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Message posted on 16/07/2018

CfP - second call: The Web that Was: Archives, Traces, Reflections (Amsterdam, June 2019)

The Web that Was: Archives, Traces, Reflections

A three-day conference, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, June
19-21, 2019. The third biennial RESAW (Research Infrastructure for the
Study of Archived Web Materials) conference. Organized by the University of

Keynote speakers

Megan Ankerson, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, University of
Wendy Chun, Canada 150 Research Chair, Simon Fraser University
Florian Cramer, Professor of Applied Research, Rotterdam University of
Applied Sciences
Olia Lialina, Professor of New Media, Merz Akademie
Fred Turner, Harry and Norman Chandler Professor and Chair of the
Department of Communication, Stanford University

Special event

The conference will host a lecture-performance by Geert Lovink (Institute
of Network Cultures, Hogeschool van Amsterdam) and guests on the history
and preservation of Amsterdam’s early internet culture.

Call for contributions

As the first generation of web users goes grey, it's clear that the
internet they remember is no longer around. The early web is now simply
another object of nostalgia. Tech anniversaries are a dime a dozen, while
once cool digital aesthetics have made several ironic comebacks. All of
this reinforces a sense that we've left behind a digital history that was
as clunky and slow as it was idealistic and naïve.

How can we rethink this relationship to the web's past and the past web?
This question is crucial today as the open web continues to lose ground to
platforms and apps. How can this history be reconstructed and re-evaluated,
and how are web archives and web histories impacted by technological
change? What do traditional problems of preservation and historiography
look like at scale? And what stories capture the diverse transformations
and continuities that mark nearly 30 years of web history?

There is of course no single web history, materially or conceptually
speaking. There is instead a politics of archives, technologies and
discourses that needs to be uncovered. How can we expand our view of web
history beyond Silicon Valley and celebrated cases? And how can we reveal
the technological, social and economic contexts that have shaped not just
the present web, but how we access its past? What role do archives play in
uncovering the histories of the web, platforms and apps, as well as their
production and usage contexts?

This conference aims to bring together scholars, archivists and artists
interested in preserving, portraying and otherwise engaging with the web
that was. In addition to paper submissions, we invite proposals for
audiovisual installations, posters, software demos, or other media that
connects to the conference themes.

Submissions in the form of an abstract may relate to, but are not limited
by, the following topics:

Web and internet histories
Historicizing the web and digital culture
Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and critiquing periodizations
Past futures and paths not taken
Platformization and the changing structure of the web
Social imaginaries of the early web
Archives and access
Research methods for studying the archived web
Methods for platform and app histories
Ethics of (studying) web archives
Technicity of web archives
Software histories
Archived audiences and histories of internet use
Identity, intersectionality and web history
Digital activism and web history
Histories of net criticism
Media industries and their online histories
Web histories elsewhere: forgotten and marginalized web cultures
Realtime, time travel and other web temporalities
Future histories and the archive of tomorrow


Submissions are welcomed from all fields and disciplines, and we would
particularly encourage postgraduate students and early career researchers
to participate.

Individual papers of 20 minutes length (750-word abstract and a short
author bio of 100-150 words).
Panel sessions consisting of three individual papers, introduced by a
chair (750-word abstract for each paper, a brief description of 300 words
of the purpose of the panel, and a short author bio of 100-150 words for
each speaker).
Posters, demonstrations, and audio/video/interactive installations (short
abstract of no more than 300 words, a list of A/V or other requirements,
and a short author bio of 100-150 words)
Workshops (a 500-word rationale for the workshop, including discussion of
why the topic lends itself to a workshop format, and a short author bio of
100-150 words for the workshop organiser(s)).

Deadline for submission is 19 October 2018.

Acceptance will be on the basis of double-blind peer review.


May 2018 - dates out
June 2018 - first call for papers
July 2018 - second call for papers
August 2018 - third call for papers
September 2018 - final call for papers and submissions open
19 October 2018 - submission of abstracts
December 2018 - notification of acceptance
19-21 June 2019 - conference

Organizing Committee

Anne Helmond, University of Amsterdam, NL
Michael Stevenson, University of Amsterdam, NL

In collaboration with the RESAW Conference Committee:
Niels Brügger, Aarhus University, DK (organiser 2015)
Jane Winters, University of London, UK (organiser 2017)
Valérie Schafer, University of Luxembourg, LU (coming organiser 2021)

Program Committee

Susan Aasman, University of Groningen, NL
Gerard Alberts, University of Amsterdam, NL
Megan Ankerson, University of Michigan, USA
Anat Ben-David, The Open University of Israel, IL
Josephine Bosma, independent art critic and theorist, NL
Sally Chambers, Ghent University, BE
Frédéric Clavert, C2DH Luxembourg
Annet Dekker, University of Amsterdam, NL
Matthew Fuller, Goldsmiths, UK
Sophie Gebeil, Aix-Marseille University, FR
Robert W. Gehl, University of Utah, USA
Daniel Gomes,, PT
Stefania Milan, University of Amsterdam, NL
Ian Milligan, University of Waterloo, CA
Francesca Musiani, CNRS, FR
Claude Mussou, Ina, FR
Janne Nielsen, Aarhus University, DK
Camille Paloque-Berges, CNAM, FR
Thomas Poell, University of Amsterdam, NL
Bernhard Rieder, University of Amsterdam, NL
Marta Severo, University of Paris Nanterre, FR
Kees Teszelszky, Koninklijke Bibliotheek/Royal Library, NL
Fred Turner, Stanford University, USA
Peter Webster, Webster Research & Consulting, UK
Katrin Weller, GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, DE


The conference is financed in part by the Netherlands Organisation for
Scientific Research (NWO) as part of the research program Innovational
Research Incentives Scheme Veni in connection with the projects “The Web
that Was” (275-45-006) and “App ecosystems: A critical history of apps”




Dr. Anne Helmond | Assistant Professor of New Media and Digital Culture
University of Amsterdam | Turfdraagsterpad 9 | 1012 XT Amsterdam | The
Netherlands | |

Highlighted publication:

Helmond, Anne. 2015. “The Platformization of the Web: Making Web Data
Platform Ready.” Social Media + Society 1 (2).
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