[SIGCIS-Members] CfP: "Crowd Control," SHOT 2021 (Abstracts 4/7—deadline approaching)

Scott Kushner scottkushner at uri.edu
Mon Apr 5 05:00:00 PDT 2021


Dear SIGCISsians,

I'm proposing an open session called "Crowd Control" for SHOT 2021
(November 18-21, New Orleans, La., *or online as needed*).  There is no
shortage of software, hardware, information, and computing questions that
intersect with the panel topic.  Perhaps you're working on one?  If so, I
hope you'll consider submitting an abstract.  Queries and abstracts (by 7
April) to scottkushner at uri.edu.  See below or visit


Organizer: Scott Kushner, University of Rhode Island

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.

Note: A pair of panels had been constituted for SHOT 2020, which was
cancelled due to public health concerns.  Not all panelists are able to
participate in SHOT 2021, so a small number of additional papers will be
selected to round out the group.

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 April 7, 2021.

If you will be a first-time SHOT presenter, do not hold a tenure-stream
position, are no more than two years from receipt of a terminal academic
degree, and wish to be considered for the Robinson Prize, please indicate
as much in your abstract.  (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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