Convergence Special Issue
Deadline for Abstract Submissions: December 31, 2019
Guest editors: Germaine Halegoua (University of Kansas, USA) and Erika Polson (University of Denver, USA)
Deadline for Full Papers: May 1, 2020
Expected date of publication: April 2021
We invite submissions for a special issue of "Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies" on the topic of Digital Placemaking. As digital and physical environments converge, each increasingly producing the norms and parameters of the other, it is important to consider how the drive to create and control a sense of place remains primary to how social actors identify with each other and express their identities, and how communities organize to build more meaningful, connected spaces. Instead of depleting a sense of place, the ability to forge attachments to digital media environments and through digital practices enables people to emplace themselves and others. The increasing mobility of people, goods and services, information, and capital contribute to the impression of a world in flux where the “space of flows” dominates the “space of places,” while at the more personal scale, multiplying public and private uses of digital media have produced varied discourses on the potential for these practices to dissociate or liberate users from co-present environments. The implication of these perspectives is that our collective sense of place has been disrupted, leaving people unsure of their belonging within conditions and boundaries that seem increasingly fluid. While it is imperative to attend to the shifting social, economic, and political conditions that give rise to such concerns, it is also necessary to recognize the many ways people actually use digital media to negotiate differential mobilities and become placemakers.
This special issue introduces and critically examines the concept of “digital placemaking” as practices that create emotional attachments to place through digital media use. As populations and the texts they produce become increasingly mobile, such practices are proliferating, and a striking array of applications and uses have emerged which exploit the affordances of mobile and digital media to foster an ability to navigate, understand, connect to, and gain a sense of belonging and familiarity in place. Papers are invited to investigate the concept of “digital placemaking” as both a theoretical and applied response to the spatial fragmentation, emerging virtual and physical environments, and community reorganizations thought to have accompanied the speed and scale of globalization.
The editors welcome contributions that explore questions such as:
- How do people employ digital media to create and negotiate a new sense of place within rapidly changing media landscapes and socio-spatial exchanges?
- How does digital placemaking as a research approach or theoretical framework uncover novel socio-cultural-technical practices and understandings of sense of place?
- How are boundary crossing and place transgressions implicated in tensions related to tourism, gentrification, migration, and emerging media?
- How can scholars investigate digital placemaking to reflect nuances of interrelated online and offline practices?
- What are key characteristics and configurations of digital placemaking within particular communities or institutions?
- How can digital placemaking be employed as an innovative approach to studying digital media technologies and practices?
- What does a focus on digital placemaking help us understand about issues including: mobile rights and risks associated with migration and diaspora; creative tactics within social and mobile media regarding tourism and travel; the design of physical places and experiences; and contested mobilities based on social power and access to digital infrastructures?
- How does the concept or framework of digital placemaking uncover tactics and forces that coordinate, govern, and express mobilities within digital infrastructures and imaginaries?
We are open to a range of approaches in exploring this concept, and particularly welcome submissions that address locations and digital placemaking practices in the global south.
TO SUBMIT: Please send a 500-word abstract and a 100-word bio to the guest editors at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com by December 31, 2019
Authors of accepted abstracts will be contacted in early January and invited to submit full contributions by May 1, 2020.