This call for proposals has ended.
If you consult recent headlines, the news media is in crisis, and the problems are manifold: disruptive changes to media technology, the spread of misleading news, and anonymous harassment of public figures are causing serious concerns about the quality and trajectory of our democracy and the place of the news media in it. At the same time, these phenomena are not new; disruptions, falsehoods, and harassment have been topics of public concern at various moments throughout the history of media and democracy. How does the current moment, dominated by concerns over the rise of social media, the prevalence of online harassment, the commercial viability of the print press, and the loss of local journalism, compare to previous moments of crisis? Which developments have echoes in the past, and which concerns are truly novel or unprecedented?
To encourage historically informed research on the impact of recent technological changes on both media and democracy, the Media & Democracy program at the Social Science Research Council is proud to announce an open call for papers for a research workshop to be held in New York City on December 13–14, 2018.
This workshop will convene social scientists and humanities scholars whose work on the relationship between media and democracy is informed by historical comparisons and can speak—directly or indirectly— to current concerns in this area. Journalists and other practitioners working on in-depth treatments of these questions are also welcome to apply. Substantive research themes may include but are not limited to the following topics:
Disruptive technological changes in historical perspective:
Fake news and information wars in historical context:
Trust in the media and a “shared reality”:
To apply, please send the following materials to email@example.com by August 10, 2018. Please include “Application for media, technology, and democracy workshop” in the subject line.