[SIGCIS-Members] CfP: "Crowd Control, " SHOT 2020, Abstracts by 2/15

Scott Kushner scottkushner at uri.edu
Tue Feb 11 02:58:00 PST 2020

Dear SIGCISsians,

I'm proposing an open session for SHOT 2020.  I hope you'll consider
submitting an abstract by this Saturday's deadline (2/15), and that you'll
feel free to be in touch with any inquiries.  See below or visit

Organizer: Scott Kushner, University of Rhode Island (scottkushner at uri.edu)

Queues, gates, doorways, turnstiles, stanchions, guards, cages, pens,
cells, anterooms, hallways, cameras, bottlenecks, streets, signage, velvet
ropes, bouncers, bleachers, fences, barriers, ushers: the methods of crowd
control are technological interventions.  The ways that crowds have been
constituted, apprehended, understood are historically, geographically, and
culturally contingent.  The discourses that differentiate crowds from (and
conflate them with) adjacent categories of analysis, such as audiences,
mobs, masses, multitudes, are similarly variable across different
contexts.  The purposes to which crowd control has been put have also
changed over time and space, organizing the flows and stases of bodies in
order to impose political, social, cultural, and economic logics specific
to and co-constitutive of the contexts in which its various technologies
are situated.

This SHOT session seeks to develop an understanding of technologies used to
control crowds of people over time.  Participants will present research on
historically-situated technological devices, protocols, systems, and
infrastructures that modify built and natural environments in order to
contain, channel, direct, arrange, expel, disperse, and otherwise direct
the movements and stillnesses of human bodies.  The significance of this
work to the history of technology lies in concentrating discussion about
the ways that technological interventions have shaped the spatial
dispositions of groups of human bodies in order to sculpt the experiences
of those spaces and of the crowds of people those spaces attract.

Proposals engaging with any era and geographic context are welcome.  The
organizer is interested in placing in conversation scholars and audience
members working with and curious about a range of materials and
methodologies.  Potential participants are therefore invited to imagine the
notion of crowd control in adventurous manners.

Procedure: Those interested in proposing presentations for potential
inclusion in this session should kindly prepare a one-page abstract (500
words maximum) and a one-page short CV (300 words maximum) with current
contact information.  Please send these materials to Scott Kushner (
scottkushner at uri.edu) no later than February 15, 2020.

Note: If you will be a first-time SHOT presenter and wish to be considered
for the Robinson Prize, please indicate as much in your abstract and send a
separate email to this effect to SHOT.Secretariaat at tue.nl.  (Find
information about the Robinson Prize at the SHOT website.)

Scott Kushner
Assistant Professor
Department of Communication Studies
Harrington School of Communication and Media
University of Rhode Island
312 Davis Hall
10 Lippitt Rd.
Kingston, R.I. 02881
+1 (401) 874-5223
scottkushner at uri.edu
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