Digital media have come to occupy a central role in the mediation, recording, and remembering of intimate lives: from geolocative traces, romantic relationships on Facebook, private Snapchats, pictures of newborns on Instagram, and hook-ups on Tinder or Grindr, to shared survival stories of assault and sexual violence on Reddit.
Going beyond the logic of connectivity and sharing that dominates much of the research into digital media, Light (2014) has drawn attention to the various ways in which digital media can also operate as sites of disconnection. As digital traces of lives mediated in digital spaces bleed and permeate, echoes of intimacies are regularly resurfaced: untagged photos, archived emails, unfriended people, deleted apps. These traces evidence episodes of disconnection as much as connection.
– What can the study of digital media reveal about disconnections in our intimate lives?
– In what ways do digital media shape both our connections and disconnections?
– What questions are raised about what (or who) we delete and how we remember?
– What is the role of automation in intimate connections and disconnections?
Following the success of the first two Digital Intimacies symposia, held at UQ and hosted by the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH), convened by Amy Dobson, Nic Carah, and Brady Robards, this year we are bringing the event to Melbourne, to be hosted at RMIT by the School of Media and Communication.
The single stream symposium will run for two days, November 13 + 14, 2017. This year, there will be an optional third day (November 15) of collaborative workshops. The idea here is to capture the energy from the symposium and provide space for collaborative work and further discussions.
We are again calling for paper abstracts on the themes of digital media and intimate lives, with particular interest around the theme of connection and disconnection.
Please submit abstracts of 250-300 words to firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com> by June 30, 2017. We will send notifications of acceptances out by mid-July. We are hoping to make this a low-cost event, especially for students, but there may be a small registration fee to cover costs.
Convenors: Jenny Kennedy (RMIT), Brady Robards (Monash), and Tania Lewis (RMIT)
Keynotes: Prof. Kath Albury (Swinburne) and more to be announced