The Fall 2005 issue of Currents in Electronic Literacy will publish article-length submissions related to the theme below. Currents is also seeking reviews of recent texts. For a list of suggested titles, see <http://www.cwrl.utexas.edu/currents/fall04/reviewcfp.html>.
Theme: “Beyond the Digital Divide? Investigations of Internet Access and Agency in a Mobile Era”
The phrase “digital divide” was coined over 10 years ago to raise questions about who has access to wired environments and internet resources. These questions often centered around how economic factors—as well as race, gender, age, and disability—create inequalities in technological literacy and the availability of technology. How does the proliferation of mobile devices and networks (e.g., handhelds and Wi-Fi) and new forms of internet publishing and wireless communication (e.g., blogs and texting) bridge, change or widen the digital divide? Who uses these technologies, and how do they use them? We invite submissions which take up these questions of digital agency and access in a variety of ways. Submissions might address but are not limited to the following:
-What new barriers or opportunities have blogs, text messaging, cell phone email, photoblogging, PDAs and smartphones, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc. created? Do these shift focus from passive reception of information to active production of content?
-What happens to students in computer environments who are somehow “less prepared” than their peers? What kinds of learning environments foster development of necessary technical skills? How are skills deemed “necessary” or “sufficient”? What are the criteria?
-With the emergence of technological knowledge amongst youth, is the professoriate now placed on the “other side” of the digital divide? If so, how does this divide affect classroom pedagogy?
-What is the impact of new technologies on political discourse? How can new technologies be used for effecting social change? For example, does street journalism challenge the corporate hold on journalism? To what extent has texting, versus voice calling, become the means of spontaneous social organization and protest?
-Given the syndication of blog rolls and/or the distinction between blog authors and blog readers, are blogs a form of peer-to-peer news?
-Are the “old divides” of gender, class, race, (dis)ability, and age still visible? What are the new divides?
-How and for whom has content aggregation changed the Web?
-How are the affordances of mobile devices shaping the modes and media of internet communication, such as multimodal browsing, audioblogging, and podcasting?
-How has the Internet confronted barriers of distance and disability in telephone communication? Have video and speech relay services changed our conceptions of phone use and phone users?
Submissions are due by July 1, 2005. For submission instructions, see <http://www.cwrl.utexas.edu/currents/fall04/submissions.html>.