Our Workshops

The Boston University College of Communication will host a workshop on April 9 2015 on the potential role, both positive and negative, of social media in setting national goals and policies. The format of the workshop will combine invited and accepted papers. This day-long event will provide an opportunity for in-depth analysis as well as an opportunity to map next steps for future research.

More information about the workshop can be found here Announcement and CFP for April 9, 2015 social media workshop 10.01.14


The workshop’s purpose is to critique contemporary attempts to build a philosophy of media studies and then pursue a more adequate philosophy of emerging media. An important aspect of this inquiry is an emphasis on the concept of “emergence” of media as opposed to any particular instantiation of media technology or, for that matter, any particular technology. The workshop is small by design so that detailed and focused discussion can be given to the seven presentations.

What will social life be like when each of us has instant personal information about those around us? It is easy to conjure utopian and dystopian visions of this future. By contrast, the purpose of this workshop is to draw upon empirical evidence we already have to construct frameworks for rigorous understandings of these likely changes. Emerging technologies increasingly offer mobile people convenient heads-up displays of situationally relevant data on an individualized basis. Such data could be based on cues such as eye-tracking or physical location in an environment. Data streams could include co-location of friends, commercial offers, tourist information, news and sports updates, and even running scans of personal characteristics of passersby on the street. When chatting with friends, voice-stress analysis and other psychological-state indications could be detected and displayed to users. A host of issues will arise as people begin interacting with these technologies which will likely engage a gamut of utopian and dystopian possibilities. Google offers a point-of-view video characterizing what life might be like.

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