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From #DigitalRevolution to the #NewSilkRoad

29.04.2020 21:23 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

November 12-15, 2020

University of Tyumen, Russia

Deadline: May 15, 2020

25th DiscourseNet Conference on Global Dispositives

25th DiscourseNet Conference on Global Dispositives (#DN25, November 12-15 2020) deals with the processes of social change that are discursively driven and supported by technological infrastructures and new cultural, economic and political relations. In the context of globalization, they affect transformations in all social domains – from economy to culture, including media and education, (digital) technology, industry and environment, politics and governance.

Global Dispositives can be recognised in popular examples of social change. First of all, the global political and economic projects, i.e. the discourses evolving around the Belt and Road Initiative, new infrastructural development of the Arctic region, Eurasian Economic Union but also on small-scale and in semi-official or informal organisations such as the Three Seas Initiative, Visegrad Group or countries within the mini-Schengen integration project. Secondly, global dispositives can be tied to discourses of technology, security and warfare. Examples are not only projects such as the Internet itself (or rather the entire World Wide Web), but also discourses bound up to its structural changes like the implementation of 5G internet technology, balkanization of the internet, various concepts of IoT or surveillance etc. And finally, the discourses tied to the consequences of various kinds of transitions such as the transforming regulations of global migration (based on causes such as war or environment), an emerging post-liberal global trade system based on nationalism(s), global political upheavals and new struggles over postnational identities (especially among youth cultures). The DN25 on Global Dispositifs aims to attract researchers who explore (inter)cultural, economic, technological and political processes of global change on various levels, from a range of disciplinary perspectives in the broad field of discourse studies.

Hosted by the Cultural Trends Lab, situated at the Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities (University of Tyumen, Siberia, Russia) and organised in cooperation with China Media Observatory (Università della Svizzera italiana, Lugano, Switzerland) and the School of Government and Public Affairs (Chinese University of Communication, Beijing, China), this conference endeavors to devote special attention to Belt and Road Initiative as a unique example of a global dispositive. The launch of the Belt Road Initiative (BRI, previously known as One Belt, One Road) in 2013, promised new imaginaries of a multipolar world and an alternative model of globalisation. It came into play in the form of cross-country mega infrastructure projects, new regulating mechanisms and bilateral agreements. These material infrastructures, together with their legal, political and economic dimensions, cultural and educational interconnections, and new media and telecommunication standards represent a chain of social ensembles which create completely new setting. However, integrating processes often ensue discursive struggles and conflicting narratives regarding a number of social changes in important fields such as economy and trade, progress and technology, geopolitical cooperation and competition, domestic and foreign culture, political and national systems. Although some aspects of it have been investigated in specific disciplines such as political economy, media and communication, anthropology, linguistics, human geography, area and (inter)cultural studies, the dialogue across these disciplines rarely takes place. Therefore, there is a strong need for BRI and other global dispositives to be mapped and described from the perspective of social sciences and humanities. One of the aims of this conference would be to develop on theoretical and methodological interdisciplinary approaches which will help grasp some of the issues of global dispositives. Furthermore, we want to reflect on media discourses dealing with BRI as an alternative globalisation model. Critical, affirmative and neutral perspectives should be discussed in both national and regional contexts. The perspectives take place in the broad spectrum from imaginaries to strategies or political doctrines. The question about the representation and positioning is of course connected to the interests of the various actors within the discourses which correspond and define respective dispositifs.

In the context of forces which drive the global cultural scene, this conference wants to consider the role of the in-between regions or rather those regions outside the global centres in the contemporary culture. Within the scope of the Cultural Trends Lab’s central project ‘Elsewhere’ (which concentrates on mapping digital streams of culture emerging both autonomously from and partly depending on the models of the centres), this conference is interested in all those contributions discussing, investigating and researching the digital forms of culture and sociality preferably outside the global centres. The idea of culture in transit regions as an element of both the New Silk Road or Arctic region is indivisible from the discussion about the existing and new telecommunication infrastructures and data flows. However, new cultural and social practices of digital and non-digital domains (or the actors that will shape such practices) continue to merit the discussion.

We welcome all contributions that investigate phenomena tied to the digital transformation, people’s cultural understandings of global political-economic imaginaries (such as the BRI) by utilising the conceptual and analytical toolkits of discourse studies, e.g. power, subjectivity, critique, identity, context, language use etc. As the field of discourse studies are inherently interdisciplinary, we invite authors from disciplines as varied as media and communication studies, sociology, linguistics, anthropology, ethnography, cultural and political studies or law. Furthermore, we also invite guests outside of academia, such as activists, NGO and public intellectual scene representatives, to contribute to our topics. Likewise, we seek to provide a forum for discussing methodological and theoretical questions.

Covid19 disclaimer

We are well aware of the Covid19-pandemic. However, we hope and believe that by mid November the danger will be over. Also, we do not want to stop 'doing science'. In case of a different, unwanted, development, we will be able to offer alternatives concerning either the time or the format of the event (e.g. online). We therefore invite you to send in your paper, panel and poster proposals. We will take into account all the recommendations of the authorities and health experts.

The list of possible topics includes (but is not constrained) to the following:

  • (Inter)cultural connectedness
  • New communication infrastructures
  • Digitization, digitalization, digital transformation
  • Technologisation of society
  • Discourses of Imaginaries
  • History of Digital Technology and Imaginary
  • Chinese-European Media
  • Critical approach to suffering in digital age
  • Education in the Digital Age
  • Environmental Sustainability and Development of Global Periphery
  • Apparatuses of global political economy
  • Ethnographic approach to transcultural phenomena
  • Global media analysis about BRI
  • Cultural traditions across media changes
  • Intercultural communication in polycentric world
  • The physical traces of BRInfrastructure
  • Dispositives of New Digitality
  • Ideological and political constructions
  • From anthropology to ethnography of global dispositifs
  • Gender and class
  • Transnational identities
  • Subjectivities in a global context
  • Cultural and discursive political economy
  • (Re)Standardization of the societies
  • Centre and periphery discourses
  • New global constellations
  • Social role of material infrastructure
  • The governance of the internet in the age of its balkanization/sovereignty
  • Political and economic alliances and ruptures
  • Global gaps and digital divides, global exclusion and invisibilities

All abstracts fitting one or more of the aforementioned themes are welcome. We also invite interesting panel proposals and presentations relevant to the overall conference topic. Check the Ideas page on our website for inspiration:

Preliminary list of special guests, keynotes and topics:

University of Tyumen (UoT), Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities (SocGum), Cultural Trends Lab (CTL), DiscourseNet Association (DNA), Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI), China Media Observatory (CMO), China University of Communication (CUC), School of Government and Public Administration (SoGaPA)

Globalised spaces of academic discourse - Johannes Angermuller, Open University Milton Keyes, UK DNA

Chinese-European Media - Zhan Zhang, Università della Svizzera Italiana /USI, Switzerland CMO

History of Digital Technology and Imaginary - Gabriele Balbi, Università della Svizzera Italiana /USI, Switzerland CMO

Global media analysis about BRI - Zhou Ting, Communication University of China, China CUC

Critical approach to suffering in digital age - Benno Herzog, Valencia University, Spain DNA

Economic Expert Discourses in Globalised Societies - Jens Maeße, Giessen University, Germany DNA

Ethnographic approach to Transcultural Phenomena - Jaspal Naveel Singh, The University of Hong Kong, HKSAR China DNA

Philosophy of Globalisation - Igor Chubarov, University of Tyumen, Russia SocGum

Dispositives of New Digitality - Jan Krasni, University of Tyumen, Russia DNA, CTL, SocGum

Abstracts and Registration

Please submit your 250 word abstracts at the conference registration service on Keep the following important dates in mind:

Deadline for uploading abstracts for DN25: May 15th, 2020

(If you need to plan your trip in advance, please contact us for a faster review of your abstract. Deadline for those who do not need visa will be extended)

Notification of acceptance for abstracts: June 20th, 2020

(If you need visa, please let us know so we would take care of it earlier)

Registration will be complete upon payment.

Payment deadline: October 1st, 2020. A confirmation email will be sent after the deadline for payments has passed.

All the abstracts are vetted by a blind review. The reviewers belong to the committee selected from our 5000 members. This secures the scientific quality of the presentations.



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