[SLED] New member

Digital Generation Book dg_book at mac.com
Tue Sep 18 17:18:23 PDT 2007

Hello all,

My name is Heather Urbanski and I am about as new to Second Life as you can get. I would love to just jump in and start learning but right now, my dissertation at Lehigh University has to take priority. I find such digital media fascinating, though, so much so that I am editing a collection about the influence of participatory entertainment like Second Life on how we see writing and rhetoric.

That is why I am sending this message. I am currently soliciting submissions for the collection and wanted to distribute the following CFP to all those on this list who might be interested. 

Feel free to email me at the collection-specific address in the call [DG_book at mac.com] with any questions or queries.

Thank you,
Heather Urbanski

Call for Abstracts: Writing (and) the Digital Generation [essay collection]

For the upcoming essay collection "Writing (and) the Digital Generation" (under contract with McFarland), I am soliciting contributions that analyze the many facets of participatory digital entertainment. The key assumption of this project is that, contrary to the claim that "no one reads anymore," a vast "Digital Generation" actually engages in more rhetorical activity than perhaps any before. This collection seeks essays that describe and document these participatory activities and how they are changing how we see writing, perhaps permanently.

The collection will be organized around the following types of participatory entertainment: 1) The TV Fan; 2) The Sports Fan; 3) The Gamer; 4) The Filmmaker; and 5) The Chronicler. It will include two kinds of essays: 
1) Traditional academic essays (approximately 5,000 words each). 
2) Participant portraits (approximately 1,000 words briefly describing what it's like for those who engage directly and regularly in participatory entertainment). 

Priority will be given to those authors who are members of the online communities they are discussing. I am looking for fans of participatory entertainment to analyze their own interests, as opposed to academics who stand outside the community and then theorize about the activities they observe. Graduate students and junior faculty are especially encouraged to submit abstracts. 

Since the underlying assumption of this collection is that participatory digital entertainment is, perhaps counter-intuitively, increasing the rhetorical activity of popular culture, please keep your focus on how we use digital media for entertainment, for "play," as opposed to for social and/or political activism or simply social networking. The goal is to present a series of portraits of the rhetorical activity of participatory entertainment so the more specific the better. 

While theoretical approaches are welcome, please keep in mind that the primary audience includes both fans and academics. I am also looking for the collection to maintain a pedagogical tone, with conclusions designed to help instructors of all grade levels better understand the rhetorical activities students are engaging in outside the classroom.

I am particularly interested in essays describing the rhetoric of Second Life and other avatar-based online activities. A preliminary list of other potential topics include:
- Online sports Fantasy Leagues.
- Television fandom converging on the web.
- Fan films.
- Blogging as rhetorical activity.
- Digital film-making and YouTube as distributor.
- Fan fiction.
- MMORPGs as rhetorical activity.

Please submit abstracts of approximately 500 words (as Word or .rtf email attachments) for essays targeted at 5,000 words or for participant portraits at 1,000 words by November 15, 2007 to Heather Urbanski at DG_book at mac.com. 

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