Axel Bruns on Mon, 5 Jun 2000 06:01:58 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] M/C Call for Contributors: 'chat' issue

                   M/C - A Journal of Media and Culture

                          Call for Contributors

The University of Queensland's award-winning journal of media and culture,
M/C, is looking for new contributors. M/C is a crossover journal between
the popular and the academic, and a blind- and peer-reviewed journal.

To see what M/C is all about, check out our Website, which contains all the
issues released so far, at <>. To find out
how and in what format to contribute your work, visit

We are now accepting submissions for the following issue:

                  'chat' - article deadline: 24 July 2000
               issue editors: Felicity Meakins & Sean Rintel

The M/C 'chat' issue is intended to be as broad a survey of the mechanics,
media, contexts and analysis of chat as possible.

Robert Hopper once described argued chat as technology -- "humanmade
instrumentality that partially restructures the world". Hopper's notion is
an excellent starting point for the 'chat' issue of M/C, devoted to the
exploration of this most pervasive of discursive modes, and, indeed, to the
reflexive exploration of how researchers analyse chat.

How does the technology of talk work, and what happens when talk is itself
mediated by other technologies? In what sense is chat "humanmade"? What
parts of the world can be restructured by chat, and how is this
accomplished? In M/C 'chat', any chat artefacts -- semantic, syntactic,
phatic, contextual -- may be put under the microscope.

The artefacts and underpinnings of the analysis of chat, as themselves
partially restructuring of the world, may also be highlighted in this
issue. Methodology and ideology of analysis certainly shape the
understandings of chat, particularly if those understandings are argued to
be of practical significance. What results might inductive, deductive or
adductive approaches to chat analysis provide, and how might they be
compared and contrasted? Similar questions could be asked of qualitative
and quantitative analysis. Are combinatory approaches viable?

Of course the next question becomes, not how chat restructures the world,
but what world it restructures. The world exists as a fractured entity,
both in the way we understand it, and in the way it breaks down along
cultural, social and relational lines. How do two people chat when their
perceptions of the world are inherently different? How much of this
represented information is mutual? In what ways does chat create ethnic
groups, perpetuate racism, sexism and ageism or generally signify the
other? How is it that we can swear at close friends and not at our
superiors? Chat, in these situations becomes a point of mediation between
the world and self -- a highly constructed moment. But what happens when
chat itself is mediated? What happens to the world as we know it?

And to turn Hopper's statement on its head, we can ask how does the world
structure our chat? Why does a person who has been living in a foreign
country for 40 years still have an accent? When does "You saw that gas can
explode" become a declaration about gas exploding or a can exploding? Who
does "you" refer to? It seems obvious, but "you" in isolation is
meaningless. It seems that meaning sought from the world also enriches our

Articles are due by the 24th of July 2000. M/C 'chat' will be released on
the 23rd of August 2000. Contributors are directed to previous issues of
M/C ( and the M/C contributors'
guidelines ( for article
length and style guidelines.

Please direct submissions to Sean Rintel ( or
Felicity Meakins (

                    issue release date: 23 August 2000

Further topics for the year 2000 are:

'game'        (deadline 18 Sep. / release 18 Oct.)
'renew'       (deadline 13 Nov. / release 13 Dec.)

We're looking forward to your articles !

                                                          Axel Bruns

M/C - A Journal of Media and Culture        
The University of Queensland      

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