CFP AAG 2018: The Abandoned Spaces of the Internet

Capture d_écran 2017-09-08 à 14.29.43Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting (New Orleans, April 10-14, 2018)

Session Organizer: Vincent Miller (School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, University of Kent)

In recent years, Geography has seen a rebirth of interest and appreciation of the abandoned, ruined and neglected spaces of modernity, particularly within the context of deindustrialisation. However, with a quarter of a century behind it, the ‘post-industrial’ space of the Web has itself already turned into a space of abandonment, ruin and blight. While much has been deleted over time (thus creating concerns over curation and archiving), many abandoned or neglected virtual spaces still remain, frozen in an eternal present. From the one billion inactive accounts on Twitter, to the recent unearthing of Tom Hardy’s MySpace profile, to abandoned virtual worlds, games, blogs, social media and dating websites, spaces of abandonment and neglect are endemic to the internet and, unlike the industrial ruin, remain mostly hidden from view, although never far away.

In the spirit of urban exploration and ‘ruin porn’, this session is devoted to an examination and appreciation of a variety of abandoned digital spaces, and from a variety of perspectives including:

• Aesthetic experiences of design, ruin, decay, abandonment
• Philosophical issues around time, identity, ephemerality and narrative
• Affective experiences of nostalgia, memory, loss, embarrassment and the uncanny
• Political-economic issues around digital capitalism, creative destruction and digital abundance

Anyone interested in participating in the session should send an abstract conforming to the requirements of the AAG (see http://annualmeeting.aag.org/ ) by October 10 to Vince Miller (v.miller@kent.ac.uk). Please note that the deadline for abstract submission and fee payment for this conference is October 25, 2017.

Dr. Vincent Miller
Reader in Sociology and Cultural Studies
SSPSSR
University of Kent
Canterbury, UK

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