CFC: The Analogue Idyll: Disconnection, Detox and Departure from the Digital World

Call for Contributions: The Analogue Idyll: Disconnection, Detox and Departure from the Digital World
An edited collection to be published with Bristol University Press
Abstract Deadline: 14 October 2022

While we may live in the ‘digital age’, analogue technologies, practices and experiences persist. Sales of vinyl records are the highest they have been in thirty years. The boardgame industry is booming. Typewriter repair shops are opening up. Cafes are banning smartphones with the hope of rekindling vanishing forms of pre-digital sociality. Digital detox retreats are proliferating, enabling over-connected users to log off from the addictive frenzy of social media, while growing numbers of people are opting to close their social media accounts. In short, ‘the analogue’ is increasingly accruing meaning and value in a sociocultural milieu that is overwhelmingly digital. Bringing together scholars from the social sciences, arts and humanities, this volume provides a pathfinding exploration of the analogue as a new idyll myth. The concept of the analogue idyll draws on and expands the imaginative efficacy of the rural idyll. More than simply demarcating a spatial division between the rural and urban, encapsulated within the myth of the rural idyll is the notion of the rural as a repository for ways of life regarded as simpler, slower-paced and more rewarding, natural, authentic, meaningful and healthy. While the rural idyll has long provided diverse social groups with a means to express broader concerns about temporality, technology, identity and progress, many of the positive values that were once accorded to this variant of the idyll are now being attributed to the analogue. This edited collection explores the intensifying cultural enthusiasm for analogue technologies, media and experiences by tracing a diverse range of responses to our current techno-saturated moment.

Suggested topics include but are not limited to:

  • Nostalgia for analogue media
  • Digital technology/media avoidance, ambivalence, or non-use
  • The celebration of face-to-face communication
  • Digital disconnection (detoxing, retreats, wellbeing apps)
  • Off-grid living
  • Digital resistance/refusal
  • The resurgence in popularity of analogue media forms (vinyl records, Polaroid cameras, typewriters, etc.)
  • The new values being attributed to nondigital goods, services and lifestyles

The volume will be purposely interdisciplinary, sitting at the intersection of Media and Communication Studies, Sociology, Social Anthropology, Material Culture Studies and Geography. We are looking to balance the disciplines and methods represented in the collection and this will partly inform our selection process.

We invite proposals for chapters of c. 8,000 words (including citations and bibliographies).

Please submit the following by 14 October 2022 for consideration:

  • A 400-500-word proposed chapter abstract.
  • A one-page CV with a 150-word bio (please make sure to include your current position, institutional affiliation and email address).
  • One previous writing sample representative of writing style and narrative voice (e.g. an article or chapter you have published).

Tentative Production Schedule:

  • Please send the above material to a.r.e.taylor@exeter.ac.uk by 14 October 2022
  • Authors notified following review – 21 October 2022
  • First chapter drafts due (c. 8,000 words – 10 February 2023)
  • The deadline for the submission of full contributions will be late Spring 2023

Please send any questions to a.r.e.taylor@exeter.ac.uk

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