Call for Proposals: NMC Online Conference on the Convergence of Web Culture and Video
March 21-22, 2007
Proposals for presentations for the NMC Online Conference on the Convergence of Web Culture and Video, a special 2-day, live, online event to be held March 21-22, 2007 entirely via the Internet, are being solicited through February 23.
See http://www.nmc.org/events/2007spring_online_conf/proposals.shtml for full details.
Video as we know it, produced by experts and consumed by viewers, is metamorphosing into a different genre altogether, blurring the lines between producers and audiences. New video-based forms of self-expression are emerging, with notable examples like video mashups, jumpcuts, and video blogging. Nonlinear narratives abound in this format, in which stories unfold across a series of 1 to 3-minute clips and web viewers are drawn into mysteries such as the story of Lonelygirl15. Brand-new forms like machinima are emerging that bridge virtual worlds, gaming, and storytelling, all through the medium of the small video.
We are seeing the emergence of a production culture, one where, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, more than 48% of American adults have published content on the Internet. For this generation, video is becoming the medium of choice for content and expression, and as the video shrinks in both program length and physical size, the way we think about video is changing significantly. The 100 million-plus examples on YouTube (and the company’s $1.65 billion price tag) and the nearly 1 million videos on Ourmedia are, for the most part, nowhere near the quality of professional video, but the sheer numbers of viewers who watch them is clear evidence of the compelling nature of the form.
A key factor in the rise of the new video is that production, access and distribution are easier than ever before. A variety of new viewing devices, including Internet-enabled mobile phones, easily record digital video, and posting those videos to the web has become a trivial matter. The explosion of new content is enabled by cheap and easy- to- use equipment as well as new web-based editing and production software.
Join keynoters Henry Jenkins, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Angela Thomas, University of Sydney, and Cynthia Calongne, Colorado Technical University, for this 2-day examination of the convergence of web culture and video.
The singular focus of this gathering is to consider how these developments are impacting our lives, and how they are affecting the ways we work, learn, collaborate, and even socialize. The conference is designed to spark an examination that explores both the positive and negative aspects of this phenomenon on learning, social interaction, self-expression, and more.
The conference will be conducted entirely online. Sessions, which will be conducted live, can incorporate a variety of visuals and rich media, and are generally about 45 minutes in length, with about half that time devoted to dialog with participants using voice over IP.
Proposals are encouraged on the topic in any of the following areas, but this list is not exhaustive and selections will not be limited to these categories:
* Cultural impacts and trends
* Reflections on identity, self-image and new forms of expression
* Tools and techniques
* Learning applications
* Student-produced content
* Pedagogical potentials and implications
Proposals may be submitted online at http://www.nmc.org/events/2007spring_online_conf/proposals.shtml
This event is the ninth in the ongoing series of specially focused online gatherings that explore new ideas and issues related to technology and learning. The NMC Series of Online Conferences is itself an exploration of emerging forms of collaboration and tools, and this particular conference will focus on ways in which the conference sessions can each be highly interactive, in real time.
Additional information about the conference can be found at http://www.nmc.org/events/2007spring_online_conf/
Posts will be made here when the registration period opens on March 1.
Please circulate this announcement to any and all areas on campus that may be interested in participating.
(Photo credit: New World Notes)
My friend Silelf pointed me to this article in the Uk Register, and article which challenges the lack of avatars of colour in Second Life. The writer comments:
But one feature struck me immediately, and hard, when I first joined the game: the whiteness of it all. I almost never ran into a black person. Even in the “urban contemporary” and Caribbean clubs, one has to search persistently for a glimpse at a suntan.
Second Life residents will turn their avatars into any form imaginable: they’ll gladly make themselves aliens, cartoons, animals, even insects. But not Negroes.
and then she goes on to explore the notion of class:
A myth that I hear repeated by residents is that SL reflects life, because people create it. People like sex, so there’s plenty of sex. People like gambling, so there’s gambling. People like music, so there’s music. People like art, so there’s art.
I’ve found this to be quite naive. SL reflects a slice of life: a very white, Protestant, progressive, bourgeois slice. I can’t recall if it was in Paul Fussell’s Class, or Lisa Birnbach’s The Official Preppy Handbook that I encountered the fine observation that it is the upper middle classes who typically play at life.
The idea of playing at life comes to us from the middle and upper-middle classes, where leisure time and income come together in a fairly good ratio. The rest of us are either too enervated by the constant demands of noblesse oblige and tax avoidance, or too busy scrambling to pay the rent on time, to give much thought to play.
She concludes with this:
Second Life is perhaps the whitest environmet I’ve ever experienced, and the most middle-class: I’m hard pressed to recall a single conversation with an undeucated resident. By and large, everyone is playing, and everyone has a fairly healthy bank account, as the basic costs of entry - even for a free account - are dictated by some rather pricey computing paraphernalia. Everyone is concerned with arts and science, and speaks with pride about information technology; everyone likes to learn; everyone believes in progress. It is, literally, an online white suburban paradise.
Because one of my key research areas is identity, and commentary on race and class in virtual worlds fascinates me. There is a long tradition of research which suggests that the internet perpetuates stereotypes of gender, race and class. And I think the author is right about many aspects of Second Life culture here. One of the most interesting articles I have read on the SL news blog New World Notes was the one called “The Skin You’re In“, which recounted the way one woman felt silenced and marginalised once she adopted a dark skin. Other stories of course countered this one, with people saying that race is just not an issue in SL.
I think race is an issue though - how could it not be? But not perhaps (only) in the ways people might think. So let me just add a couple of my own reflections to the race debate.
(Photo credit: Slatenight)
The first point is that I have and do see groups of dark skinned avatars. Not many to be sure, but a few. Contrary to what this author said, some of the people I met wearing dark skins were not African American in their real life. The most visible case of this is the one of artist Filthy Fluno. Filthy has appropriated the African American skin to develop his “ghetto-rap-gangsta” persona - an entirely fictional persona given that in his own words he is “just some white Jewish guy” - to sell his art work. And not surprisingly, he became famous within weeks of launching this identity, selling his virtual art pieces for L$6000 + each, and gaining notoriety and attention in a number of resident in house news sources and magazines. He was interviewed by the Boston Globe, who seemed to delight in his identity play, foregrounding the following:
In real life, Jeff Lipsky is an ordinary-looking white guy — 35 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall, thinning hair, T-shirt and jeans — who creates abstract drawings in his Tyngsborough townhouse. Online, in the lush, three-dimensional, user-created universe called Second Life, he’s the cartoon character Filthy Fluno, a bearded, wide-bodied, wild-tressed, fang-toothed, black gallery owner who sells virtual versions of his drawings to other denizens of this virtual world.
Everybody in fact seems to falling over backwards to get a piece of Filthy - and I suspect that it has less to do with his art work and more to do with his colourful identity. His adoption of the persona goes beyond the avatar and into his carefully crafted language, also appropriated from urban ghetto style slang: “Move over Degas, Da Filth is Here. Word” is a slogan on the notecard accompanying each piece of artwork. And don’t get me wrong, I like his artwork, and I even bought some - before I had ever met him or knew about his persona.
I think in the past it has been the Oriental that has been exoticised and “consumed” by the white in shades of post-colonialism. Certainly this has been evident in Second Life with every single report about Anshe Chung going ga-ga over the fact that she is an Asian woman. But Filthy marks a new fetishism for the dark African American skin. And people are loving it, and throwing money at him left right and centre. I think Filthy is a very clever businessman.
The second point I want to make is about the aestheticisation of the avatar. I recall some research being done in the early years of the avatar (late 1990s) which claimed that in a Western colour palette, there was not enough distinction between dark tones and so dark skinned avatars just looked unrealistic, lacked subtlety in shading, and were most unappealing. I’ve been hunting for a while to find any references to this research - it was done by some colour scientists I think and if anybody can find it for me I would be most grateful to get my facts precisely accurate. The skin in the top avatar here by skin designer Chip Midnight looks gorgeous to me though, so maybe graphics have advanced considerabloy since that research. However I’ll never forget the impact that report had - to think that the very system features we used were marked by race was a rude wake up call!
Finally, it seems to me that most of the skin designers are from the US, so its unlikely we’ll get gorgeous Indigenous Australian skins coming out for some time. I can’t even recall seeing any Italian or Mediterranean skins. So whilst the African American skin is being fetishised and discussed at length, there are still numerous races that are invisible in SL.
(Thanks Silelf for the the link to the article!)
Goodness! Don Leu just sent me the massive outline of chapters for a handbook I contributed to about research in New Literacies, and its going to be an amazing collection of chapters. Look!!!!! Its an honour to be in such great company. The Handbook is due out in June or July, and it promises to be substantial in more ways than one.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE HANDBOOK OF RESEARCH IN NEW LITERACIES
Julie Coiro, University of Connecticut
Michele Knobel, Montclair State University
Colin Lankshear, James Cook University
Donald J. Leu, University of Connecticut
Central Issues In New Literacies And New Literacies Research
Julie Coiro, University of Connecticut
Michele Knobel, Montclair State University
Colin Lankshear, James Cook University
Donald J. Leu, University of Connecticut
SECTION I. METHODOLOGIES
An Introduction To Methodologies
Toward A Connective Ethnography Of Online/Offline Literacy Networks
Kevin M. Leander, Vanderbilt University, USA
Large-Scale Quantitative Survey Research On New Technology Uses
Ron Anderson, University of Minnesota, USA
Converging Traditions Of Research On Media And Information Literacies: Disciplinary, Critical, And Methodological Issues
Sonia Livingstone, Elizabeth Van Couvering, and Nancy Thumim, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
The Conduct Of Qualitative Interviews: Research Questions, Methodological Issues, And Researching Online
Lori Kendall, University of Illinois, USA
The Case Of Rebellion: Researching Multimodal Texts
Andrew Burn, Institute of Education, University of London, UK
Experimental And Quasi-Experimental Approaches To The Study Of New Literacies
Jonna Kulikowich, The Pennsylvania State University, USA
SECTION II. KNOWLEDGE AND INQUIRY
An Introduction To Knowledge And Inquiry
Learning, Change, And Power: Competing Frames Of Technology And Literacy
Mark Warschauer, University of California, Irvine, USA
Paige Ware, Southern Methodist University, USA
The Web As A Source Of Information For Students In K-12 Education
Els Kuiper and Monique Volman, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Where Do We Go Now? Understanding Research On Navigation In Complex Digital Environments
Kim Lawless, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA
P.G. Schrader, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA
The Changing Landscape Of Text And Comprehension In The Age Of New Literacies
Bridget Dalton, Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST), USA
C. Patrick Proctor, Boston College, USA
Exploring Culture In The Design Of New Technologies Of Literacy
Patricia Young, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA
Richard Mayer, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
Multiliteracies And Metalanguage: Describing Image/Text Relations As A Resource For Negotiating Multimodal Texts
Len Unsworth, University of New England, Australia
SECTION III. COMMUNICATION
An Introduction To Communication
Mediating Technologies And Second Language Learning
Steven Thorne, The Pennsylvania State University, USA
Of A Divided Mind: Weblog Literacy
Torill Elvira Mortensen, Volda University College, Norway
People, Purposes, And Practices: Insights From Cross-Disciplinary Research Into Instant Messaging
Gloria E. Jacobs, St. John Fisher College, USA
Gender In Online Communications
Jonathan Paul Marshall, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
SECTION IV. POPULAR CULTURE, COMMUNITY, AND CITIZENSHIP: EVERYDAY LITERACIES
An Introduction To Popular Culture, Community, And Citizenship: Everyday Literacies
Intersections of Popular Culture, Identities, And New Literacies Research
Margaret C. Hagood, College of Charleston, USACollege Students And New Literacy Practices
Dana J. Wilber, Montclair State University, USA
Just Don’t Call Them Cartoons: The New Literacy Spaces Of Animé, Manga, And Fanfiction
Rebecca Ward Black, University of California, Irvine, USA
Cognition And Literacy In Massively Multiplayer Online Games
Constance A. Steinkuehler, University of Wisconsin—Madison, USA
Video Game Literacy: A Literacy Of Expertise
Kurt D. Squire, University of Wisconsin—Madison, USA
Community, Culture And Citizenship In Cyberspace
Angela Thomas, University of Sydney, Australia
New Literacies And Community Inquiry
Bertram C. Bruce and Ann P. Bishop, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
SECTION V. INSTRUCTIONAL PRACTICES AND ASSESSMENT
An Introduction To Instructional Practices And Assessment
Digital Writing In The Early Years
Guy Merchant, Sheffield Hallam University, UK
Teaching Popular Culture Texts In The Classroom
Richard Beach and David O’Brien, University of Minnesota, USA
Using New Media In The Secondary English Classroom
Ilana Snyder, Monash University
Scott Bulfin, Australia Learning Management Systems
The Price Of Information: Critical Literacy, Education, And Today’s Internet
Bettina Fabos, Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, USA
Researching Multimodal Literacy
Pippa Stein, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
Multimodal Reading And Comprehension In Online Environments
Claire-Wyatt Smith and John Elkins, Griffith University, Australia
New Literacies In Math And Science
Edys Quellmalz and Geneva Haertel, Center for Technology in Learning, SRI International, USA
Virtual Learning Environments: A Higher Education Focus
Colin Baskin and Neil Anderson, James Cook University, Australia
SECTION VI. MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES ON NEW LITERACIES RESEARCH
An Introduction To Multiple Perspectives On New Literacies
Savannah: Mobile Gaming And Learning? by K. Facer, R. Joiner, D. Stanton, J. Reid, R. Hull, & D. Kirk
Being a Lion And Being A Soldier: Learning And Games
James Paul Gee, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA
Savannah: Mobile Gaming and Learning: A Review Commentary
Susan Goldman and Jim Pellegrino, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA
The Nature Of Middle School Learners? Science Content Understandings With The Use Of On-Line Resources by J.L Hoffman., H.-K Wu, J.S. Krajcik, & E. Soloway
Intertextuality and the Study of New Literacies: Research Critique and Recommendations
Peggy N. Van Meter and Carla Firetto, The Pennsylvania State University, USA
Internet Pedagogy: Using the Internet to Achieve Student Learning Outcomes
Bob Bleicher, California State University Channel Islands, USA
Instant Messaging, Literacies, and Social Identities by C. Lewis & B. Fabos
An Essay Review Of The Lewis & Fabos Article On Instant Messaging
Donna Alvermann, University of Georgia, USA
Thoughts On The Lewis & Fabos Article On Instant Messaging
David Reinking, Clemson University, USA
L2 literacy and the design of the self: A case study of a teenager writing on the Internet by W.S.E. Lam
Critical Review: “L2 Literacy and the Design of the Self: A Case study of a Teenager Writing on the Internet”
Catherine Beavis, Deakin University, Burwood, Australia
A Commentary On “L2 Literacy, Electronic Representation of Self, and Social Networking”
Richard Duran, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
The journey ahead: Thirteen teachers report how the Internet influences literacy and literacy instruction in their K–12 classrooms by R.A. Karchmer
Researching Technology And Literacy: Thirteen Ways Of Looking At A Blackboard
Colin Harrison, University of Nottingham, UK
Internet Literacy Influences: A Review of Karchmer (2001).
Jackie Marsh, The University of Sheffield, UK