Call For Proposals

University of Oregon Portland
April 30–May 2, 2020

What is Information? (2020) will investigate conceptualizations and implementations of information via material, representational, and hybrid frames. The conference-experience will consider information and its transformational æffects—from documents to data; from facts and fictions to pattern recognition; from physical information to differential equations; and from volatility, uncertainty, and ambiguity to collective intelligence and wisdom.

The tenth annual What is…? examines tapestries, temperaments, and topologies of information lenses and practices—including—social and technical, mathematical and semantic, physical and biological, economic and political, cultural and environmental information. Thus, information can be understood as physical (e.g. fingerprints and tree rings), for instruction (e.g. algorithms and recipes), and about epistemic systems (e.g. maps and encyclopedias). Next year’s gathering expands on What is Technology? (2019), which explored technology as tools, processes, and moral knowledge, as well as problem-solving and intelligent inquiry.

Scholars, government and community officials, industry professionals, scientists, artists, students, filmmakers, grassroots community organizations, and the public are invited to collaborate. We welcome submissions for papers, panels, roundtables and installations.

Presentations / panels / installations may include the following topics (as well as others):
• What is information? Are data and information synonymous? Is information material/concrete, symbolic/abstract, or both?
• What distinguishes information from knowledge and wisdom?
• Is information freedom? What is meta-data? What are information systems, flows, and gaps?
• What approaches or lenses are used to study information? How do they relate to emerging disciplines?
• What are information science and information art? What are relationships between STE(A)M and ICT?
• How are the natural sciences and information sciences continuing to converge (e.g. bioinformatics)?
• Is information at the core of music, architecture, design, craft, and/or science and technology studies?
• Is biology itself information or only a representation? What are data science, machine learning, & visualization?
• How are informatics enhancing medicine and the environment via regenerative systems?
• What is the philosophy of information? What are information literacy, ethics, education, & aesthetics?
• What are networks? What are relationships between information, technology/media, and message?
• What are information ecologies, information environments, and how do/can they facilitate public good?
• What is political economy of information? How do information & socio-cultural factors æffect each other?
• What are current approaches to the study of information professions, audiences, and psychology?
• How does information highlight gender, race, indigenous, and/or global environmental concerns?
• How can contemplation, empathy, kindness, and/or responsibility be studied via information?
• What are patterns of digital divides? What comes after post-truth?
• What are data-mining and threat detection or privacy in the cyber-defense and/or cyber-security age?
• Can games, artificial intelligence, and AR/VR help us to adapt to the ever-changing postdisciplinary landscape?
• What laws/regulations/policies are appropriate for information? How are information and value(s) related?

Send 150–200 word abstracts for papers / panels / installations by DECEMBER 20, 2019 to:
Janet Wasko •

University of Oregon • Eugene, Oregon • 97403-1275 • USA