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Call for Abstracts

Other Senses of Place: Sociospatial Practices in the Contemporary Media Environment.

Deadline for abstracts submission: 30th September 2014.
, June 22, 2014

Sociologica will publish a symposium entitled Other Senses of Place: Sociospatial Practices in the Contemporary Media Environment.


Symposium Editor: Federica Timeto.

Today, geolocalized information and communication have become not only the content but also the context of our social interactions. New sociospatial formations have arisen from the spread of computing into the geomedia environment. On the one hand, electronic media have created an increasing dissociation between physical and social places, deeply changing the way we define, experience and communicate sociospatiality. On the other hand, locative media appear as more and more location-aware and context-dependent, foregrounding a transformation that interests places and media at the same time. This delineates a different scenario for contemporary social actors in terms of new affordances and constraints. The title of this call draws on Joshua Meyrowitz’s renowned No sense of place (1985), in which the idea of the situation of communication is explored, and we would like to expand this definition so as to include more recent approaches to the hybrid and multiple spaces of the contemporary media environment (Boyd; de Souza e Silva; Ito; Frith; Morley; Moores; Wilken & Goggin). Additionally, it relies on a definition of locative media that is not merely technical or restricted to the positioning devices employed, but rather foregrounds the situated experiences of social actors and the way their practice of the locative and mobile infrastructure in turn modifies the infrastructure of their experiences (Dourish & Bell).

This issue of Sociologica will explore the numerous ways in which the contemporary diffusion of locative and mobile media puts into relief the spatialization of communication events, as well as the communicative quality of places, in a condition of diffuse addressability (Mitchell). This underlines a co-emergence of information and sociospatial formations, pointing to the performativity of both (Mackenzie; Thrift). The issue also foregrounds the way in which the relation between the subjects and objects of communication also changes in such contexts of distributed agency and pervasive mediation, in which new sociotechnical formations emerge.

Contributions focusing on empirical case studies as well as methodological and theoretical reflections on (but not limited to) the following topics are welcomed:

  • Communication, space and mobility (location and mobility, theoretical and practical redefinitions of space and place, mobile methodologies, material and virtual mobilities, net localities, mobile devices);

  • The creativity and performativity of space (the social sciences after the non-representational turn, embodiment and situated aesthetics, materiality and mediation in space, locative arts);

  • Sociotechnical formations in mediaspaces (sociotechnical assemblages, hybrid spaces, mobile interfaces, The Internet of Things, smart objects);

  • The reshaping of the urban sphere (augmented environments, urban games, urban screens, open source urbanism, community and participative practices in digital localities, citizenship and civic engagement, the redefinition of the public and the private);

  • Mapping practices (geomedia environments, new visualization systems, surveillance, Location Based Social Networks, code/spaces, the aesthetics of mapping, grassroots mapping, emergency mapping, media-flânerie and navigational platforms).


Abstracts of 450-500 words, together with a short bio (100-200 words) describing the author’s background, current affiliation and research interests, should be submitted by e-mail before 30 September 2014 to the symposium editor at the following address: ftimeto@gmail.com

Upon abstract acceptance, papers of no more than 8,000 words (including references and notes) in Word format must be submitted by 31 December 2014. Papers will go through a double blind peer review process. Notification of acceptance will be given to authors, along with the reviewers’ comments, by February 2015. Final papers after revision will be due by March 2015.