CFP: Mediating the Nonhuman Conference and The 6th Annual UCSB Research Slam

CFP: Mediating the Nonhuman Conference and The 6th Annual UCSB Research Slam

20130722160035_001Mediating the Nonhuman


The 6th Annual UCSB Research Slam (March 15th)

UC Santa Barbara Transcriptions Center and Department of English
South Hall 2635, March 15th and 16th

This year, UCSB’s Transcriptions Center for Digital Humanities and New Media is incorporating its digital humanities research showcase, the Research Slam, into its other main event for the year, the faculty colloquium, Mediating the Nonhuman. We’re interested in proposals for a few more presentations in the colloquium and for a wide range of proposals for the digital poster session at the Research Slam.

“Mediating the Nonhuman” takes up questions of how media and narrative frames shape how we understand and interact with events and processes that take place on nonhuman scales: ecological time, high-frequency stock trades, nonhuman cognition, nanotechnology, big data, and more. The colloquium will feature a keynote speaker, N. Katherine Hayles, respondent Rita Raley, and special guests including Michael North, David Golumbia, Mark Goble, Jennifer S. Rhee, and Nathan Brown.

The Research Slam—the premier annual DH event at UCSB, now in its sixth year—takes up a related set of questions through experiments in the digital humanities, through virtual posters, demos, test drives, and lightning talks. How, we want to ask, do acts of digital encoding and remediation enable us to see traditional and new objects of study, on human and nonhuman scales, in new ways?

Paper topics for 20-minute presentations at the colloquium might include:

  • connections or disconnections between the posthuman and nonhuman
  • artificial intelligences new and old
  • ecocriticism and animal studies
  • cybernetics and automation
  • big data and data mining
  • object-oriented ontology and speculative realism


Topics for the Research Slam are welcome to intersect with the above questions or to move in different directions; methods and formats might include:

  • media experiments with big data, big image archives, and web scraping
  • computer-aided transformations and deformations of texts and media objects
  • inventive engagements with big data and distant reading techniques
  • experiments with interactivity, games, mods, and hacks
  • aural, video, film, or performance pieces
  • another format or method you’ve come up with


Please send 200-300-word proposals and a brief bio by February 10th, 2013. (Notifications of acceptance will be sent very shortly after this date.) Proposals should indicate whether they wish to participate in the Research Slam or the Mediating the Nonhuman colloquium.

This event has been generously sponsored by a UCSB Interdisciplinary Humanities Center Collaborative Research Grant, the Center for Information Technology and Society, and the Departments of Comparative Literature, Film and Media Studies, and Spanish and Portuguese.

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