Lynn Schofield Clark on Radio National
Lynn Schofield Cralk, our Visiting Fellow to DERC, appeared on Radio National's Life Matters program on Thursday 6 March, talking new media and families. Listen to the audio on demand.
Research innovation in Digital Culture in the EU context: some notes from the ethnographic field
Date: 17 March 2014
Time: 12pm - 1:30pm
Venue: RMIT City Campus, Council Chamber RMIT Building 1, level 2R, enter via 124 La Trobe Street or Bowen Street
Digital culture, like other “things” we do with bits, is at the core of our contemporary societies. Digital technologies are usually thought as the motor for innovation, economic development and social change, and the role of Social Sciences in this complex and dynamic panorama tends to be located in the analysis of the impact of these technologies in society. However, digital culture also is about doing things in a particular way: participation, co-creativity, sharing and remixing are some of the key elements that, rooted in p2p production and free software practices, are shaping contemporary cultural production. To explore this milieu, Elisenda Ardévol wukk to look at the ‘Free Culture’ movement in Barcelona.
‘Free Culture’ is a globally based Internet movement inspired by Lawrence Lessig that advocates for the neutrality of the net and its basic structure (end-to-end and openness) as key principles for cultural creativity and innovation. Free Culture mobilizes people in the ‘creative class’ and generates different local events, such as the annual Free Culture Forum, the Creative Commons Film Festival or the Mini Maker Faire in Barcelona, which attract participants all over Europe and abroad. Instead of trying to understand this ‘participatory culture’ in terms of new hybrid figures or as a clash of ‘grass-roots´ and ‘market’ models, Ardévol will propose an ethnographic perspective that takes into account motivations, moral values and hopes that are put into play in and through their creative and sharing practices. Finally, Ardévol will connect these explorations with some reflections about the current debate in Europe around research innovation, digital media and citizen engagement.
Elisenda Ardévol, Associate Professor at the Department of Arts and Humanities, at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. Her main research lines are related with digital culture, visuality and media in everyday life. Currently, she is exploring creative processes and collaborative practices in digital media.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday 13 March for catering purposes. All Welcome. A light lunch will be served at the start of the lecture.
Call for Proposals: OURMedia Conference 2014
Closing date: 10 March 2014
OURMedia is calling for proposals for presentations, workshops, papers, roundtable discussions, exhibitions, film screening, performances and panels, relating to concepts of media practice, that present case studies of media initiatives both from the region and internationally and provide analysis of recent developments, challenges and successes in the areas of communication and social change.
Themes for OURMedia10 presentations include:
- Communication research with a focus on Indigenous approaches
- Transnational connections, distribution and exhibition networks
- Media technologies and innovation including mobile phones and social media
- Communication for Development (C4D) with content areas such as climate change and environment, health and gender
- Media policy, regulation and freedom of expression
- Media training and education
- Social movements, participation and social change
Intimate Arrangements in Urban Gay Scenes: framing sex via online hook-up devices
Date: 13 March 2014
Time: 12:30pm - 2pm
Venue: Pavillion 1, Level 10, Design Hub, Building 100, RMIT City Campus
A presentation by Associate Professor Kane Race, Chair, Department of Gender and Cultural Studies, University of Sydney.
Over the past two decades online cruising sites have become part of the sexual infrastructure of gay life in many locations. Since 2009 their capacities have been extended by the introduction of geo-locative applications such as Grindr. This paper considers how certain functions of these online hook-up devices are participating in the emergence of new forms of sexual relation, new distributions of intimacy and new sexual arrangements. Kane will argue that online hook-up devices generally act in gay culture as ‘framing devices’, framing sex as a ‘no-strings’ encounter via their default application. But these frames are variously rejected, reconfigured, re-embedded or confounded by participants; they become subject to various forms of overflowing. Understanding this dynamic – its typical forms of connection and estrangement – is pivotal for grasping the emergence of new forms of sexual community and new sexual publics among gay men – and/or ‘un-community’, as some have put it. Kane’s analysis prompts a series of methodological reflections wrought from the encounter it stages between queer theory and Science and Technology Studies. He will discuss how STS promotes a non-deterministic approach to identity while extending this premise to the performance of non-human actors.
Kane Race’s work has explored embodied engagements with medicine across various different contexts and cultures of consumption: HIV/AIDS; sexual practice; drug use (both licit and illicit); and more recently, markets in bottled water. He is the author of Pleasure Consuming Medicine: The Queer Politics of Drugs (Duke University Press, 2009), and (with Gay Hawkins and Emily Potter), Plastic Water (MIT Press, forthcoming). As part of an ARC Discovery Grant on Changing Spaces of HIV Prevention, he is currently exploring the use of online hook-up devices within gay culture, focusing on their participation in emergent subjectivities, sexual practices, and distributions of intimacy.
Masterclass: Writing up research for multiple audiences
Date: 18 March 2014
Time: 10am - 3pm
Venue: Pavillion 1, Level 10, Design Hub, Building 100, RMIT City Campus
Scholars are called upon to share research findings with multiple audiences. Most of us strive to present our work in academic conferences and to publish in scholarly journals. But we are also called upon to write grant proposals for funding agencies and to discuss our findings with members of a broad public. What we write and speak about can shape agendas for policymakers and can provide a catalyst for journalists and opinion leaders who want to reframe popular discourse. Sometimes, these audiences do not understand the tensions involved in data analysis and we are asked to share our findings before we feel fully confident in doing so. The environment of digital and mobile media further adds to the stress of the timely demand for research. In an era of digital sharing, we are able to provide our colleagues with versions of our work through blogs and other means before we feel that our analyses are “fully baked”.
When and with whom are we to share our research? And how might scholarly arguments change over time in relation to the shifting environments in which we as scholars find ourselves? This master class is led by Professor Lynn Schofield Clark and Senior Research Fellow Heather Horst, both of whom have extensive experience in publishing and speaking for a wide range of audiences. The class is designed to explore dilemmas related to the processes of writing up research in relation to the shifting environments in which those of us in higher education find ourselves today. Because we are both qualitative researchers, we are particularly attentive to the challenges of writing up and sharing qualitative research, although many challenges of writing are shared across research paradigms. We invite participants to bring research projects at various stages of development for the discussion of how, when, and with whom research might be shared, and for what ends.
Lynn Schofield Clark is Professor in the Department of Media, Film, and Journalism Studies and Director of the Estlow International Center for Journalism and New Media at the University of Denver. In 2014, she is serving as a Visiting Fellow with the Digital Ethnography Research Center at RMIT, and as Visiting Professor at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. Her publications include The Parent App: Understanding Families in a Digital Age and From Angels to Aliens: Teenagers, the Media, and the Supernatural.
Lynn’s visit is sponsored by the RMIT Foundation International Visiting Fellowship.
Dr Heather Horst is a Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Digital Ethnography Research Centre in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University. An anthropologist by training, Heather’s research focuses upon understanding how digital media, technology and other forms of material culture mediate relationships, communication, learning, mobility and our sense of being human. Her books examining these themes include The Cell Phone: An Anthropology of Communication (Horst and Miller, Berg, 2006), Hanging Out, Messing Around and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with Digital Media (Ito, et al. 2010, MIT Press) and, most recently, Digital Anthropology (Horst and Miller, Eds., 2012, Berg). Her current research explores the emergence of new mobile media practices such as mobile money and locative media across the Asia-Pacific region.
Public Lecture: The Parent App: Understanding Families in a Digital Age
Date: 11 March 2014
Time: 4pm - 6pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre, Ground Floor, Swanston Street Level, Design Hub, Building 100, RMIT City Campus
How is family life changing as digital and mobile media create opportunities for both more connection and for more interruption? In this talk that is designed for parents, educators, and policymakers as well as scholars, Professor Lynn Schofield Clark discusses interviews and observations she’s conducted with U.S. parents and children over the past ten years that are discussed in her book, The Parent App: Understanding Families in a Digital Age. Drawing upon her research and recent work in the sociology of the family, she discusses the fact that families experience the risks and opportunities associated with new technologies in ways that echo the increasing stratification in the U.S. and the western world along the lines of race, class, and gender. She also considers how emergent patterns of parenting that emphasize flexibility, interconnectedness, and non-hierarchical relationships seem to echo the affordances of these technologies themselves – and may suggest a way forward for our families and for our societies.
Lynn Schofield Clark is Professor in the Department of Media, Film, and Journalism Studies and Director of the Estlow International Center for Journalism and New Media at the University of Denver. In 2014, she is serving as a Visiting Fellow with the Digital Ethnography Research Center at RMIT, and as Visiting Professor at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.
Clark is author of The Parent App: Understanding Families in a Digital Age (Oxford University Press, 2012), From Angels to Aliens: Teenagers, the Media, and the Supernatural (Oxford University Press, 2005, winner of the Best Scholarly Book Award from the National Communication Association’s Ethnography division), and coauthor of Media, Home, and Family (Routledge, 2004). She also edited Media, Religion, and the Marketplace (Rutgers U Press, 2007) and coedited Practicing Religion in the Age of the Media (Columbia University Press, 2002) and has served as a guest editor for numerous journal special issues. She also serves as a blogger contributor at Psychology Today.
Lynn’s visit is sponsored by the RMIT Foundation International Visiting Fellowship.
PhD Scholarship available
EOI closing date: 30 March 2014
This three-year scholarship is for a PhD candidate who will conduct ethnographic field research for a study of the moral and cultural economy of the mobile phone in Fiji. S/he will spend at least 12 months over the three years of candidature in Fiji documenting and analysing the relationships between consumers, companies, and state agents that take shape around mobile phones, digital media and infrastructures. The candidate will carry out research based on his or her specific expertise and research interests while also contributing a key component to a broader comparative study with Papua New Guinea funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grant The Moral and Cultural Economy of the Mobile Phone in the Pacific. The candidate will also become a Postgraduate Member of the Digital Ethnography Research Centre.
Eligible candidates will have a BA with Honours or MA/MsC (Research) in Anthropology, Sociology, Media, Communication, Science and Technology Studies, Informatics/Information or other related discipline. Candidates must be willing to undertake ethnographic fieldwork in Fiji and be willing to learn the language of their fieldwork site. Pending final approval, the Scholarship will include a tax-free stipend of $24,653 per year for three years (July 2014 to June 2016) and project-related research expenses. Please note that all applicants will need to apply for and be accepted to the PhD program in Media and Communication at RMIT University to be eligible for the scholarship. Application details, including details and deadlines for RTS placement for Australian and New Zealand citizens and possible tuition fees for International candidates, can be found here.
Initial expressions of interest, including a CV and 500-word initial project proposal should be sent before 30 March 2014 to Dr. Heather Horst with the subject line PHD Scholarship EOI.
Website for ethical consumption project launched
The website for the ARC Discovery Project ‘The rise of ethical consumption in Australia: from the margins to the mainstream’, which is led by DERC's own Tania Lewis along with Kim Humphery, is now live at http://ethicalconsumption.org/. This project will be the first of its kind to examine the rise and impact of ethical consumption in Australia.
Most excellent ARC Discovery Grant outcomes!
The two directors of DERC have both been awarded ARC Discovery Grants for two separate innovative and exciting research projects. Along with Professor Robert Foster, Heather is undertaking research that will historically and ethnographically document the broad social consequences of new digital technologies in the Pacific region. You can find out more about this project here. Along with Associate Professor Ingrid Richardson, Larissa is studying how mobile game consumption is reflecting, and being shaped by, complex social and technological practices integral to contemporary life. You can find out more about this project here.
That's DOCTOR Patrick Kelly to you
DERC is very pleased to announce that we have perhaps our first DERC PhD. Patrick Kelly's practice-led project "Detour Off the Superhighway" explored media, aura and filmic practice, and saw him giving up media and communication technology in stages over 80 days.
DERC at EPIC2013
The Digital Ethnography Research Centre had a strong presence at EPIC2013, the leading conference for ethnographic praxis in industry (see http://epiconference.com/2013/), which was held in London 16-18 September. DERC Research Fellow Erin Taylor presented her paper with DERC Director Heather Horst entitled "From Street to Satellite: Mixing Methods To Understand Mobile Money Users" during the opening conference panel. Adjunct Professor and DERC member Daniel Miller gave a keynote entitled "Attaining Humanity" and DERC member Jo Tacchi represented the centre during a workshop entitled "Skills and relationships: defining the training of future practitioners" with participants from Microsoft, Swisscom and Canonical.
Geelab interview with Tom Boellstorff
ARC Linkage Grant success!
We are very pleased to announce that members of the Digital Ethnography Research Centre were the recipients of two Australian Research Council Linkage Grants.
The first project, 'Evaluating communication for development: supporting adaptive and accountable development', is led by DERC Member Prof. Jo Tacchi and is a partnership with United Nations Children’s Fund and Eidos Institute Ltd. (CIs/PIs: Tacchi, Prof Jo A; Rogers, Prof Patricia J; Obregon Galvez, A/Prof Rafael A; Pavarala, Prof Vinod; Muirhead, Prof Bruce D. $606,462.00)
The second funded project, 'Locating the mobile: intergenerational locative media practices in Tokyo, Melbourne and Shanghai', is led by DERC Co-Director A/Prof. Larissa Hjorth and is a partnership with Keio University, Tokyo, Fudan University and Intel Australia Pty Ltd. DERC Co-Director Dr. Heather Horst and DERC member Prof. Sarah Pink are also CIs on the project. (CIs/PIs: Hjorth, A/Prof Larissa; Horst, Dr Heather A; Pink, Prof Sarah; Bell, Dr Genevieve; Zhou, A/Prof Baohua; Kato, Dr Fumitoshi, $232,160.00)
We look forward to supporting DERC applications in future rounds!