Call for Papers ECREA Symposium Digital Democracy: Critical Perspectives in the Age of Big Data

10-11 November 2017, Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden

Joint Conference of two ECREA Sections: Communication and Democracy; and Media Industries and Cultural Production

Abstract Deadline 1 June 2017

Keynote speakers

  • Helen Kennedy (University of Sheffield)
  • Joseph Turow (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Mikkel Flyverbom (Copenhagen Business School)

The coordinates of democracy, civic engagement and political participation are being fundamentally reconfigured in the context of digital media, Big Data and algorithmic culture, and so too are the media industries. This joint conference of the ECREA Communication and Democracy and Media Industries and Cultural Production Sections provides the opportunity to analyse and assess these changes.

The constant need to measure and capture our behavior and attitudes has consequences for our political agency and subjectivities. What do big data and algorithmic culture mean in the context of democratic participation and engagement? What are the consequences of ubiquitous surveillance, preemptive policing and social bots for our understanding of democracy and exercise of civic rights? How do current discussions of political agency in the digital age compare to previous moments of disruption in terms of the introduction of media technologies?

Big data and issues related to algorithmic governance have become a major topic of enquiry in the context of media industries as well. ‘Legacy media’ are trying to respond by integrating new digital services with their existing ones and new data-driven journalistic and media production practices emerge. This presents policy challenges, as, for example, public service media need to adapt to a situation in which data is increasingly commercialized. There are implications too for media workers in this new moment. In this context, we wish to explore issues related to the integration of Big Data and the media industries as well as online production, creativity and digital labour.

During this section conference, we aim to engage with questions concerning datafication, media industries and (digital) democracy through addressing topics such as (but not limited to):

  • Political subjectivities and political agency in the age of Big Data
  • Political consequences of storing, processing and organizing of data
  • Civic engagement and political participation in times of Big Data
  • Surveillance and preemptive policing
  • Materiality and environmental issues of Big Data and algorithmic culture
  • New actors and discourses in the context of datafication
  • Democratic potential of Big Data and algorithmic culture
  • Algorithmic taste management in the media industries
  • Archives and archiving of cultural production and civic engagement
  • Media work and labour in datafied media industries
  • Data Journalism

A YECREA workshop for PhD candidates and junior researchers will be organised. Details are going to be announced in early spring 2017.

Submission details

Please submit a 300-word abstract for individual proposals

Panel proposals should include a 300-word panel rationale plus individual 200 word abstracts from a minimum of four speakers.

All abstracts for individual as well as panel proposals should be submitted through:

Deadline for submission is 1 June 2017. Notifications of acceptance will be issued by 15 August 2017.

Registration and Fees

Early bird registration €50 (until 1 September 2017)

Early bird reduced student fee €30 (until 1 September)

Full fees €75

Reduced student fee €40

Organising Committee:

Göran Bolin, Hanne Bruun, David Hesmondhalgh, Anne Kaun, Maria Michalis, Maria Kyriakidou, Fredrik Stiernstedt, Julie Uldam, Julia Velkova



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