John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies

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The 2014 Bologna Conference will discuss new scholarship under the rubric “Media Transformations / Transformative Media.” Papers are to consider how ongoing changes in communicative technologies have been affecting American culture's understanding and performance of itself. 

Media have a powerful effect on our social, cognitive, and emotional realities. What we perceive of "the world" – and how we perceive it – is shaped and often dominated by tools and techniques that tend to generate operational logics of their own.  In this sense, media are more than neutral channels of transmission: they form what they transmit; they allow for specific modes of communication and disallow others.  In doing so, media create culture as much as they are determined by it.  Of particular concern will be the following subtopics:  (1) Revolution vs. Evolution: Paradigms of Thinking about Media Change; (2) Mediating "the New": Narratives of Modernity, Post-Modernity, and Digital Culture; (3) Participation, Convergence, Spreadability: Media and Democratic Self-Descriptions; (4) Capitalism and Its Media; (5) Media Affordances and the Question of Human/Non-Human Agency; (6) Ideologies of Media Theory.