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Mahatma Gandhi, (attributed)
Indian ascetic & nationalist leader (1869 - 1948)
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), Man and Superman (1903) "Maxims for Revolutionists"
You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), "Back to Methuselah" (1921), part 1, act 1
Don't let fear convince you that you're too weak to have courage. Fear is the opportunity for courage, not the proof of cowardice.
McCain, John (2004, September). In Search of Courage: Finding the Courage Within You. FastCompany, 51-56.
In the search for character and commitment, we must rid ourselves of our inherited, even cherished biases and prejudices. Character, ability and intelligence are not concentrated in one sex over the other, nor in persons with certain accents or in certain races or in persons holding degrees from some universities over others. When we indulge ourselves in such irrational prejudices, we damage ourselves most of all and ultimately assure ourselves of failure in competition with those more open and less biased.
J. Irwin Miller, Chairman of the Board (1951-1977), Cummins Inc. From 1983 letter about diversity at the company.
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January 28, 2008
CFP - Web_site Histories: Theories, Methods, Analysis
Web_site Histories: Theories, Methods, Analysis
One-day conference, October 14th 2008. The main purpose of Web_site Histories is to place the new and emerging field of Web History on the research agenda and to map the field of historical website studies.
Organizer: The Centre for Internet Research, University of Aarhus, Denmark.
The conference is associated the AoIR 9.0 conference Rethinking Communities, Rethinking Place in Copenhagen.
Confirmed keynote speakers:
Kirsten Foot, Associate Professor, University of Washington
Steven Schneider, Professor, State University of New York
Title: Object-Oriented Web Historiography.
Abstract: Foot & Schneider will present a keynote address that focuses on their proposal of an ?object-oriented? approach to researching and writing Web history. They will consider the various meanings of object entailed within the notion of object-oriented Web historiography in order to advance both the theoretical foundation and methodological rigor of developmental analyses of Web artifacts in their hyperlinked contexts. Developmental analyses of any aspect of the Web, whether engaged in contemporaneously or retrospectively, entail dynamics within and between the (co)producers of Web artifacts, production practices and techniques, and Web artifacts themselves. These dynamics make it difficult but very important for scholars to identify and situate their object(s) of analysis historically and theoretically. See extended description at http://www.cfi.au.dk/en/events/conferences/wsh08/keynote.
Kirsten Foot and Steven Schneider are the authors of Web Campaigning (MIT Press 2006) as well as a number of articles about Web Sphere Analysis.
A panel will round off the conference by discussing the future directions of studies of Web History. Besides Kirsten Foot and Steven Schneider panel participant will be Niels Brügger, Associate Professor, the Centre for Internet Research, University of Aarhus.
The main purpose of Web_site Histories is to place the new and emerging field of Web History on the research agenda and to map the field of historical website studies. The focus on the Web can be seen as a specialization within the larger field of Internet History, but with another subset of questions and challenges. The underscore in
the title reflects the uncertainty and variability of the object of study are we talking about the Web in general, Web Spheres, individual websites, or web pages? The conference welcomes papers on any of these approaches or any other theme, topic or idea connected to the theories, methods or analysis of Web History. Theoretical approaches could be discussions of the object of study or reflections on doing historical research on this particular subject. Methodological approaches may include abstract or more specific considerations of the range of applicable methods, both old and new, to Web History. Finally, the analytical approach welcomes contributions exploring the practical hazards and possibilities of this special kind of empirical material, as well as papers on concrete empirical studies.
Papers are also welcome on a wide array of historically-grounded themes. The topics below are examples of the kinds of issues paper presenters are invited to address but are not intended to limit topics suitable for paper submissions:
· General as well as more specific histories of the development of the Web, focusing on, for instance, technology, graphic design, culture etc.
· The history of the Web as a subset of the history of the Internet, with emphasis on, for instance, the development of hardware, software and protocols
· The organizational architecture of the Web in a global, national, transnational or local perspective
· Defining moments and events on the Web, either in terms of how the Web was conceived and built, or in terms of how it is or was perceived and used
· Demographical, social, cultural, or other factors influencing Web use and uptake
· Political, economic, institutional or personal histories of the Web
· The growing popularity of social networking sites in a historical perspective
· Interactivity, genre and media discussions in relation to the Web
· The histories of expectations in pre-web time meeting the reality of the Web
· Source availability and validity ? the archiving of the Web
· The history of the Web in the larger framework of media history
Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words by April 15th 2008 (further instructions at (http://www.cfi.au.dk/en/wsh08). After a process of double-blind peer review, authors will be notified of accepted papers by May 15th. Full papers will be due by August 31st 2008. Please note that there is a maximum of 30 participants, and priority will be given to paper presenters. Paper presentations will consist of short presentations with opponents/discussants and roundtable-style discussions. Presenters are therefore also expected to act as opponents/discussants.
Participation in the conference is free, and coffee and lunch is included (yes, there is such a thing as a free lunch). Following the conference, papers will be considered for inclusion in an edited volume on Web Histories.
The conference takes place at the University of Aarhus, two days before the start of the AoIR 9.0 conference in Copenhagen (http://conferences.aoir.org). Aarhus is situated west of Copenhagen and is the second largest city in Denmark with a population of approximately 300,000. It is accessible by train or by air via the Aarhus or Billund airports. Read more about Aarhus and the university: http://www.au.dk/en/why and http://www.au.dk/en/aarhus.htm.
The Centre for Internet Research is located at the Institute of Information and Media Studies, and was established in September 2000 in order to promote research into the social and cultural implications and functions of the internet. Read more about the Centre: http://www.cfi.au.dk/en/about/profile
Conference website: http://www.cfi.au.dk/en/wsh08.
The conference is sponsored by:
· 'The Knowledge Society', a joint research priority area at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Aarhus,
· the Institute of Information and Media Studies, University of Aarhus
· the Centre for Internet Research, University of Aarhus.
About the organisers:
Niels Brügger (PhD, MA) is Associate Professor at the Institute of Information and Media Studies, University of Aarhus, and co-founder of the Centre for Internet Research. His primary research interests are website history, web archiving, and the internet and media theory, and he recently started the research project "The history of
www.dr.dk, 1996-2006" (read more at http://imv.au.dk/~nb).
Vidar Falkenberg (MSc) is a PhD fellow at the Institute of Information and Media Studies, University of Aarhus, and a member of the Centre for Internet Research. His research is on the development of online newspapers in Denmark (read more at http://www.internetaviser.dk).
January 23, 2008
Frontline - Growing Up Online
Last night I watched the Frontline special "Growing Up Online." I was pleasantly surprised, in that promotions for the special appeared to be the same old, same old..."kids are doing terrible things online so how are we going to regulate it?" But it was in fact, a quite balanced discussion.
Two academics were interviewed and quoted, click on the name to see their PBS interview page-
For those of you who study teens and who missed the program, or who can't access it on the tube, it is available for viewing online, just click "Growing Up Online."
CFP - Social Science Research Council Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowships
In summer 2008, the Social Science Research Council will sponsor twelve (12) Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowships in the field of Critical Studies of Science and Technology Policy, with an emphasis on comparative and international topics. These fellowships will fund participating graduate students at US universities to pursue predissertation summer research and to attend two integrated workshops designed to prepare you to learn and explore research and dissertation proposal development strategies in STS and closely related fields.
Except in unique circumstances, applicants should be in their second or third year of PhD programs and must not yet have defended their dissertation prospectus prior to attending the workshops. The due date for applications is February 8, 2008, and applications must be filed through the SSRC application portal:
If you have any questions, they can be directed to one of us (regarding research topics and workshop plans) or the SSRC (regarding application procedures or technical help with online applications). We are also attaching a copy of the full announcement to this email.
This is a unique opportunity, and we very much hope that you will apply yourself or help us recruit an outstanding group of participants.
January 22, 2008
Reading for quals - Orlikowski and Yates, Yates and Orlikowski, etc.
I have now officially entered my Yates and Orlikowski period. LOL I have in front of me on my desk, several of their genre papers I have read for previous classes and papers, or in preparation for writing quals, and several more that bring their work up to the present day. Over the next few days, I will be reading them all and writing the genre section of my quals paper.
While Yates and Orlikowski will feature prominently in that section they are not the only authors/theorists that will be represented. Actually, earlier today, I tried to print out my Reference Manger list for the keyword "genre" and crashed my system...it seems that when you bring up the 200+ non-blog, and non-electronic citations I have in the program and try to print them along with all their notes and abstracts...well it's just more than XP and 4 gig of ram can handle. LOL Me thinks that not all of it will be ending up in the paper...gotta love overkill.
Oh well I'll keep you posted on my progress...genre theory here I come!
A good book on writing
I seem to always be on the look out for good books on writing. It's probably my own insecurity looking for the key to unlock the easy way to write, when I know intellectually there is no easy way. When, as we all know oh too well, -
There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. ~Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith [p. 7, No More Rejections: 50 Secrets to Writing A Manuscript That Sells, by Alice Orr, Writer's Digest, Cincinnati, 2004]
Well I've found a good book on writing that is giving me some of the encouragement I needed as I get back into the daily writing grove. Check out the link to Amazon above. While "The Writer's Book of Hope" says it focuses on fiction writing, I think most of what is said is applicable to any writing career...not just to those who make stuff up. LOL As though academics never cross into "fiction" writing...when we qualitative researchers often do through the use of composite characters or fictionalized narratives.
I recommend the book to anyone who is writing or wants to write in any genre...can't hurt to know how others wee the profession.
January 19, 2008
CFP - Special issue of JCMC on Young People, Mediated Discourse and Communication Technologies
Call for papers: Special issue of JCMC
for more info: http://faculty.washington.edu/thurlow/jcmc.html
JOURNAL OF COMPUTER-MEDIATED COMMUNICATION
SPECIAL ISSUE ON
Young People, Mediated Discourse and Communication Technologies
CALL FOR PAPERS
University of Washington
Abstracts due: July 1, 2008
Full papers due: November 1, 2008
Publication: April 2009
After cybersex and e-commerce, perhaps the most widely discussed CMC-related issue is so called 'cyberkids' and the 'net generation'. Almost on a daily basis there are stories in the media addressing adult concerns about young people's involvement with new communication technologies like instant messaging, text messaging and social networking sites. These popular representations are often speculative, anecdotal and exaggerated. Young people are typically caught in a no-win situation: on the one hand, they are depicted as being somehow naturally predisposed and automatically 'wired' to new technologies; on the other hand, they are viewed as being enslaved to technology, as either arch-consumers or tragic victims.
CMC and new media scholars know well that generalizations about technologically-mediated communicative practices are inherently problematic, conflating as they do important differences in the affordances and constraints of different technologies. By the same token, the homogenizing rhetoric of 'net generation' and 'cyberkids' conceals the diversity of young people's lives and their experiences with communication technology. Most popular discourse also overlooks those disadvantaged young people who cannot simply take the internet and more recent technologies for granted.
This special issue of JCMC seeks to answer a simple question: what are young people really doing with new communication technology? Papers are sought which examine children and teenager's mediated discourse - in other words, their actual language and communication practices. Papers should therefore be empirically grounded, situated and contextual (e.g. user- and use-specific). By no means exhaustive, papers might address the following types of research questions:
* how are young people reworking standard linguistic forms and practices?
* how do young people themselves talk about new technology and/or its role in their lives?
* how are new technologies seen to be supporting young people's interpersonal needs?
* how are young people using technologies for artistic, political and other creative purposes?
* how are new communication technologies connecting different groups of young people?
Papers reporting findings from diverse and under-represented social backgrounds are especially welcome.
GUIDELINES FOR SUBMISSION
Potential authors should submit a preliminary proposal of 500 to 750 words by June 1, 2008 to the guest editor Crispin Thurlow (thurlow @ u.washington.edu - please put "JCMC Special Issue" in the subject line). Proposals should include the central research question, the theoretical and/or empirical basis for the paper and preliminary findings, interpretations or insights. Those interested in submitting a proposal are also encouraged to contact the guest editor with their questions and ideas.
Authors whose proposals are accepted will be invited (by August 1, 2008) to submit for review a full paper of roughly 7,000-10,000 words by September 1, 2008. The JCMC is an interdisciplinary journal and so authors should plan for papers that will be accessible to non-specialists and try to make their paper relevant to this audience. Anticipated publication date for the issue is April 2009.
Final submissions should be emailed to the guest editor, Crispin Thurlow at thurlow @ u.washington.edu. Again, please put "JCMC Special Issue" in the subject line. The usual JCMC manuscript guidelines should be followed.
NOTE ABOUT "YOUNG PEOPLE"
There is no shortage of scholarly research on college-age people - a convenient and often captive audience! As a consequence, it sometimes feels as if we know more about this period of the lifespan than we do about any others (Thurlow, 2005). In an attempt to redress this imbalance and to give voice to a major new-media constituency, this special issue will give priority to papers which make the experiences of children and teenagers a central focus - in other words, young people under the age of twenty (to use an otherwise arbitrary cut-off point). Papers which focus on young, college-age adults are encouraged to situate their data/analysis with reference to the broader lifespan.
Countdown to quals
Well I'm finally in a place where I can admit that if I don't have quals finished and defended by the end of the summer, I will have to quit the program because I will be in far to deep a validation hole to ever get out of it in a timely manner. I put a quals countdown timer under the About section in the left sidebar...it should help keep me honest too.
So here I go...I have my very rough draft, my chair's notes, and my resent library research laid out on the desk so I can work on the paper. I will be carving out some writing time everyday, though the exact schedule won't be set until the end of this week...the holiday throws it all off so I will have to work through until next week to get a true baseline on my time.
Think me good thoughts and check in on me occasionally. I'm sure I will be talking about the work some in my posts. *S* But who ever can talk about everything here.
Is the craziness settling down?
The semester started out with more than the usual dose of craziness. In the two weeks leading up to the semester I learned that my Intermediate Statistics course would not count toward my requirements. I took it in 2002, when I was also busy caring for my dying grandmother. The final was about a week after she died. I got a C in the class, which was actually a relief since I had expected worse, but sadly we all missed that to count the minimum grade allowed is a B-. SO after almost 5 years of not sitting in a student desk, I am back in that role for this semester. And I am really studying so I get this nailed and out of the way.
The first two weeks of classes have been tough to get in synch, what with work, class, studying, and commuting...oh and the usual stuff I have to do at home like cook and clean (occasionally) and sleep. I am very glad that I am not a new PhD student at this point in my life...not sure I have that kind of energy back yet. LOL And I'm glad that I had a long period where I didn't have to work and could focus on my studies and my life. I'm spoiled I know...I wish I could have more of it and pass it on to the rest of you.
For this semester I have a lot on my plate that's for sure, what with studying for a subject I have absolutely no talent for, finishing my quals paper, working, and attempting to have a bit of a life around the edges. I know I can do it, and it's probably even good for me to force me back into the groove.
No matter what, life is good!