Communications Fellowship for Social Media Manager

The Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO) seeks applicants for its 2016-2017 Communications fellowship. 
Working on a small team, the fellow will write news releases, blog posts, and announcements about ADHO, its constituent organizations, and the broader digital humanities community; monitor and update ADHO’s social media presence; maintain its website; help to develop and implement ADHO’s outreach strategy; and perform other communications-related responsibilities. The Communications fellow should anticipate spending approximately 3-4 hours per week on the position. The fellowship comes with a small annual stipend of 600 Euros. It is well-suited for graduate students who wish to develop deeper knowledge of digital humanities, contribute to an important digital humanities professional organization, and gain experience in social media and communications.
Application deadline: May 20, 2016
Questions? Contact ADHO’s Communications Committee Chair, Hannah Jacobs, at HannahLJ@gmail.com.

After the field: unboxing digital methods and producing data in digital anthropology

Roundtable Call for Discussants

American Anthropological Association 2016
November 16-20
Minneapolis, MN

Please contact Nadia Elmrabet at elmrabet.nadia@gmail.com about participating in this roundtable.

Deadline April 12, 2016

After the field: unboxing digital methods and producing data in digital anthropology

Organizer: Nadia Elmrabet (University College London)

This “debriefing” roundtable session sets out to give a platform to share and discuss ethnographic methods, strategies, tactics, ways of studying digital practices and the question of data.

Whether it is through the prism of “big”, “thick”, “small”, “composite”, “rough”, “elusive”, “incomplete” data, the various ways in which we engage with the study of the digital is a buoyant arena where innovation is key. We invite people returning from the field – whether from academia or elsewhere – to come and debrief on “field-proofed” applied methods. From the identification, unearthing,  labeling, manipulation, production, re-use of users’ data to “guerilla”, ad hoc assemblage, “low tech”, automatized, computerized, algorithmic methods, how do we gather, produce, curate, make sense of one’s reality?

Are we witnessing a switch from “cyber”, “virtual” studies generating ethnographies in the screen to a more “embedded, embodied and everyday” (Hine, 2015) approach of digital phenomena? As the pervasive production and relation of people to an algorithmic, data-intensive environment continues to produce new objects and practices to study, how can we and how do we go about a process of “depunctualisation” (Latour) to understand what these data represent and how do people relate to them?

Do we need with urgency a more technical and specialized competence in the study of digital data? Is there a place for discovery, serendipity and “bricolage” in user research in the age of big data?

Other questions participants may address is the messiness of a “predictably unpredictable world” (this year’s AAA theme) in use of data in ethnography, the various rapports with truth and representativity at the core of concepts of data, or how we bridge gaps in knowledge and with informants through innovative use of technology before, during and after fieldwork.

Another point of interest in this debriefing discussion would be the ethics of data methods: the ethics procedure (diverse and sometimes institution-specific), the ethical assumptions and implications of ways in which we define data (for example, data as part of an individual’s body in the case of automatized medical data or using using public media productions on social media or forums)…

We invite abstracts of contributors having returned from the field or proposing a fresh outlook on digital methods, studying digital life, digital anthropology, and ethnography in diverse settings to join us. Please submit an abstract (250 words max.) to the panel organizers by April 12th to Nadia Elmrabet at elmrabet.nadia@gmail.com

Call for Proposals: Celebrating Communities of Practice in Digital Humanities

Call for Proposals:

Celebrating Communities of Practice in Digital Humanities

Digital Frontiers 2016

In celebration of its Fifth Anniversary, Digital Frontiers invites members of the digital humanities community to submit proposals sharing their passions as they engage in digital endeavors.  Proposals that discuss how digital researchers situate themselves within this community of practice will be especially welcomed.

We encourage contributions from anyone who creates or uses digital collections or tools for humanities work, including scholars, educators, genealogists, archivists, technologists, librarians, and students. We welcome submissions from local and regional historical and genealogical societies, and anyone working in the public humanities to help us serve the  community of practice with which Digital Frontiers identifies.

Digital Frontiers 2016 is September 22-24, 2016 at Rice University in Houston, hosted by Rice University’s Fondren Library and the Humanities Research Center, with sponsorship from the Association for Computers and the Humanities.

For complete submission guidelines, view the Call for Proposals.

Deadline: April 15, 2016

Submit proposals online via our Open Conference Systems site.

Digital Frontiers Call for Contributions!

Digital Frontiers

Call for Contributions!
If you have news, events, CFPs, or other information you’d like to share with the Digital Frontiers Community, please send them to digitalfrontiers@unt.edu by the 25th of each month.

CFP “Learning to Labor in the Digital Economy”

Call for papers
“Learning to Labor in the Digital Economy”

AAA 2016, November 16-20, Minneapolis, MN

Organizer: Matthew Hale (Indiana University/Kennesaw State University)

Discussant: Mary L. Gray (Microsoft Research/Indiana University)

Deadline:  April 1, 2016 to matthew.hale0009@gmail.com

This panel critically examines the transformation of labor within the twenty-first century. The new millennium brought with it many advances in digital technology—exponential increases in computational power and connectivity, the emergence of a new digital infrastructure, the proliferation of mobile devices and the rise of social media, a rapid growth in digital commerce, cloud computing, and the formation of the so-called “sharing” or “access” economy. These seismic shifts in production, exchange, and consumption derived from and propelled a fundamental transformation of the nature of labor and the status, power, and agency of workers worldwide.

In a world of crowdsourcing, automated and algorithmically-derived data collection and marketing, neoliberal deregulation, and labor surplus, the worker has become disposable. They are no longer an asset, but rather represent an impediment to the maximization of surplus value. Just as Marx argued that the worker became but a cog in a machine under the forces of industrial capitalism, within emerging systems of always-on, hyperconnected, and on-demand interactive technologies, highly contingent forms of labor—a kind of always-on, on-demand labor (contract, temporary, and freelance employment and under-or-unpaid labor)—is fast becoming one of the dominant forms of employment within the global workforce.

This panel will draw on a range of theoretical perspectives and approaches in order to understand, critique, and address these emerging social configurations and the problems that workers face within the twenty-century.

We invite papers that address, but are not limited to, the following questions:
How has digital technology changed how, when, and where work gets done?
How have corporations used new technologies to shift from long-term or permanent employment to highly contingent positions that undermine workers’ rights?

How do workers imagine themselves—both as individuals and as collectives—within the digital economy? And how have or might they effectively mobilize to affect social change and combat injustice?

How does digital or “immaterial labor” differ from traditional material forms of work?

How have always-on communication technologies eroded the traditional division between leisure and labor?
How do individuals and communities employ new media to create opportunities for themselves and to develop new forms of labor?
What might anthropologists bring to and gain from studying the changing nature of work?

We welcome contributions from all sub-fields and encourage proposals from any geographic region or culture.

Please submit a 250 word abstract to: matthew.hale0009@gmail.com by April 1, 2016. Please include the title of the paper, author’s name, affiliation, and email address.

Notice of acceptance will be sent out April 5, 2016.

CFP PROPOSED AAA 2016 Panel: “There’s an App for That”: The Anthropological Study of Religious and Religion-Themed Mobile Apps

CALL FOR PAPERS
PROPOSED AAA 2016 Panel: 
“There’s an App for That”: The Anthropological Study of Religious and Religion-Themed Mobile Apps

Abstracts Deadline: April 3rd, 2016
Send to Jacqueline Fewkes (jfewkes@fau.edu)

Conference: 115th American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting ‘Evidence, Accident, Discovery’ 16-20 Nov. 2016, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Organizer: Jacqueline H. Fewkes (Florida Atlantic University)

As smartphone use becomes increasingly widespread globally, the development of mobile apps has a potentially significant impact on contemporary religion.  Mobile apps can reach large audiences; one of the most popular religious apps available, the Biblical app “YouVersion”, has an estimated 200 million users worldwide.  From Roman Catholic confession apps to Jewish Kaddish assistance apps and Muslim halal food apps, religion-themed mobile apps may create complex sites for potential new forms of religious expression, worship, discussion, and practices.  The purpose of this panel is to explore from an anthropological perspective the impact of mobile apps that focus on religious practice, communities, and religious issues, and/or those that may be used for religious purposes whether or not they were originally developed for that purpose.

Anthropological studies of religious mobile apps may focus on a range of potential issues, such as ethnographic accounts of app use, or emic critiques of digital modes of religious authority.  The studies may emphasize the cultural significance of widespread use, or explore the ways in which a focus on the globalizing influences of mobile app technologies minimizes attention to the significance of local contexts of production, pre-existing knowledge networks, and non-digital relationships of power.  Such studies can be situated in a broad historical context, thus placing what may seem to be “revolutionary” technologies into cultural narratives that span centuries to include literacy, printing, and other long-established human innovations and technologies (Hofheinz 2011).  To focus on the digital and to reify it as some new form of culture, is, as Miriam Aouragh pointed out, often done so in ways to project Orientalist notions of modernity, civilization, and progress on the Other, ignoring human agency.  Thus our analysis must be critical and recognize the complex ways in which in-app and on-ground (as opposed to online or virtual) contexts interact (Aouragh 2012).  Whether this comes in the form of conceptualizing the in-app and on-ground as “collocations” or critical reconceptualizations of the human, methods and insights from the growing subfield of digital anthropology may be useful to apply to the study of religious mobile apps (Whitehead and Wesch 2012; Boellstorff and Nardi 2012; Boellstorff 2015).

Technology has been credited with almost super-powers in terms of its ability to effect change and shape human experiences, frequently without, as John Rahagi has pointed out, “a clear understanding of the context of what is actually transpiring” (Rahagi 2012:154).  Thus while the large numbers of religious app users such as those mentioned earlier may be impressive, there is also a need to examine in more detail how those numbers may shape religious participation along lines such as gender, class, and national origins.

A detailed anthropological understanding is therefore necessary to examine the actual impact of mobile apps on religion and religious beliefs, behaviors, and ideals, and the range of issues associated with this topic.

Potential panel papers may consider issues such as:
·      How do particular mobile apps create new ways for religious communities and believers to communicate, share information, solicit support, or disseminate viewpoints? 
·      What is the source of religious authority in a religious app, and how does this authority intersect with other forms of authority within the community of users?
·      How do the economics and technology of mobile apps shape religious ideas and practices through variables such as programming and corporate policies?
·      What are the best anthropological methods for studying digital technology such as mobile apps?  How might methodological perspectives from various sub-disciplines be applied to the study of this topic?
·      What on-ground practices, power relations, and other non-digital contexts shape the development of the digital world constructed through religion-themed mobile apps?
·      Do religious mobile apps create new networks of religious knowledge sharing or forms of community?
·      How do religious mobile apps contribute to globalization or localization processes?  How are they challenged by the same?
·      How do religious mobile apps interact with the physical bodies of religious believers; thus potentially contributing to digital anthropological discussions of the “virtual human” and/or “post-human”?
·      How does the use of religious apps transform users’ relationships with technology and their digital environment?
·      
This is not a definitive list of possible directions, and all those with ethnographic evidence or anthropologically informed theoretical interests related to the broad topic of mobile apps and religion are encouraged to propose a paper.

If interested please send a 250 word abstract with a title and five keywords to Jacqueline Fewkes (jfewkes@fau.edu) by April 3rd, 2016.  Presenters accepted for inclusion in the panel will be informed by April 6th, 2016 and will need to register for the AAA 2016 conference by April 15th.

Evidence, Accident, Discovery in Digital Anthropology

DANG @ #AAA2016
I wanted to stir the pot for Digital Anthropology panels at the AAA Conference this fall.

Annual Meeting Theme

The 115th Annual Meeting theme, ‘Evidence, Accident, Discovery’, raises issues central to debates within both anthropology and politics in a neoliberal, climate-changing, social media-networked era: What counts as evidence? What does evidence count for? What are the underlying causes and foreseeability of violence and catastrophes? How is misfortune interpreted, and causality, attributed in cases of humanly preventable harm? And in the give and take of relationships on which anthropological evidence typically depends, Who gets to claim that they discovered something? We welcome proposals that debate these and other questions stimulated by the conference theme, in the opportunity that our annual meeting provides for “big tent” debate.

The Deadline for Panels and Abstract Submissions is April 15th.

This year’s theme Evidence, Accident, Discovery fits easily into DANG’s preview. If you have any Calls for Papers you would like to share with DANG members or panel ideas you’d like to brainstorm let me know in the comments below or by emailing me at slyeager@smu.edu