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[ecrea] Cfp: Freedom & Control of Digital Political Expression, Toulouse October 2016
Wed Mar 16 12:21:08 GMT 2016
Call for paper: Freedom & Control of Expression in the Digital Aftermath
of the Paris Attacks
Workshop in Toulouse, France, October 13 &14 2016 (abstracts will be
After the Charlie Hebdo newspaper offices were attacked in January 2015,
debate and discussion flourished about freedom of expression, in France
and abroad. This debate intensified after the Paris attacks of November
13th. At the epicenter is the role of the Internet and free speech. An
enormous wave of worldwide indignation expressed itself after both
events, including a deluge of hashtag solidarity. But this social media
storm eventually revealed cultural, political and social divides inside
France, as well as globally. Much like after the 9/11 attacks, France
passed laws allowing state surveillance of online communication. At the
same time, social media censored posts about the attacks that were
considered to be provocative or shocking.
The variety of reactions, including indifference or, on the contrary,
the expression of very different points of view sometimes even
surveilled or censored showed that one hashtag is neither unifying nor
a universal view shared by everyone. This event magnified the notion
that the digital public sphere is a conflicting arena of not just what
is being said (or kept quiet) online but also what the limits are.
Undoubtedly, the Internet is the main means of massive public expression
for millions. Yet it is still the result of a complex set of power
relations established between professional media, amateur content
producing communities, which sometimes defend particular interests, as
well as corporate intermediaries. The resulting online content embodies
rival editorial, political and industrial strategies. Recently, scholars
have begun to question the idea of digital participatory democracy in
terms of a level playing field.
This workshop aims to progress this debate by addressing the following
central question: Who controls freedom of expression and online content
in the digital era, and how?
Embedded in this question are the challenges and constraints of
expression, such as the tension between a bottom-up or top-down digital
public sphere or who is left out as a digital player. Also central to
this question are the role of three broad actors: the state, market and
civil society. Possible topics for submissions include the following
State What is the governments role - from subsidizing digital
participation to censorship and surveillance? What is the role of
political ideology, broadly defined, in freedom of expression? What is
the relationship between media institutions and the state when it comes
to online free speech?
Market - What is the interplay of market dominance, algorithms,
censorship and Big Data? How are transformations in news production and
consumption, especially in terms of platforms like Facebook, shaping
freedom of expression? How do different types of capitalist economic
systems shape freedom of expression? How do market constraints upon
corporate media, and mainstream journalism shape freedom of expression?
Civil society Who is creating content, and if so, who is listening,
watching and clicking? How does race, class, ethnicity and gender factor
in? Who is marginalized? How effective is Internet use as an extension
or part of activist and social movement practices vis-à-vis political
expression. What is the role of alternative, independent and citizen
media in this digital era of online expression?
Target Audience and Scholars: This is an interdisciplinary workshop but
geared toward sociologists, anthropologists, political scientists,
economists and communication scholars. Scholars at all levels are
encouraged to participate. A small number of travel grants may be
available to permit outstanding junior scholars (under 35 years at the
date of the conference) to attend. Please state in your paper submission
whether you wish to apply for such a travel grant.
Dates: October 13 & 14, 2016
Format: The workshop will feature speakers, panels and paper presentations.
Submissions: Full paper submissions based on empirical research of
conference topics (maximum 25 pages including references and
tables/figures) due by Friday, April 1. Theoretical papers will also be
We will also consider extended abstracts and preliminary results of no
less than 2 pages (approximately 1000 words).
Papers/ abstracts can be in French or English, but conference talks will
be in English.
Please submit papers to
https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=fceda15pa. We will notify you of
acceptance by May 6.
You will have to create an account in Easychair in order to submit.
Registration: Register for the conference by September 15. Space is
limited. Registration information coming soon.
Location: Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, Toulouse School of
Economics, Toulouse, France.
Organizers: Jen Schradie (IAST), Sandra Vera Zambrano (Sciences Po
Toulouse - LASSP), Nikos Smyrnaios (University of Toulouse LERASS).
Email: (freedomcontrol.conf /at/ iast.fr)
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