CFP: Switch: National Culture in the Digital Age, 12-14 October 2012

* Proposals Due 4 May 2012 *
How will national cultures survive in the digital age? Will they be subsumed in the centripetal pull of global monoculture? Or will counter-currents and hybrid combinations thrive in a transmedia world? 2012 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of RTÉ TV – Ireland’s public television network charged with broadcasting the nation to itself: ‘a window and mirror to an evolving nation’. This year also sees the end of analogue television transmission in Ireland, marking another milestone in the nation’s switchover to digital. Beyond technological advances, this switch from existing communication models to convergent networks may well have a far-reaching impact on the idea of the nation as a finite and highly centralised construct. Against the backdrop of this transition the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, NUI Galway will hold a three-day conference to explore the impact of digital technologies on national culture in Ireland and elsewhere. A central consideration of this conference will be how changes in communication and creative practices reposition national culture – in its broadest sense – in a digital age.

Since its establishment in 2003 the Huston School of Film & Digital Media has been at the forefront of digital media research. In 2006 the school introduced an MA in Digital Media and a symposium on digital narratives was held in 2007. In 2011 the school funded twelve Digital Arts and Humanities PhD students with the Moore Institute.
Papers are invited that discuss any aspect of National Culture in the Digital Age, including, but not limited to, the following:
A) Convergence Culture: Papers are invited that consider how old and new media collide, compete and work together in this era of media and technological convergence. Topics might include digital archives, approaches to the digital humanities, online newspapers, video on demand and ebooks.
B) Participation: Some see the web as a utopian realisation of the public sphere. Others suggest that it simply mirrors and reinforces real world inequalities. Papers are sought which consider this tension in relation to Ireland in the digital age. Topics might include: Piracy, Globalisation, Cultural Distribution and Access, The Digital Divide, Social Networking, Education, Electronic Tribes and Citizen Journalism.
C) Narrative: Do the possibilities offered by digital technologies (e.g. remixes,
hyperlinks and open world gaming) constitute a shift away from traditional
narratives to new forms of storytelling?
D) Medium Specificity: In an era where technologies convergence and audiences are migratory have the boundaries between unique means of expression (e.g. film, theatre and literature) begun to dissolve? Papers are invited that consider this development in relation to national cultural production.
The conference will be held on 12-14 October 2012. Please submit abstracts of no more than 300 words, an academic bio and contact details to the organisers Liam Burke and Tony Tracy: by 4 May 2012.
Papers will be 20 minutes and panels will be thematically linked.It is the intention of the organisers to publish an edited collection, which will include articles from this conference.