Flow Conference 2008 Call for Responses

The organizers of the 2008 Flow Conference have posted the questions that will inform the roundtables around which the conference is organized. Unlike most academic conferences, in which participants deliver a paper, the Flow Conference is designed around directed discussion. A participant poses a question and respondents submit a brief abstract and, eventually, a short (600-800 word) position paper in advance of the conference. Those position papers then provide the basis for the roundtable discussion at the conference. The organization is mean to provoke discussion and to create a more participatory experience, something that is often missing at academic conferences.

To that end, I’d like to mention that I’ve proposed a roundtable on “Viral Videos and Political Participation” and would like to invite interested participants to submit responses (the due date is June 15) to the Flow Conference organizers. I’m hoping that the panel will prove to be especially timely, given that the presidential election will be taking place only a few weeks after the conference. I should mention that the question, as it stands right now, leaves open the possibility of discussing the role of viral videos in non-U.S. political discourse, although my own research focuses primarily on the U.S. presidential election and the intersections with (generally American) popular culture texts.

But if you’re not interested in viral political videos, there are a number of interesting proposals out there, including proposed discussions of “Mobile Television” and another on “Television, Technology, and Everyday Life,” among many others. The 2006 Flow Conference was one of the more enjoyable conferences I have attended, so I’d absolutely encourage anyone working in film and media studies to participate.

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