April 25th & 26th
287 Kent Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Abstract Submission Deadline: January 19th

What does it mean that digital technologies are increasingly a part of everyday life? We begin with such a broad question because, though the relationship between society and digital technologies is profound, we are only just beginning to make sense of their entanglement. Our understanding is limited, in part, because so much thinking about the Web is rooted in empirical analyses too disconnected from theory, from questions of power and social justice, and from public discourse. We need new priorities in our conversations about the Web.

We invite you to propose a presentation for the fourth annual Theorizing the Web, which—by popular demand—is now a two-day event. Theorizing the Web is both inter- and non-disciplinary, as we consider insights from academics, non-academics, and non-“tech theorists” alike to be equally valuable in conceptualizing the Web and its relation to the world. In this spirit, we’ve moved the event away from conventional institutional spaces and into a warehouse. We have some plans for how to use this space to help rethink conference norms (and also to have some extra fun with this year’s event).

We are looking for contributions that advance clear theoretical arguments; represent a diverse range of perspectives; embrace accessibility by demystifying jargon rather than using it as a crutch; and which, importantly, appeal to concerns of power, social (in)equality, and justice—themes that will also be emphasized in a keynote panel on race and social media. Some specific topics we’ll be looking for include (but are not limited to):

  • Race, racism, ethnicity
  • Sex, sex work, sexuality
  • Gender
  • Embodiment, cyborgism, post-humanism
  • The self, subjectivity, identity, affect
  • Privacy/publicity
  • Surveillance, drones, the NSA
  • Protest, social movements, revolution
  • Capitalism, rationalization, exploitation, Silicon Valley
  • Hate, harassment, trolling, the “anti-social” web
  • Disconnection, unplugging, loneliness, anomie
  • News, journalism, knowledge, algorithms/filters
  • Virality, memes, the sharing/attention economy
  • Photography, video, GIFs, art
  • Music, music production, the music industry
  • Fiction, speculative fiction, scifi, futurism, literature
  • Games, gamification, game culture theory, video/board/role-playing games
  • Intersections of gender, race, class, age, sexual orientation, disability, and other forms of inequality (taken separately or woven into any of the above)

Theorizing the Web is a conference for works-in-progress. Full papers are not required in order to submit, and papers need not be in finished form when presenting. However, we plan to curate a proceedings for full papers, essays, and art connected to the conference.

Because Theorizing the Web deeply values public engagement, we seek abstracts that clearly convey the logic of the argument being made and that have titles that appeal to a general audience. While we are open to different forms of presenting one’s work, we are giving priority to presentations that can be enjoyed by people outside the presenter’s field of expertise. We expect the same spirit of accessibility in accepted presentations. Submissions will be blindly reviewed by a selections committee, and we expect selection to be competitive; in past years, we have only been able to accept ~25% of submissions. Abstracts should be 300-500 words and focus on the argument being made and its conclusions. Only the first 500 words of the abstract will be reviewed. Submission are due by 11:59 EST on January 19th, 2014. The submission form is located at: theorizingtheweb.org/submit

In addition to the open submission sessions, #TtW14 will feature invited sessions. A keynote panel on race and social media will feature Lisa Nakamura (co-editor of Race After the Internet), Latoya Peterson (Owner/Editor of Racialicious), Ayesha Siddiqi (Editor at The New Inquiry), and Jenna Wortham (Staff Reporter for The New York Times). More invited speakers will be announced soon.

More information can be found at the conference website: theorizingtheweb.org

Registration for Theorizing the Web is whatever you deem fair or can afford, minimum 1$. Registration information can be found here: theorizingtheweb.org/registration

The conference hashtag is #TtW14Help us promote the event on Twitter(please).