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Digital and social media raise new questions concerning time, memory and social movements. Within the field of media and memory studies, scholars have noted the acceleration of temporal rhythms facilitated by digital media, their potential for connectivity and instantaneous interaction, as well as their capacity for recording and sustaining data through time.

The interrogation of these relations promises to add a critical perspective to existing analyses of social networks. To achieve this, participants in this symposium are asked to consider questions that include but are not limited to:

  • How do digital and social media affect the conditions of time that give rise to social movements?
  • How do official memories and visions of the future affect social movement grievances and what is the role of digital and social media in this process?
  • How do social movements use these media to create and spread their memories and visions of the future? How do these affect processes of mobilization and collective identity building?
  • How have digital and social media influenced the internal temporalities, memories and patterns of coordination of social movements? How have they affected protest cycles or the changing status of certain memories?
  • What is the relationship between digital media and the temporal and mnemonic tactics used by social movements to effect social change? How are they employed for the manipulation or disruption of dominant temporal rhythms or for the mobilization of alternative pasts and futures? How, have these media changed the ways in which social movements pursue their goals and engage their opponents?
  • What are the methodological potentials of interrogating digital and social media in these contexts?

While the symposium’s focus rests on digital and social media, participants are encouraged to consider these media in relation to the broader communication ecologies of social movements. We invite proposals that address a diverse array of contexts and movements from across the world. In particular we welcome those proposals that highlight or develop innovative digital methodologies.

This symposium was conceived within and financed by the STINT funded collaborative project entitled Advancing Social Media Studies, involving Umeå University’s Department of Sociology and HUMlab and the University of Westminster’s Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI) and Centre for Social Media Research. The symposium is also supported by the University of London’s Centre for the Study of Cultural Memory.

If you would like to attend, please contact [email protected]