Many of you who follow the C3 blog regularly might also be interested in next year's Media in Transition 6 conference. MiT6, subtitled "Stone and Papyrus, Storage and Transmission," will be held on MIT's campus from April 24-26, 2009. The call for papers was recently released, and researchers are accepted both from traditional academic positions, as well as independent researchers, industry voices, and anyone else interested in participating.
See information on the last iteration of the Media in Transition conference, MiT5, on the C3 blog here.
The call for papers is inside, and the conference Web site is here.
Abstracts of no more than 500 words or full papers should be sent to Brad Seawell at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Friday, Jan. 9, 2009. We will evaluate abstracts and full papers on a rolling basis and early submission is highly encouraged. All submissions should be sent as attachments in a Word format. Submitted material will be subject to editing by conference organizers.
Email is preferred, but submissions can be mailed to:
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Please include a biographical statement of no more than 100 words. If your paper is accepted, this statement will be used on the conference Web site.
Please monitor the conference Web site at for registration information, travel information and conference updates.
Abstracts will be accepted on a rolling basis until Jan. 9, 2009.
The full text of your paper must be submitted no later than Friday, April 17. Conference papers will be posted to the conference Web site.
Here is the official CFP:
In his seminal essay "The Bias of Communication" Harold Innis distinguishes between time-based and space-based media. Time-based media such as stone or clay, Innis agues, can be seen as durable, while space-based media such as paper or papyrus can be understood as portable, more fragile than stone but more powerful because capable of transmission, diffusion, connections across space. Speculating on this distinction, Innis develops an account of civilization grounded in the ways in which media forms shape trade, religion, government, economic and social structures, and the arts.
Our current era of prolonged and profound transition is surely as media-driven as the historical cultures Innis describes. His division between the durable and the portable is perhaps problematic in the age of the computer, but similar tensions define our contemporary situation. Digital communications have increased exponentially the speed with which information circulates. Moore's Law continues to hold, and with it a doubling of memory capacity every two years; we are poised to reach transmission speeds of 100 terabits per second, or something akin to transmitting the entire printed contents of the Library of Congress in under five seconds.
Such developments are simultaneously exhilarating and terrifying. They profoundly challenge efforts to maintain access to the vast printed and audio-visual inheritance of analog culture as well as efforts to understand and preserve the immense, enlarging universe of text, image and sound available in cyberspace.
What are the implications of these trends for historians who seek to understand the place of media in our own culture?
What challenges confront librarians and archivists who must supervise the migration of print culture to digital formats and who must also find ways to preserve and catalogue the vast enlarging universe of words and images generated by new technologies?
How are shifts in distribution and circulation affecting the stories we tell, the art we produce, the social structures and policies we construct?
What are the implications of this tension between storage and transmission for education, for individual and national identities, for notions of what is public and what is private?
We invite papers from scholars, journalists, media creators, teachers, writers and visual artists on these broad themes.
Potential topics include:
The digital archive
The future of libraries and museums
The past and future of the book
Historical systems of communication
Media in the developing world
Mapping media flows
Approaches to media history
Education and the changing media environment
New forms of storytelling and expression
Hyperlocal media and civic engagement
New modes of circulation and distribution
The transformation of television -- from broadcast to download
Cosmopolitanism backlashes against media change
Virtual worlds and digital tourism
The continuity principle: what endures or resists digital transformation?
The fate of reading