User-Generated Culture‏

Call for papers
You, Me, User – Conference on User-Generated Culture
May 25 – May 26 2012 in Helsinki

From social media to video games and from online fan production to machinima, the phenomenon of user-generated culture has secured its position in the mainstream during the last few years. This shift has resulted from the blurring boundaries between media production and consumption as well as between professional and amateur authorship. The phenomenon is claimed to be characterized by collaboration, accessibility and democratic potential. During the You, Me, User Conference we approach the user-generated culture, or in other words, multiple situations where culture becomes modified, produced and distributed through everyday practices, social and new media.

The Finnish Society for Cinema Studies (SETS) invites presentations which explore the questions surrounding user-generated culture. The conference will bring together Finnish and international scholars of a wide range of relevant fields of studies. The conference will offer a chance to focus on a new and active field of study and is open to presentations from a wide spectrum.

Keynote speeches will be delivered by David Buckingham and Frans Mäyrä.

Professor David Buckingham (Loughborough University) is a media education researcher. He is especially interested in children’s and young people’s interactions with electronic media, consumer culture and civic participation. His most recent book is The Material Child: Growing Up in Consumer Culture (2011).

Professor Frans Mäyrä (University of Tampere) has focused on media culture, digital media and games. He leads an interdisciplinary research group on games study where game culture, players, their activities and gameplay experiences are approached. Mäyrä has published Introduction to Game Studies: Games in Culture (2008), for example.

We seek paper proposals from various fields, such as film, television, games, internet, music, art, literature, etc. It is our intention to organize the symposium around questions, such as:
• What is user-generated culture and how to conceptualize it?
• Changes in the distribution channels of audiovisual media due to user-generated culture
• Changes in the consumption of audiovisual media due to user-generated culture
• Fan as an author?
• How does user-generated culture blur the boundaries of production and consumption?
• Politically, socially or culturally significant forms of user-generated culture
• Global and local implications of user-generated culture
• Does user-generated culture produce new forms of community?
• Problems of control and copyright in user-generated culture
• What are the problematic dimensions of user-generated culture (censorship, legal issues, etc.)?

Proposals, including an abstract (max. 300 words) and a short CV, should be submitted to Conference Secretary Maija Uusitalo by email: by 19.2.2012 at the latest. Notification of acceptance will be sent by 1.3.2012.

Organizers: Finnish Society of Film Research in concert with National Audivisual Archive, Media Studies (University of Turku), Cinema and Television Studies (University of Helsinki), Aalto University, School of Communication, Media and Theatre (University of Tampere) and Koulukino.