;
    • the cancelation of the EU-US Privacy Shield and impacts on transatlantic data transfer, data ownership, and data security (e.g. concerning research collaboration);
    • digital technologies and techno-fixes to contemporary ills (e.g. de-extinction as an antidote to mass extinction, online counseling);
    • Netflix parties and similar remote film/TV viewing experiences;
    • and the digital divide (nationally, regionally, and/or globally; age-based, class-based, etc.)

    Since Steve and Michael have learned their lessons from the last conference they organized and seek to steer clear of creating the impression that "Austrian academic spaces [were] geometrically challenged" and do not want to be guilty of (yet again) evoking "FOMO for a conference"—and since there's a pandemic ongoing—the bulk of the actual conference will be virtual, stretched over at least a week, possibly as much as two. In addition to the virtual extravaganza, we will have an on-site workshop-type experience that will offer room for discussing questions such as virtual teaching during a pandemic, open-access and digital preservation, and access, accessibility, and the virtual domain.

  • Presentation Formats
    Pre-recorded video presentations

    From slides with voice-overs and "talking head" videos to video essays, anything goes here. Videos should be 15 minutes max. (We will screen videos and return/reject videos that fail to comply with the 15-minute max.) Please consider questions of accessibility and at least provide subtitles/captions (or your scripts) to accompany your videos.

    Texts with illustrations/slides

    Max. 1,500 words and 10 illustrations.

  • Thematic Tracks, Roundtables, and On-Site Workshops

    Scholars are invited to submit pitches for thematic tracks and/or on-site workshops and/or round tables (virtual or on-site). If your track/workshop/round table is accepted, we will put you in charge of recruiting/selecting speakers. Also, we will ask you to moderate the live discussion, which includes introducing the entire track's/panel's contents.

    Two requirements:

    (a) No more than a third of the contributors of a given track/workshop/round table may be from one institution.

    (b) Max. two thirds of the contributors may be from one country (in terms of affiliation or—if independent scholars are involved—place of residence).

  • Conference Fees

    Virtual participation will incur minimal fees for presenters (10 Euros tops). Non-presenters will be asked to pay a slightly higher fee (20 Euros tops). On-site participation will incur higher fees, which are, unfortunately, unclear at this point (but so is the question as to whether the on-site workshop can take place).

    Should any of the keynotes be presented live, they will be open to the public.

  • Roadmap
    February 15, 2021

    Deadline for proposals for thematic tracks/panels (max. 500 words; no tentative list of speakers needed), on-site workshops (max. 1,000 words; no tentative list of speakers needed), and round tables (max. 1,000 words; list of tentative and confirmed speakers needed; also, please indicate whether on-site or virtual; pre-recorded or "live"—there will definitely be a "live" part in which discussants are asked to interact with the audience) open

    March 8-April 30, 2021

    Submissions of abstracts for presentations and contributions to workshops

    June 15, 2021

    Notifications

    September 1, 2021

    Deadline for pre-recorded presentations

CONFIRMED FEATURED SPEAKERS


ORGANIZERS


MICHAEL FUCHS

MICHAEL FUCHS

Postdoc in the project "Fiction Meets Science" at the University of Oldenburg

ROBERTA MAIERHOFER

ROBERTA MAIERHOFER

Associate Professor of American Studies and Director of the Center for Inter-American Studies at the University of Graz

STEVE RABITSCH

STEVE RABITSCH

Visiting Professor at the University of Warsaw and Affiliated Researcher at the Center for Inter-American Studies at the University of Graz

BARBARA RATZENBOECK

BARBARA RATZENBOECK

Senior scientist at the Center for Inter-American Studies at the University of Graz

ADVISORY BOARD


Christiane Berth
Professor of Contemporary History
University of Graz

Unmil Karadkar
Senior Scientist in Digital Humanities
University of Graz

Martin Butler
Professor of American Studies
University of Oldenburg

Tatiani Rapatzikou
Assoc. Prof. for American Studies
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay
Assoc. Prof. in Global Culture Studies
University of Oslo

Georg Vogeler
Professor for Digital Humanities
University of Graz

Pawel Frelik
Assoc. Prof. in American Studies
University of Warsaw

Esther Wright
Lecturer in Digital History
Cardiff University

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