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Media in Transition
Cambridge, MA, October 1999


A National Conference
October 8-10, 1999

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA

To celebrate the launch of our graduate program in Comparative Media
Studies, we invite your participation in a conference on the topic of
"Media in Transition." 

This conference will also mark the conclusion of the Media in Transition
Project, a series of lectures, forums and conferences begun in 1997 by the
MIT Communications Forum and funded by the John and Mary R. Markle

We intend this culminating conference to address the defining themes of
the project by situating our current experience of media and cultural
transformation in the perspective of earlier periods of technological and
social change. 

The Media in Transition Project aims to nourish a pragmatic, historically
informed discourse about the significance of new communications
technologies and the role of economic, political, legal, social and
cultural institutions in mediating and partly shaping technological

A good deal of work on such topics has emerged in recent years across a
range of academic disciplines.  But one consequence of this intellectual
diversity has been that scholars of comparative media have had little
contact with each other.  The Media in Transition conference hopes remedy
this isolation by bringing together an interdisciplinary roster of
scholars committed to understanding the past, present, and future of

We encourage papers that address the following themes: 

	The transformation of the book and book culture in the digital age
	Conceptions of intellectual property
	Democratic culture and new media
	The aesthetics of transition -- technological change and the arts and
	The "virtual community" as an historical construction
	Media change and central institutions (schools, libraries, banks,
		corporations, etc.)
	Privacy, public safety, surveillance
	Global media and local or national cultures
	Media audiences
	"Vernacular theory" -- the role of science fiction, popular
		journalism, and other popular discourse in explaining emerging
	Technology and journalism -- the impact of technological change on
		journalism; newspapers and local readership
	Social and cultural factors influencing the use and diffusion of
		new media
	Childhood and adolescence in a mediated culture
	Hypertexts: history, theory, practice

SUBMISSIONS: 1-2 page abstract to be submitted no later than July 1, 1999.
Papers should be sent to: Media in Transition Conference, CMS office,
14N-430, MIT, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. 

For more information about the Media in Transition Project:

Tina Klein
MIT, Literature Faculty
Bldg. 14N-412
Cambridge, MA  02139