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[ecrea] Media and networks from below: amateurs, users, and marginal groups

Sat Jan 20 07:37:07 GMT 2018

CfP: Media and networks from below: amateurs, users, and marginal groups - Padova 06/18

Call for papers


Deadline: 10.02.2018

Track of the 7th STS Italia Conference to be hosted at the University of Padova, Italy, June 14 - 16, 2018, by the Italian Society of Science and Technology Studies, in collaboration with the FISPPA Department and the University of Padova.

Networks play an essential role in media development. To counter the semantic and theoretical dominance of the histories of particular technologies and include them in a broader social context, the historian Andrew Russell has recently raised the need for a deeper understanding of the plural histories of networking. Notably, the term network, far from being just confined to digital media, refers to a variety of media and communication technologies in their convergence and interdependencies, such as telegraphy, wireless, radio, telephony, broadcasting, and ITs.

Besides the leading role of private companies and national monopolies, various local, national and transnational networks from below participated and are still contributing to the development and the cultural representation of media and communication technologies. Amateurs, activists, hackers, hobbyists are just some examples of how a variety of networks from below have played a key role in shaping the past and present of media. These networks developed in different forms, from ones around particular political institutions to the local clubs in the garages. Different motivations drove them: to share the knowledge and joy of using the technology, to serve the nation by spreading the information, to suggest an alternative way of media governance, etc. Besides technical networks, different forms of social networks contributed to the development, the appropriation and the dissemination of media and communication technologies over time.

This track session aims at gathering and putting into dialogue scholars and specialists coming from different experiences and case studies dealing with networks from below. Relevant topics for the track may include, but are in no way limited to:

- Networks of amateurs and the emergence of radio, television, and digital media

- Countercultural networks: hacker movements, TV, and pirate radio stations

 - Hobbyists’ networks, politics, and propaganda

 - Whistleblowing, programmers, and journalistic networks

 - Case studies on civic networks and advocacy networks

 - Gaming communities and technological innovations

- The geography of networks from below on local, national, and transnational scale

Abstracts (written in English, or in Italian in case of tracks in double language, no more than 300 words all included) should be submitted by February, 10 to the conference email address ((7thstsitaliaconf /at/ and to the emails of convenors' selected track.


Paolo, Bory, USI – Università della Svizzera italiana, (paolo.bory /at/<mailto:(paolo.bory /at/>

Maria, Rikitianskaia, USI – Università della Svizzera italiana, (maria.rikitianskaia /at/<mailto:(maria.rikitianskaia /at/>

The call:

The full call of the conference

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