Call for Papers | Digital Culture Meets Data: Critical Perspectives

Jeremy Keith (CC BY 2.0)


**EXTENSION** Call for Papers **Extended Deadline: 30th September 2018**

Digital Culture Meets Data: Critical Perspectives

Special Issue of Convergence: The International Journal of Research into
New Media Technologies

Guest Editors: Aristea Fotopoulou (University of Brighton) and Helen
Thornham (University of Leeds)




Algorithms and big data shape our sociocultural and technical relations
and our everyday experiences. Considerations of data, algorithms and
infrastructure are now central to our critical perspectives on, and
approaches to digital culture. The ‘data logical turn’ has been talked
about as a necessary critical consideration for digital culture, not least
because communication, media infrastructures, practices and social
environments become increasingly ‘datafied’. But what does this turn to
data mean for our research, scholarship and pedagogic practice? What does
it mean for broader epistemological and ontological frameworks? Has the
data paradigm arrived as an unquestionable unifying concept for studies of
digital culture and digital media, communication, technology? It may be
that a shift of focus on algorithms and data is fundamentally disruptive
to the ways in which we see our research and disciplines. It may even
appear to limit the theoretical and methodological tools through which we
increasingly try to understand mediation, the formation of identity,
social life, politics and the creative industries. To others, the data
logical turn may be plainly repeating the processes of earlier instances
of technological innovation. And for some, it may provide an opportunity
to frame new theoretical concepts and methodological tools for a whole new
set of social, cultural and political phenomena.

The focus of this special issue emerges from the ECREA conference of late
2017 and is motivated by conceptual and critical questions about the
relationship between digital culture and data. We ask: What theoretical
and empirical perspectives on data and digital culture can be used to
augment and diversify our research and educational approaches? How might
we challenge data paradigms or aim to show alternative or complementary
ways to address digital culture and communication?

We invite contributions that critically engage with digital culture and
data specifically in relation to research, scholarship and pedagogic
practice. We invite contributions that include (but are not reduced to)
the following Themes:

§ Media studies and datafication
§ Researching media and culture using data methods
§ Data visualisation, art and design
§ Data cultures and neoliberalism
§ Data activism and citizen engagement
§ Data literacy
§ Data and audiences
§ Data and gender, race, class inequalities
§ Datafication and the creative industries
§ Feminist approaches to data
§ Machine learning and AI
§ Data and the body
§ Smart cities, data and sustainability
§ Social bots and the management of sociality

Articles should be in the range of 6000­- 8000 words (including all
references). Please send a 500-word abstract and a 100-word biography to
the editors: and by
30th September 2018. Authors of accepted abstracts will be notified by
30th October 2018. Full papers will be submitted 31st December 2018 and
will undergo peer review following the usual procedures of the journal.
The invitation to submit a full article does not guarantee acceptance into
the special issue. The Special Issue will be out in 2020, and in time for

Brief Bio of Guest Editors:

Dr. Aristea Fotopoulou is Principal Lecturer in Media and Communications
at the University of Brighton, where she leads the MA Digital Media,
Culture & Society. Her research focuses on critical aspects of digital and
emerging technologies, with current emphasis on critical data literacy,
digital health, and AI. She serves as Chair of the European Communication
Research & Education Association (ECREA) Digital Culture and Communication
Section. Publications include:

Fotopoulou, A. (2018) From networked to quantified self: Self-tracking and
the moral economy of data sharing. In Papacharissi, Z. (ed.) A Networked
Self: Platforms, Stories, Connections. New York: Routledge.
Fotopoulou, A. (forthcoming) Citizen Media and Gender. In Baker, M.,
Blaagaard, B. and Pérez-González, L. (eds) The Routledge Encyclopedia of
Citizen Media. New York: Routledge.
Fotopoulou, A. (forthcoming) Understanding citizen data practices from a
feminist perspective: embodiment and the ethics of care. In Stephansen, H.
and Trere, E. (eds) Citizen Media and Practice. Taylor &
Francis/Routledge: Oxford.
Fotopoulou, A. (2017) Feminist activism and digital networks: between
empowerment and vulnerability, Palgrave Studies in Communication for
Social Change, Palgrave MacMillan. (monograph).
Fotopoulou, A. and O’Riordan, K. (2016) Training to self-care: Fitness
tracking and the knowledge-able consumer. Health Sociology Review.
Fotopoulou, A. and Couldry, N., (2015) Telling the story of the stories:
online content curation and digital engagement. Information, Communication
& Society, 18(2), pp.235-249.

Dr.Helen Thornham is an Associate Professor of Digital Cultures at Leeds
University and has published widely on the social and cultural
transformations of digital technologies. Her interdisciplinary work has
been funded across RCUK,
including AHRC Knowledge Infusion Grant (AH/H500065/1), EPSRC Community
and Cultures Network+ (EP/K003585/1), and ESRC Defence, Uncertainty and
Risk Project (ES/K011170/1).

Publications include:
Thornham, H (2018 forthcoming) Gender and Digital Culture:
Irreconcilability in the Digital. Taylor Francis
Thornham, H & Gómez Cruz (2017) Not Just a Number? NEETS, Data and
Datalogical Systems. Information, Communication & Society
Thornham, Helen & Maltby, Sarah (2017) ŒBeyond Pseuydonmity¹: The
socio-technical structure of online military forums. New Media and Society
DOI 10.117/1461444817707273
Thornham, H & Gómez Cruz (2016) Hackathons, Data and Discourse:
Convolutions of the data(logical) in Big Data and Society DOI:
Thornham, Helen & Maltby, Sarah (2016) The Digital Mundane and the
Military Media, Culture and Society DOI:
Thornham, Helen & Gómez Cruz, Edgar (2016) [Im]mobility in the Age of
[im]mobile phones: young NEETs and digital practices. New Media and
Society DOI: 10.1177/1461444816643430

Best wishes


Dr Aristea Fotopoulou
Principal Lecturer in Media and Communication
Course Leader MA Digital Media, Culture and Society

School of Media
University of Brighton
Watts Building, Lewes Road
Brighton BN2 4GJ |@aristeaf
Research blog: | Webpage

New book: “Feminist Activism and Digital Networks: Between empowerment and
vulnerability”. Palgrave Macmillan.

New book chapter: From networked to quantified self: Self-tracking and the
moral economy of data sharing