International Conference | May 17-18, 2019

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge MA USA

CMS/W • Microsoft Research • Open Doc Lab • GMTaC Lab • History • Political Science • Global Studies & Lang • Literature • STS • SHASS
Dean’s Office for the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences • 200+ International Researchers

Paper topics/issues:

  • politics of truth/lies, alternative facts
  • future of civic media & Indymedia
  • media, authoritarianism, and polarization
  • virtual reality, extended reality, and the return of media effects
  • diversity in gaming / livestreaming / esports
  • new lords of the global village (Spotify, Netflix, Amazon, Alibaba)
  • making or breaking publics with algorithmic cultures/machine learning/AI
  • environmental media (from medium theory to climate change) and activism
  • media infrastructures as public utilities or utility publics?
  • datafication, privacy, and the future of public service media
  • machine vision and biometrics: surveillance without seeing or knowing
  • social media, creating consensus, and bursting filter bubbles
  • designing media technologies for inclusion
  • listening publics: sound, podcasts, radio, music
  • audiences / fandoms and the civic imagination
  • rhetoric and poetics of democracy and civility
  • diversifying creative labor in Hollywood and beyond
  • the #metoo movement and its impact
  • new texts/contexts (Black Panther, Handmaid’s Tale, Blackish, Black Mirror, Insecure)
  • lessons from the 19th century partisan press
  • the ritual of right wing radio
  • social media platforms (FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, etc), politics, and civic responsibility
  • Twitter, viral videos, and the new realities of political advertising

Call For Papers

In 1998, MIT’s Comparative Media Studies program held the first Media in Transition (MiT) conference and inaugurated a related book series. Research from that first MiT conference appeared in Democracy and New Media, Jenkins & Thorburn, eds., (MIT Press, 2003). Now, twenty years later, we are organizing the 10th iteration of the event. Much has changed over these two decades, but the theme “democracy and digital media” is as urgent as ever. Twenty years ago there was no Facebook, Twitter, or Netflix. iPhones and Samsung Galaxies had not yet hit the shelves. And Siri and Alexa were still in development. Since 1998, media have undergone major transition. We have witnessed a shift from Napster to Spotify, from Web 1.0 to 2.0, from CU-SeeMe to Twitch TV, and beyond. We have experienced the rise of social media, civic media, algorithmic cultures, and have seen ever greater concentration of media ownership. The events of 9/11 catalyzed intensified state surveillance and privatized security using various media technologies. Undergirding these shifts have been major transformations in global media infrastructure, the platformization of the Internet, and the ubiquity of the mobile phone.

In the US, we also have seen changes in the news ecosystem with the likes of ProPublica and community engagement journalism. At the same time, public trust in media has dropped from 55% in 1998 to 32% in 2016, according to a Pew report. For better and worse, a growth of interest in media ritual and a decline in the more familiar transmission paradigm is underway. Given such changes, concepts of participation, trust, and democracy are increasingly fraught and have been powerfully repositioned. How will our news media look and sound in the next decade? What can we learn from news media of the past? What can international perspectives reveal about the variability and plasticity of media landscapes? How are non-traditional sources of learning, knowledge production, and participation reshaping civic spheres? We are interested in how these issues play out across media, whether as represented in television series and films, or enacted in rule set and player interactions in games, or enabled in community media, music, social media, and talk radio. We welcome research that considers these issues in public media and commercial media, with individual users and collective stakeholders, across media infrastructures and media texts, and embedded in various historical eras or cultural settings.



  • General:  $100
  • Graduate Students: $50
  • MIT Participants: FREE
  • Coffee and snacks will be provided each morning
  • Conference reception/party with live performances on the evening of May 18
  • More details soon

Participants will be responsible for covering their own travel and accommodation expenses.








Conference hashtag: #mit10

Evening Party

May 18, 2019
7:30 PM to 10:30 PM

Cambridge Multicultural Center
42 Second Street, East Cambridge, 02141
Food, Drink, DJ performances, and more! 

PermformanceS by
Ian Condry
DJ SIRaiki
PhilIp Tan
DJ Rekha


Pre-Conference Playtest
May 16, 2019

MiT10 Conference on May 17 & 18, 2019









Friday, May 17, 2019 (Day 1 of 2)

Registration & Coffee
8:00 AM to 9:00 AM
WIEsner Building Lower Atrium

Session 1
9:00 AM to 10:30 AM

1. Civic Media Across World Contexts
Classroom E25-117

Moderator: Evan Lieberman, MIT
Hande Uz Özcan, Baskent University, “Analysis of Polarization of Turkish News Media via Schmittian Political Theory”
Daniel Josephy-Hernández, Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica, Jorge Rivera-Marin with Ai Tomita “New Japanese Nationalism in Anime”
Hamidreza Nassiri, University of Wisconsin-Madison, “The Other Side of Digital: Detrimental Effects of Digital Technologies on Global Democracy with A Focus on Iranian Cinema”
Evan Lieberman & Andrew Miller, MIT, “What Triggers Quotidian Ethnic Hostility in Divided Societies?: Categorization and Online Expressions of Animus in Nigeria”

2. Digital Technologies, Value, and Labor
Classroom 56-114

Moderator: Göran Bolin, Södertörn University
Jeremy Hunsinger, Wilfrid Laurier University, “All that is SOLID….: an analysis of the socio-political possibilities of Solid web technologies”
Janice Xu, Holy Family University, “Navigating Gender, Class, and Flexible Labor in China’s Companion-Hiring Apps”
Song Sun, University of Science and Technology of China, “Paying for Knowledge Online in China:Is That an Effective Way to Improve Our Social Competitiveness?”
Göran Bolin, Södertörn University, “The reconfiguration of value in data capitalism”

3. Media Power, Ethics, and Truthmaking
Classroom 56-154

Moderator: Sun-ha Hong, Simon Fraser University
June Deery, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, “Political Simulation: Media Portrayals of Media in Politics”
Sun-ha Hong, Simon Fraser University, “Smart machines, political disinformers, and emerging cultures of personal truthmaking”
Damián Pedemonte, University, Argentina & National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), “The death of a National Fiscal: A post media case running in platforms”
Eric Opu, University of East Anglia United Kingdom, “Online Political Activism, Media Literacy and Public Manipulation: The Challenges of Balancing Public Order and Free Speech in the Age of Fake News. Insights from Cameroon”

4. Journalism, News, and Civic Participation
Classroom 66-144

Moderator: Michael Epstein, Walking Cinema
Eleni Staiou, University of Athens, “Civic responsibility trends through digital solidarity: the case of Greece during the economic and social crisis”
Michael Epstein, Walking Cinema & Laura Herman, Adobe, Inc, “Location-Based Journalism and Civic Participation”
Aman Abhishek, University of Wisconsin-Madison, “Locating Open Source Culture at the Heart of Public Journalism: the case of Wikinews, WikiLeaks & Indymedia”
Chris Wells, Boston University, Kjerstin Thorson, Michigan State University, & Emily Vraga, George Mason University, “Who gets the news now? Contingent information exposure, digital citizens and democracy”
Ioanna Ferra, University of Leeds, & Charis Gerosideris, Keele University, “Insights from the Greek Environmental Crisis (2015-2018): #Skouries and #GreeceFires”

5. Media Infrastructures across Contexts
Classroom 66-168

Moderator: James Schwoch, Northwestern University
Michele Ferris-Dobles, University of Costa Rica & University of Illinois at Chicago, “Central American migration and the ‘borderless’ mobile phone”
James Schwoch, Northwestern University, “From the Telegraph to 5G:Wooden Utitility Poles, Woodpeckers, and Media Transition”
Rory Solomon, New York University, “Meshing Well: A Model for Network Politics”
Ayesha Omer, New York University, “The Digital New Silk Road: A Study of the Pak-China Fiber Optic Cable” 

6. Digital Technologies, Welfare, and Human Rights
Classroom 66-160


Moderator: Mariel García-Montes, MIT
Mats Björkin, University of Gothenburg, “Computation and the Welfare State: The Development of Digital Public Service in Sweden 1950-1980”
Marc Aidinoff, MIT, “Digitizing Welfare”
Rana Arafat, University of Lugano, “Re-thinking Democratic Divide and Digital Media Usage in Forced Migration Contexts: A Study on Arab Refugees in Switzerland”
J. Mauricio Gaona, McGill University, “Socio-technological redistribution of digital media: From AI-news and e-policy forums to human rights protection”

7. Fake News: Past and Present
Classroom 66-154

Moderator: Lilia Kilburn, Harvard
Ryan Scheiding, Concordia University, Alternative Facts & Atomic Bomb Collective Memory: The Case of John Hersey’s Hiroshima”
Jeffrey Blevins, University of Cincinnati, “Free Expression and Fake News: Does the ‘Marketplace of Ideas’ Metaphor Still Apply?”
Lilia Kilburn, Harvard University, “Photoshop and the Visual Registers of ‘False News’ in Cameroon”
Tom Pettitt, University of Southern Denmark, “The Renaissance of Rumor? Tracing Patterns in the Deep History of News Mediation”

10:30 AM to 11:00 AM

Plenary 1
11:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Plenary: Culture Industries
Wiesner Building – E15
Bartos Theater

Moderator: Ian Condry, MIT
Huma Yusuf, Wilson Center
David Hesmondhalgh, University of Leeds
Roberta Pearson, University of Nottingham
Philip M. Napoli, Duke University 

12:30 PM to 1:30 PM

Session 2
1:30 PM to 3:00 PM

8. Case Studies in Global TV: Reality Television, Korean Web Drama, and Transcultural Telenovela
Classroom E25-117

Moderator: Tasha Oren, Tufts University
Iago Bojczuk, MIT, “From Rio de Janeiro to Marrakech: Spatial and Female Representations of the ‘Arab-Muslim’ in the Brazilian Telenovela O Clone”
Biswarup Sen, University of Oregon, “Against Community: Global Reality Television and the formation of an Anti-Public”
HyeRyoung OK, University of Oregon, “From Mobile Drama to Web Drama: Media Convergence in South Korea”

9. Television’s Transitions
Classroom 56-114

Moderator: Heather Hendershot, MIT
Giulia Taurino, University of Bologna/University of Montreal, “Cultural Proximity, Technological Divide: a framework for understanding the expansion of non-linear television”
Kim Hebben, Ruhr University of Bochum (Germany), “Television’s Figuration(s): Playful Media Practices Between Autonomy and Control”
Ivy Roberts, Virginia Commonwealth University, “Tinker Culture: Democracy of the Waves in 1920s Radio and Television”
Fabian Prieto-Nanez, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, “Community Television in Colombia. From illegal consumers to legal producers of community”

10. Digital Media and Creative Democracy in Popular Music Culture
Classroom 56-154

Moderator: Ian Condry, MIT
Haekyung Um, University of Liverpool, “Aesthetic and Political Values of Pop in the Age of Digital Media: The Polemics of Entertainment and Political Representation of BTS and Diverse Roles of Audience Participation”
Zhang Qian, MIT/ Communication University of China, “Digital Fandom as a Democratic Utopia in China: Can online voting and chart beating be a participatory culture?”
Keith Negus, Goldsmiths, University of London, “Musicians, creativity and monitory democracy in an age of digital abundance”
Ian Condry, MIT, “Sound, Learning and Democracy: Spatial Mixes, Mobile Speakers, and Sonic Collectivities in Tokyo, Boston, Berlin”

11. Emergent Forms of Educational Media
Classroom 66-144

Moderator: Mary Caulfield, MIT
Isabel Castellanos, University of Massachusetts Amherst, “Maker Culture, Literacies and Identities: Insights from an Afterschool Makerspace”
Dan Ehrenfeld, Stockton University, “Public-Engaged Pedagogy and the Fifth ‘Position’ on Digital Democracy”
Sarah Wolter, Gustavus Adolphus College, “Teacher Training in Critical Media Education”
Peter Kaufman, MIT , “Toward a Benign Ecosphere for Education”
Felipe Prado, Dante Castillo-Canales, Ismael Tabilo & Agustín Wolff, SUMMA, “Using Social Media to Strengthen Regional Collaborative Ecosystems: The Case of CO+INCIDE. A Latin American Platform for Educational Improvement through Collaboration”.

12. Counter Publics, Performance, and Media Activism
Classroom 66-168

Moderator: Tony Tran, Boston College
Tony Tran, Boston College, “Asian American Media Activism Gone Global”
Vincente Perez, UC Berkeley, “Blackness: The Embodiment of Politics as a Representational Performance”
Ionna Ferra, University of Leeds, “Digital Media and the Greek Crisis: Cyberconflict, Networks and Discourse”
Sriram Mohan, University of Michigan, “Region as Nation?: Hashtag Counterpublics and Subnationalism in South India”

13. Social Media, Power, and Democracy
Classroom 66-160

Moderator: Jing Wang, MIT
Matthew Wall & Yan Wu, Swansea University, “Safe Spaces?: The affordances of WhastApp and WeChat in relation to political discussion and digital activism”
Ronojoy Sen, National University of Singapore, “Twitter Wars: The role of digital media in Indian elections”
Susana Salgado, University of Lisbon, Portugal, “‘Democracy Reloaded’ gone wrong? Exploring the meaning of democracy after social media”
Chau Tong, University of Wisconsin-Madison, “How Talking Politics with Different Others Stimulates Online Political Acts Among Authoritarian Individuals: Evidence from Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and the U.S”

3:00 PM to 3:15 PM

Session 3
3:15 PM to 4:45 PM

14. Media Industries in the Age of Platforms: New Forms of Publicness, New Challenges for the Public Interest
Classroom E25-117

Moderator: Miranda Banks, Emerson College
Elena Maris, Microsoft Research New England, “Activist Audience groups and Tactical Publicness on Facebook”
Victor Pickard, University of Pennsylvania, “Can Journalism Survive the Age of Platform Monopolies?”
Kaarina Nikunen, Tampere University, “Desperately Seeking the Public Interest in the Platform Era”
David Hesmondhalgh, University of Leeds, “Musical Production and Consumption in the Age of Streaming”

15. Censorship and Digital Media Across Contexts
Classroom 56-114

Moderator: Ece Gurleyik, Pratt Institute
Celine Liao, University of California, Berkeley, Siqi Feng, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Kimo Lei, University of Sydney, “Activist Potential of Popular Literature? Gender Politics, State Censorship and Online Literature Audience in China”
Irina Kalinka, Brown University, “Censorship & Personalization: Two Models of Digital Public Speech”
Ece Gurleyik, Pratt Institute, “Facebook Governs: Censoring Kurds in the Age of Content”
Jun Liu, University of Copenhagen, “Multimedia censorship deletion in social media – The case of Chinese Weibo”

16. Platforms, Publics, and Populisms
Classroom 56-154

Moderator: M.Z. van Drunen, University of Amsterdam
Macy Dunklin, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, “Defining the U.S. Policy Issues Webpage with a Contrastive Analysis”
Tiziano Bonini, University of Siena, “Public Service Media (PSM) in the age of platform society: from PSM to ‘ convivial’ Public Service Platforms”
Joaquín Serpe, Concordia University, “The Work of the Public Intellectual in the Age of Digital Populism”
M.Z. van Drunen, University of Amsterdam, “Who will decide what rises to the top of the newsfeed? Cooperative responsibility for the organisation of content on platforms in EU media law”

17. Brazil and Elections, 1988-2018
Classroom 66-144

Moderator: Mary Caulfield, MIT
Eduardo Campos Pellanda, André Fagundes Pase & Mágda Rodrigues da Cunha, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), “Whatsapp as a backchannel for the contemporary Brazilian city”
David Nemer, University of Virginia, “More digital citizens for a better democracy? The Case of Brazil’s Election and Bolsonaro Supporters in WhatsApp Groups”
Gustavo Santos, Catholic University of Pernambuco, “Social media and regulation of the electoral process in the 1988 Brazilian elections”

18. The Power of Fandom
Classroom 66-168

Moderator: Amy Carleton, MIT
Simone Driessen, Erasmus University Rotterdam, “‘For the greater good’ – Vigilantism in online pop culture fandoms”
Reut Odinak, Boston University, “LGBT Fans Deserve Better: Fan Activism in the Digital Age”
Pilar Lacasa, Julián de la Fuente & Sara Cortés, University of Alcalá, “Participating and having fun: Social networks and civic imagination in young fan communities”
Sarah Christina Ganzon, Concordia University, “Growing the Otome Game Market: Fan Labor, Circulation and Otome Game Communities Online”

19. Oscars’ So White to Black Panther: Race in a Datafied Era of Hollywood
Classroom 66-160

In the wake of a very Black Oscars and an active Me Too community, what is the state of race, gender, and class equity in Hollywood? Moreover what are the ways A.I, blockchain and new data technologies are impacting film distribution and development?

Key Questions:
Has anything changed after the success of Black Panther, Insecure, Empire, Crazy Rich Asians, etc? What is the status of the streaming race and what does it mean to have Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu starting to replace traditional TV networks and/or theatrical distribution?  Overall, what does it mean when algorithms are increasingly choosing what we watch?

Moderator: Sultan Sharrief, MIT
Moira Griffin, Executive Director of Production and Creative Labs for 21st Century Fox Global Inclusion
Tommy Oliver, Producer, Show Runner, for Sony Studios, OWN Network
Emily Best, Founder and CEO, Seed & Spark Crowdfunding site
Jess Fueslier: Sundance Institute Creative Distribution Initiative; Manager of research and education

20. Democracy Performed
Classroom 66-154 

What does democracy mean in the 21st century? What can democracy sound like? How can we avoid crude polarization to include more nuance and a richer variety of opinions? Four artists explore how democracy functions in the 21st century through a participatory immersive audio performance co-created with the audience using contributions recorded before and during the performance.

This presentation embodies concepts drawn from each of the artists/researchers methodologies that privilege a multiplicity of narratives, collaborative processes, non-linear forms and fragmentary language to arrive at new types of knowledge. They share an interest in disrupting well-worn storytelling and journalistic techniques that favor conflict and over-simplified narratives.

The panel includes Francesca Panetta, Executive Editor of VR at the Guardian, who is interested in how sound changes your perception of the world.  Multidisciplinary artist Rashin Fahandej creates poetic encounters to investigate social systems, utilizing public places and virtual spaces as a critical discourse. Sound artist and technologist Halsey Burgund has created the Roundware platform, a contributory geospatial platform to create soundtracks that connect listeners to their surroundings through audio augmented reality. Andrew Demirjian is an artist who develops sonic and poetic constraint systems to critique constraint systems. Together, this panel focuses on emerging practices for engaging communities with participatory projects that use sound and technology to collaboratively create works that have civic impact and to bring communities together.  

Taken collectively, the group asks “How can academic environments begin to change the way democracy is engaged with and performed?”

Francesca Panetta, Artist and journalist. The Guardian, Harvard.
Rashin Fahandej, Artist and Filmmaker, MIT Open Documentary Lab, Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Andrew Demirjian, Artist and professor. Film and Media Department, Hunter College.
Halsey Burgund, Sound artist and technologist, researcher at MIT Open Documentary Lab

4:45 PM to 5:00 PM

Session 4
5:00 PM to 6:30 PM

21. Pitfalls for Democracy in the Digital Age: Perspectives between Artificial Stupidity and Robot Ethics
Classroom E25-117

Moderator: Matthias Rath, Ludwigsburg University of Education
Matthias Rath, Ludwigsburg University of Education, “Are robots “moral actors”?”
Netaya Lotze, University of Münster, “Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) in Public Discourse. On the linguistics of information structure in human-computer interaction (HCI)”
Hanna Höfer-Lück & Gudrun Marci-Boehncke, Technical University Dortmund, “Political opinion-making within digital echo-chambers”
Theo Hug & Günther Pallaver, University of Innsbruck, “Robots’ right to vote? Considerations on legal and political consequences of granting citizenship to social humanoid robots”

22. Popular Culture and the Civic Imagination
Classroom 56-114

Moderator: Sangita Shresthova, University of Southern California
Ioana Mischie, University of Southern California, ““Tzina: Symphony of Longing”: Using Volumetric VR to Archive the Nostalgic Imaginaries of the Marginal”
Rogelio Lopez, University of Southern California, “Postcards at/from Donde Rebotan Los Sueños: Creative Engagement Across the US/ Mexico Border”
Sulafa Zidani, University of Southern California, “Reimagining the Arab Spring: From Limitation to Creativity”
Joan Miller, University of Southern California, “For the Horde: Violent ‘Trolling’ as Pre-emptive Strike Via #Gamergate and the #Altright “

23. Twitter and Politics
Classroom 56-154

Moderator: Joseph Flores, University of New Mexico
Joseph Flores, University of New Mexico, ““Official Statements of the President”: Trump’s authoritarian tactics and the use of Twitter”
Dimitra Dimitrakopoulou & Bridgit Mendler, MIT Media Lab, “Conversation on Twitter: Studying Patterns at the Intersection of Politics and Celebrity”
Josh Cowls, Oxford Internet Institute & Katie Arthur, King’s College London, “From #MAGA to @AOC: Reflections on Radical Media in the Trump Era”
Armin Mertens, Ayjeren Rozyjumayeva, Jens Wackerle & Franziska Pradel, University of Cologne, “Gender Bias in Digital Communication”

24. Journalism and News Across Cultures
Classroom 66-144

Moderator: Matthew Graydon, MIT
Fatima el Issawi, University of Essex, “Egyptian Journalists and the “Transition” in Practices and Values Post-Uprising: The Ambiguous Journalistic Agency between Change and Conformity”
Kacper Andrychowski, Warsaw University, “How News Explain the World to Me. Crafting Voter Identity through Media”
Anirban Mukhopadhyay, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, “The shaping of the neoliberal logic of news: Historical shift in technology and the changing nature of news and information in India”
Matthew Graydon, MIT, “Manufacturing Dissent: How RT (Russia Today) Blends News, Soft Power, and Propaganda in the Digital Age”

25. Politics of Digital Places and Spaces
Classroom 66-168

Moderator: Eric Gordon, Emerson College/Engagement Lab
Dario Rodighiero, MIT and EPFL Labs, Alberto Romele, Lille Catholic University, “Digital Habitus: Personalization Without Individuation”
Hannah Tollefson, McGill University, “Digital prospecting & subsurface logistics”
Tristan Thielmann, University of Siegen, “Foundations of digital place: A geography of smart devices”
Eric Gordon, Emerson College/Engagement Lab, Elizabeth Christoforetti, Supernormal, John Harlow, Emerson College, “Public Learning For Smart Urban Places”

26. Data, Democracy and the Public Interest: Approaches of Policy and Praxis
Classroom 66-160

Moderator: Minna Horowitz, University of Helsinki/St. John’s University
Hilde Van Den Bulck, Drexel University, “Datafication and Public Service Media: Third Party Tracking, Personalisation and the role of PSM as Trusted Institutions”
Minna Horowitz, University of Helsinki/St. John’s University, Marko Milosavljević, University of Ljubljana, “Universality at Stake: Datafication and Legacy Public Service Media”
Phillip M. Napoli, Duke University, “​User Data and the Public Resource Rationale”
Respondent: Kaarina Nikunen, University of Tampere

27. The Revolution Will Not Be Digitized
Classroom 66-154

Moderator: Lisa Parks, MIT
Elizabeth Losh, William & Mary College, “Emoji Democracy: Digital Literacy and Political Communication”
Dave Karpf, George Washington University, “Is the Pace of the Digital Revolution Slowing Down?”
Ethan Zuckerman, Center for Civic Media, MIT, “Unreal”
Chuck TryonFayetteville State University, “Media Literacy After Trump, or Why Progressives Need to Learn from AOC”

Evening Reception
6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Wiesner Building – E15
Upper and Lower Atriums

Saturday, May 18, 2019 (Day 2 of 2)

Registration & Coffee
8:30 AM to 9:00 AM
WIEsner Building Lower Atrium

Session 5
9:00 AM to 10:30 AM

28. Analyzing the Power of Facebook
Classroom E25-117

Moderator: Nancy Baym, Microsoft Research
Niall Docherty, University of Nottingham, “Facebook’s ideal user: Social capital and the politics of well-being online”
Elisha Lim, University of Toronto, “From Identity Politics to Identity Economics: Facebook’s Protestant Epistemology”
Nancy Baym, Christopher Persaud, Kelly Wagman, Microsoft Research, “Mindfully Scrolling: Rethinking Facebook after Time Deactivated”
Kimberly Hall, Wofford College, “Social Media Scandal and the Moral Black Box”

29. Media, Heritage, and Memory
Classroom 56-114

Moderator: Marina Hassapopoulou, NYU
Yizhou Guo, University of California, Santa Cruz, “Saving Invalid Memory from Disappearing: The Making of the Online Memory Site of a Banned Film”
Charisse L’Pree , Syracuse University, “The American Psychosocial Relationship with 20th Century Media”
Sheenagh Pietrobruno, Saint Paul University/University of Ottawa, “The Diversity of Heritage Content on YouTube”
Marina Hassapopoulou, NYU, “The Limitations of ‘New Media’ Historiographies and Interactive Memorialization in Virtual Reality Documentary Games”  

30. Surveillance, Policing, and Prison
Classroom 56-154

Moderator: Paula Albuquerque, University of Amsterdam/Gerrit Rietveld Academy
Josefina Buschmann, MIT, “Operational Atmospheres: Counter-mapping Chilean police media operations in Wallmapu’s state of exception”
Paula Albuquerque, University of Amsterdam/Gerrit Rietveld Academy, “Spectrality in CCTV and Drones: What the ghosts in Surveillance Media tell us about gender and race profiling”
Daniela Maduro & Pedro Martins, University of Coimbra, “The Making of SONAR: representing democracy in a digital age”
Amy Gaeta, The University of Wisconsin-Madison, “Visualizing the Drone: The Affective, Bodily, and Spatial Ambivalence of Security”

31. Youth Media and Politics
Classroom 66-144

Moderator: Mary Caulfield, MIT
Shenja van der Graaf, Vrije Universiteit Brussels, “Children and the right to the city in the ‘platform’ age”
Ssu-Han Yu, London School of Economics and Political Science, “Mediating democracy: An intergenerational analysis”
P. Francis Wilson , Western Kentucky University, “When Youth Run for Office”
Sanjay Asthana, Middle Tennessee State University, “Youth, ICTs, and ‘Violent Extremism’ A Non-Representational Approach”

32. Polarization, Participation and Perception in Politics
Classroom 66-168

Moderator: Andrew Phelps, Rochester Institute of Technology
Andrew Phelps, Rochester Institute of Technology & Mia Consalvo, Concordia University, “Development Streaming and Authenticity: Cultural Connections, Participatory Democracy and Potential Practices of Engagement”
Sara Lillo, Boston University, “Digital Images and Dual Realities”
Nello Barile, IULM University of Milan, Lo-fi politics. “Polarization, electoral fluidity and post-cosmetic image of the Italian populist leaders”
Mariano Navarro, Universidad Panamericana, Mexico City, “The Narrative Logistics of Moral Perception”
Karen Schrier, Marist College, “Can Making Games about Empathy Also Enhance Empathy?”

33. Interrogating Caste, Democracy and Digitality in India
Classroom 66-160

Moderator: Dibya Roy,  Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Indore
Shivangi Soni, Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Indore, “Dalit Definitional Frictions: Media as discord or democracy?”
Sreyan Chatterjee, Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Indore, “DICCI’s Demographics of Despair: The Invisibility of Dalit Entrepreneurship in Indian Media”
Dibya Roy, Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Indore, “Games Dalits Play: The Invisibility of Subaltern Representations in Indian Web Series”

34. Ads and Algorithms
Classroom 66-154

Moderator: Lisa Lynch, Drew University
Lisa Lynch, Drew University, “‘Sponsored’ Debates: Native Advertising and Issue-Based Messaging From Corporations and Nonprofits”
Michael Kaplan, Baruch College CUNY, “‘Amplifying the Asshole:’ Learning Democracy from Algorithms, Bots and Trolls”
Susannah R. Mandel, Prince Mohammed bin Fahd University, “‘We Care About You And The Memories You Share’: Parsing the Capitalist Uncanny in an Era of Branded Humans and Corporate Personas”
Peter Walsh, Global Narratives, Inc., “This Will Kill That: The Inevitable Political and Social Upheavals of Media Change”

10:30 AM – 11:00 PM

Session 6
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

35. Community Information and Storytelling Networks: Case Studies in a Transformed Media Landscape
Classroom E25-117

Moderator: Henry Jenkins, USC 
Letrell Crittenden, Jefferson University, “A Tale of Two Media Ecosystems: Race and Inclusion in Pennsylvania”
Kas Stohr, 99 antennas/Simon & Schuster, “Public Comment: Experiments in Making Public Meetings More Accessible to the Public”
Andrea Wenzel, Temple University/Columbia Tow Center, “Reporting for or about: Report for America and local news capacity building models”
Sam Ford, Columbia University Tow Center/MIT, “The Market Failure in Local Journalism: The Quest for Sustainable Journalism Models, from the Bluegrass to the Big Apple”

36. New Forms of Media Activism and Advocacy
Classroom 56-114

Moderator: Josh Braun, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Josh Braun & John Coakley, University of Massachusetts Amherst, “Ad Tech Activism: ‘Hyper-partisan news,’ digital advertising boycotts, and changing relationships between brands, activists, and publishers”
Gino Canella, Emerson College, “Collaborative Documentary as Media Advocacy”
Melissa Phruksachart, University of Michigan, “On Minority Discourse and the Left Digital Sphere”
Priti Laishram, University of Delhi, “Rethinking Resistance: A study of circulation of songs of resistance”

37. Virtual Realities
Classroom 56-154

Moderator: Rachel Ball, University of California, Santa Barbara
Rachel Ball, University of California, Santa Barbara, “Against Nature: Special Effects Bodies and the Re-membered Animal”
Carles Sora, Pompeu Fabra University, “Is the ‘Virtual’ the new ‘Real’?”
Jeremy Sarachan, St. John Fisher College, “Movie or Mobile: The Necessary Future of Interactive and VR Documentaries”
Zhongbei Wang & Zhou Rongting, University of Science and Technology of China, “Reviving Chinese Opera through Augmented Reality Reviving Chinese Opera through Augmented Reality”

38. Analyzing #MeToo
Classroom 66-144

Moderator: Anne Ciecko, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Joyojeet Pall, Drupa Charles, Anmol Panda, Microsoft Research India, “Evaluating the relationship between extreme political hashtags and gender-based trolling on Indian Twitter post-#metoo”
Christina Blankenship, University of New Mexico, “Tattoos and #MeToo: A subcultural construction of sexual harassment narratives in online spaces and community discussion via social media”
Lisa Paul Streitfeld, The European Graduate School, “Web 3.0 and the (R)evolution of Desire: The Quantum Leap from #MeToo to #WeToo”
Anne Ciecko, University of Massachusetts Amherst, “Re-Fashioning and Democratizing Feminist Sartorial Activism and Judicial Iconicity: Digital Cultural Mediations of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s ‘Dissent Collar’”

39. Authoritarianism, Information Warfare, and Social Media
Classroom 66-168

Moderator: Marlyn Tadros, Southern New Hampshire University
Marlyn Tadros, Southern New Hampshire University, “Disruptive vs Subversive: the power and disempowerment of new media in authoritarian countries, the case of Egypt and Saudi Arabia”
Ahmad Alshehab, Arizona State University, “Free Speech and Defamation in a world of Internet and social media: The case of Kuwait and the United States of America”
Nathaniel Greenberg, George Mason University, “Information Warfare and the Struggle for Democracy: WikiLeaks and the Arab Spring Revisited”
Evika Karamagioli, Dimitris Gouscos, Eleni Staiou, University of Athens, “Social media platforms and Participatory constitutional design: From
the Islandic case to the French ‘yellow vest’ movement and beyond”

40. Sounding Publics: Infrastructures of Politicized Listening
Classroom 66-160

Moderator: Lilia Kilburn, Harvard University
Burç Köstem, McGill University, “‘We Are Muffled Voices, Dear Lord, Don’t Let Our Minarets Fall Silent’: The Islamic Call to Prayer and the Politics of Disruption in Turkey”
Sadie Couture, Concordia University, “Loud and Proud: Affirmative Resonances and Alt-Right Podcasts”
Hang Wu, McGill University, “Technologies of Sounds, Waves, and Socialist Sovereignty: Listening to Enemy Radio in Mao’s China”
Andy Stuhl, McGill University, “The Emergency Alert System’s Acoustic Infrastructure”

41. Collective Wisdom — A Field Study:  Co-Creating Media Within Communities, Across Disciplines, and with Algorithms
Classroom 66-154

Trump and Brexit have signaled a sharp turn in the cult of the individual.   But we’re also in a remarkable time of collective creation. Take for instance, The Panama Papers: a global collective of investigative journalists from 107 news organizations joined forces in 2016 to interpret the largest data leak in history. It brought down governments, presidents, and it marked the biggest effort ever in journalism to collaborate rather than compete. Now more than ever, we need these forms of co-creation to get beyond the limits of singular authorship and single authority. Co-creation involves a constellation of media production methods, frameworks, and feedback systems in which projects emerge from a process, and evolve from within communities and with people, rather than being made for or about them.  The panel will offer a ‘sneak peek’ into a major forthcoming field study based on interviews with over 160 people involved in co-creation in media and the arts.  The study was supported by the MacArthur and Ford Foundations, is forthcoming from the MIT Press, and will also be available shortly on the Press’s PubPub platform

Moderator: William Uricchio, MIT
Kat Cizek, MIT/Ryerson
Sarah Wolozin, MIT
Rashin Fahandej, MIT/ Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Leila Kinney, MIT


12:30 PM to 1:30 PM

Session 7
1:30 PM to 3:00 PM

42. Lessons from Social Media
Classroom E25-117

Moderator: Elyse Graham, Stony Brook University
Elyse Graham, Stony Brook University, “Boundary Maintenance and the Origins of Trolling”
Daniel Dugand, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, “HashtagGuacIsBack: Creativity in the Age of Automatic Societies”
Seth Lewis, University of Oregon, Logan Molyneux, Temple University, “Social media, journalism, and faulty assumptions: Lessons from a decade of research”
Keith Clavin, MIT, “Island of Conspiracy: Cuba, Social Networks, and Narrative in the Information Age”
Mitchel Sutika Sipus, Tulco Labs, “Designing the Global Discourse on Nuclear Threats via Experimental Socio-Technical Systems“

43. Games and Civic Engagement
Classroom 56-114

Moderator: Libby Falck, MIT
Tonguc Sezen, Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, Diğdem Sezen, Istanbul University, “Current Event Games​ Today: A Comparative Evaluation of Two Cases”
Libby Falck, MIT, “Game Design Thinking for Civic Engagement”
Angela Catalano, University of New Orleans, “We’re Going to Play a New Game”
Tanya Gibbs, Karel Janecek, Jan Oresky, Institute for Democracy 21, Prague, “Utilizing online election-based games to build bridges for consensus: The Prezident 21 example in the Czech Republic”


44. Digital Publics
Classroom 56-154

Moderator: Gabrielle Linnell, Folger Shakespeare Library
Sadia Khan, University of South Carolina, “Negotiating (Dis)Trust to Advance Media and Information Literacy”
Steve Wexler, California State University, Northridge, “The Alethization Problem and Our Transformative Digital Publics”
Gabrielle Linnell, Folger Shakespeare Library, “We Might Be Wrong About That: Digital Platforms and Cultural Knowledge in a Time of Change”
Vitoria Folletto Faccin, Iowa State University, “The Connected Generation: Changes in the New Media Environment as Challenges to Traditional Concepts of Mass Communication Theory”

45. Algorithmic Cultures
Classroom 66-144


Moderator: Iris van der Tuin, Utrecht University
Gerrit Boehncke, Ruhr-University Bochum, “‘In Bot We Trust!’ What do Millenials and Generation Z users think of bot recommendations – and what can we expect for Generation R?”
Oren Soffer, Open University of Israel, “Algorithmic Personalization: Assessment through the Historical-Theoretical Lens of the Two-Step Flow of Communication”
Michel Erler, Southern California Institute of Architecture, “Constant Counting: Producing and Consuming Media in the Age of Attention Quantification”
Iris van der Tuin & Nanna Verhoeff, Utrecht University, “Interfaces (For) Diffracting Publics: A Science-Humanities Perspective for the Algorithmic Condition”

46. Creativity & Attention in Games and Social Media
Classroom 66-168

Moderator: Eric Freedman, Columbia College Chicago
Mehitabel Glenhaber , MIT, “The Xkit Guy: Social Media Modding as Co-Creativity, Exploited Labor, or Radical Protest?”
Lorena Lamin, Portuguesa Catholic University, “Gamified narratives for social change in a digital world”
Jessie Marchessault, Bart Simon, Concordia University, “Indie Game Studios and the Attention Economy: On route to actually participatory media?”
Eric Freedman, Columbia College Chicago, “Industries at Play: Materiality, Mixed Reality and Mediated Environments”
Ilan Tamir, Ariel University, “Whatsappsport: Using Whatsapp while Viewing Sports Events”

47. Gaming, Community, and Inclusion
Classroom 66-160

Moderator: James Bowie-Wilson, MIT
Johanna Brewer, Neta Snook Research & Design Studio, “Inclusive Streamers: Live Broadcasting Safe Spaces”
Nic Watson, Concordia University, “Minecraft modding practices: The rationalization of a digital participatory culture”
Scott Mitchell, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, “Playing Citizen, Playing God: Ludogogical frameworks of citizenship, mortality, and human-technology relations in Detroit: Become Human”
James Bowie-Wilson, MIT, “Unlucky Roles: Identity in Dungeons and Dragons”

48. Podcasts for the People
Classroom 66-154

Podcasting has been embraced by media institutions large and small and has provided a means for those with limited resources to create and disseminate ideas. It has seen a steady increase in listenership, formats, and challenges. What possibilities does this method of storytelling create for the democratization of diverse voices? Do practices of intimate listening, unconstrained time formats, and deep investigations of various topics facilitate more meaningful engagement with politics and art? Rekha Murthy, podcast strategist, discusses her involvement with the inaugural Spotify Sound Up podcast training program and diverse voices in the space. Anjali Kamath, WNYC political journalist, discusses reporting for radio and the pros and cons of converting and generating content for the podcast format. Rachel Thompson critically interrogates Ear Hustle, a podcast featuring “stories of life inside prison, shared and produced by those living it,” within the lineages of incarceration media and audio storytelling. Moderated by DJ Rekha, the roundtable discussion will address the issues above as well the impact of podcasting on democratic engagement and as a tool for social change.

Moderator: Rekha Malhotra, MIT
Anjali Kamat, Journalist, Filmmaker and Writer
Rekha Murthy, Independent Podcast Strategist
Rekha Malhotra, Producer, Curator, Educator, and Activist
Rachel Thompson, MIT Graduate Student, CMS/W

3:00 PM to 3:15 PM

Session 8
3:15 PM to 4:45 PM

49. Finding Commonality in Our Humanity: Experiments in Discovering Shared Concerns and Visions
Classroom E25-117

Moderator: Sam Ford, Columbia University Tow Center/MIT
Anika Gupta, The Atlantic, “A Moderating Influence: Lessons on Creating a Culture for Healthy Online Conversations”
Joe Karaganis, The American Assembly at Columbia University, “Civic Assembly: Exploring a New Approach to Journalism and Deliberative Democracy”
Sangita Shresthova, University of Southern California, “Civic Imagination: Roadmaps, Stories, Practice and Calls to Action”
Michelle Holmes, Alabama Media Group, “Guns, An American Conversation: Listening To, and Trying to Learn from, People with Vastly Different Perspectives”

50. Regulating Containment and Control
Classroom 56-114

Moderator: Rachel Thompson, MIT
Ian Alexander, NYU, “Carceral Media Practices: Media Technologies, Affiliation, and Control in U.S. Prisons”
Chris Campanioni, The Graduate Center/CUNY, “The Glitch of Biometrics & the Error as Evasion: the Subversive Potential of Self-Effacement”
Jingyi Gu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, “From Banning Eating Banana to Penalizing Insulting National Anthem: Chinese Government’s Intervention in Regulating Live Streaming”
Martin Fredriksson, Linköping University, Sweden, “Pirate Utopias Revisited: What’s Left of the Information Commons”

51. Democracy and Media in The Handmaid’s Tale: Lessons about Civility and the Public Sphere
Classroom 56-154

Moderator: Karen Ritzenhoff, Central Connecticut State University
Theodora Ruhs, Central Connecticut State University, “‘I’m Ravenous for News’: Using The Handmaid’s Tale to Explore the Role of Journalism”
Karen Ritzenhoff, Central Connecticut State University, “Writing Women Out of the Public Sphere: Fake News in The Handmaid’s Tale”
Janis Goldie, Communication Studies, Huntington University, “Idealizing Canada: Democracy North of the Border in Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale”
Valerie Giovanini, California State University, Northridge, “An Army of Me: Representations of Intersubjective Relations, Ethics, and Political Resistance in The Handmaid’s Tale”

52. Cause for Collaboration: Librarians, Museums, and Allied Professionals Working Against Misinformation
Classroom 66-144

The ability to access and evaluate information is essential to fully participate in a democratic society and make well-informed life decisions. Yet, many Americans say that “fake news” is creating confusion, and research shows people are not adept at evaluating information. Adding to the concern, public trust in government and news media, once seen as gatekeepers of credible information, is waning. As two civic institutions that still enjoy high levels of public trust, libraries and museums are in a unique position to work with other professionals concerned with the spread of mis- and disinformation to help people access credible information and develop and practice news literacy competencies. This panel will share results from an IMLS grant-funded symposium that brought together 80 librarians, journalists, and allied professionals to discuss professional standards, values, and practices related to how information is created, disseminated, shared, and evaluated across the fields, and to brainstorm collaborative responses to the problems of misinformation. The symposium resulted in 9 proposals for action. This panel will share findings from the symposium along with current successes, best practices, and potential ways for allied professionals to collaborate to combat the spread of mis- and disinformation and promote news literacy.

Moderator: Laura Saunders, Simmons College SLIS
Lisa Hinchliffe, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,”The Library as Living Laboratory”
Laura Saunders, Simmons College SLIS, “Exploring Information Standards and Values across Allied Professions”

53. Publics: Engaging and Engrossing across Media in the Modern Era
Classroom 66-168

Moderator: Samuel Mendez, MIT
Samuel Mendez, MIT, All of Us: A Textual Analysis of a Precision Medicine Research Recruitment Program
Malte Delere, Gudrun Marci-Boehncke, Tatjana Vogel, Technische Universität Dortmund, and Matthjias Rath, Ludwigsburg University of Education, “Focussing “teachers beliefs” – how German pre-service teachers think about digital media, democracy, and political denunciation”
Vassiliki Rapti, Engagement Lab, Emerson College , “Greek Drama and Democracy as “The Eyes of the People”: Re-staging Democracy as Spectacle in the New Media Era”
Gina Hara, Concordia University, “GAMERella, Community Outreach and Inclusive Design”
Charles Musser, Yale University, “Beginnings, Formations, Genealogies: Documentary’s Longue Durée”

54. From Democracy to Post-Citizenship: The Art of Populism and Revolt*
Classroom 66-160

Moderator: Lanfranco Aceti, BU & MIT, Assistant, Rob Halperin
Krzysztof Wodiczko, Harvard University, “Cultural Prosthetics: Projections and Instrumentations”
Vera Grant, University of Michigan, “Democracy, Performance, Activism, and the Public Domain (conversation with Stefanos Tsivopoulos)”
Stefanos Tsivopoulos, Parsons, “Democracy, Performance, Activism, and the Public Domain (conversation with Vera Grant)”
Gregor H. Lersch, Jewish Museum, Berlin, Mischa Kuball, Academy of Media Arts Cologne, “Populism vs Democracy and Social Media… and other Disasters (conversation with Mischa Kuball)”
Lanfranco Aceti, BU & MIT, “The Alarm Bell Rang in the Silence: Witnessing and Memorializing Democracy through New Media”

*The panel was realized with the gracious support of the Goethe Institute, Boston.

4:45 PM to 5:00 PM

Plenary 2
5:00 PM to 6:30 PM

Plenary: Digital Technologies and Cultures
Wiesner Building – E15

Bartos Theater

20 years have elapsed since the first MiT conference on Democracy and New Media, setting into sharp relief the situatedness of our terminology, our scholarship, and our teaching. Fast morphing global assemblages – the technologies, ethical regimes, and administrative systems that articulate contemporary transformations – have put pressure on our conceptual models. How does precedent, most often embedded in vocabulary, figure in our work? And what strategies are available to work with it productively, or confrontationally, or playfully, to circumvent its limits? The discussion will wander through such issues as access and power; the private and public; the territorial and extra-territorial; and the (tactical) role of imaginaries.

Moderator: William Uricchio, MIT
Tarleton Gillespie, Microsoft Research & Cornell University
Nanna Verhoeff, Utrecht University
Toussaint Nothias, Stanford University
Orit Halpern, Concordia University

Evening Party
8:00 PM to 11:00 PM
Cambridge Multicultural Center
42 Second Street, East Cambridge, 02141
Food, Drink, DJ performances, and more! 

PermformanceS by
Ian Condry
DJ SIRaiki
PhilIp Tan
DJ Rekha


Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Comparative Media Studies/Writing
160 Memorial Drive, 14E-303
Cambridge MA 02139


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