Indiana University’s Graduate Students in African Studies are proud to announce their first annual symposium, Cultural Traces, Places and Cyberspaces: African Modernity and Identity in the Era of New Media, which will take place on Saturday, April 2, 2011 at Indiana University’s Bloomington campus. Keynote speaker will be Dr. Victoria Bernal, University of California Irvine.
This first symposium will be dedicated to an interdisciplinary topic that will promote dialogue on ideas of new media, and how media provides an avenue through which identity can be asserted. Africans are establishing their own ideas of modernity by utilizing various types of “modern” media, such as internet forums (social –networking sites, e.g. facebook and twitter), smart technology, and digital devices as well as older forms of media which include radio, television, and magazines that have become more dynamic than ever before due to the participatory nature that media has assumed. The symposium will explore how new media influences concepts and understandings of modernity and identity in Africa. Additionally, it will examine how new media provides anonymity or self-recognition for those seeking it, while still acting as a space for cultural expression. Thus, the symposium seeks to address questions such as how is Africa employing new media to assert identity, modernity, and culture? What forms of media are they utilizing to do so? And, how does place, such as the rural and urban context, affect participation?
We invite proposals from graduate students in any discipline. Abstracts should succinctly describe how the era of new media has shaped and informed notions of modernity and identity Africa and be presented in no more than 300 words. Applicants must include the title of the paper they hope to present, university degrees obtained, current discipline, and current school affiliation. Abstracts should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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