MIX 2017: Call for Papers and Presentations

After the success of the last three MIX conferences, MIX 2017 returns to Bath Spa University’s Newton Park Campus. Bath Spa University is the UK’s foremost provider of creative writing programmes at undergraduate, masters and PhD level and MIX is well-established as an innovative forum for the discussion and exploration of writing and technology. MIX has attracted an international cohort of contributors from the UK, Australia, and Europe as well as North and South America. MIX is now situated within the recently created international research centres, Making Books: Creativity, Print Culture and the Digital, and the Media Convergence Research Centre.

After more than two decades of innovation and experimentation, the relationship between reading, writing, form, content and delivery platform remains in flux. The ebook has taken its place alongside the print book and the multimedia story app and/or website have become familiar modes for reading and viewing. Developers are creating dramatic story and character-led narratives via independent games while interactive and immersive theatre-makers are finding new ways to engage audiences well beyond traditional theatre spaces. Television storytelling conventions continue to evolve in line with the dominance of streaming services; new reading habits and engagement strategies now surround the form of digital comics. Music exhibitors are forging increased participatory opportunities via developments in live-touring; spoken word continues to thrive at the same time as poetry film is gaining wider recognition; virtual reality and augmented reality are both making in-roads into documentary and fiction; literary forms are morphing and changing in response to the affordances of the smartphone and tablet; pervasive and locative media are shaping how literature is understood and read. Digital media technologies foster creative ways of telling stories across multiple platforms. New media hasn’t been ‘new’ for quite some time and the word ‘digital’ is rapidly becoming redundant as technology becomes more deeply enmeshed within our cities, our homes, our lives.

In this context, a conference that looks at where creative writing, storytelling and media creation intersects with and/or is dependent upon technology should be as interdisciplinary as possible, and that’s what they are aiming for with MIX 2017. The conference will host a vibrant mix of academic papers, practitioner presentations, seminars, keynotes, discussions and workshops. Alongside scholars and researchers, artists, creative writers and creative technologists interested in literary forms are welcome to submit proposals.

Confirmed keynotes include Prof Jon Dovey, Digital Culture Research Centre and Pervasive Media Studio at the University of the West of England; Dr Elizabeth Evans, Assistant Professor in Film and Television Studies at the University of Nottingham; Anna Gerber and Britt Iverson from Visual Editions/Editions at Play; and Prof Caitlin Fisher, Director of York University Augmented Reality Lab, Toronto, Canada.

The themes for this year’s conference are revolutions, regenerations and reflections. MIX would like to encourage the submission of research papers and artist/practitioner presentations that address these themes in the following ways:

– Revolution: science and writing; turning points and key moments in the development of digital literature; writing in and on urban spaces; 3D environments; writing and narrative using virtual reality and augmented reality; transnational creativity; ambient literature

– Regeneration: young writers and the future of creative writing; new directions and new hybrid forms; remix; hybridity; new possibilities offered by new technological platforms and tools

– Reflection: scholarly or practice-based papers that focus on practice that resides at the intersection of writing, storytelling, media creation and technology; the history of the book and other media forms and how those histories inform present day reading, consumption, publishing and exhibition practices; work which investigates and forecasts the future of reading; digital writing pedagogy

MIX are interested in work that takes a wide variety of forms, including digital fiction and digital poetry, participatory media, digital art and text, collaborations between writers and technologists, hybrid and cross-media practice, transmedia practice, as well as their on-going themes of the future of the book, new forms of publishing, convergent media cultures and new forms of digital curation. They will also look for papers and presentations on digital and interactive theatre-making, including scriptwriting, performance and technology, and ambient literature, including mobile, locative, pervasive and other site-specific forms. As in previous conferences, papers that focus on pedagogy in any of these fields are also welcome.

MIX will have several strands of discussion, and these will include transnational creativity as well as interactive documentary; the Bristol-based interactive documentary group, iDocs, will offer a series of screenings. The second of three new works commissioned for the AHRC-funded research project, Ambient Literature, will be launched at MIX 2017.

NAWE, the National Association of Writer in Education, will be joining BSU to curate the pedagogical strand of the conference. In the teaching of creative writing, from primary to postgraduate level there is an increasing need to incorporate cross media practice. How can we teach the digital aspects of writing? Innovative practice requires innovative pedagogy. They are keen to receive papers from those who work with creative writing at all levels, primary, secondary, community and post graduate, and to hear about teaching methods, and innovative projects. They welcome submissions from educators who are also artist/practitioners who incorporate their creative practice into their teaching.

In addition to this Call for Papers, they will also issue the following Calls:

– a Call to digital writers and artists for entries to the Exhibition. Further information will be published shortly.

– a Call for the competition to create a work for their MediaWall in association with Paper Nations. Building on the success of MIX 2015’s international artist’s commission for the MediaWall, James Coupe’s ‘General Intellect’, they have teamed up with Paper Nations to commission a writer or artist or team to create a new literary artwork for the Bath Spa University’s MediaWall. The artwork will need to include original writing from young people age 8-14. The aim is to encourage a high level of engagement from schools across England and they welcome innovative methods for mass participation such as crowdsourcing. Funded by Arts Council England, Paper Nations is the country’s first and only creative writing hub for young people. This ambitious project brings together the best and most innovative arts organisations, creative writers and educators with a common purpose: to inspire a creative nation of young writers. The deadline for applications is 31 October, 2016. For further information go to www.mixconference.org/

Workshop sessions will be offered on aspects of digital making, transmedia practice, interactive narratives, ambient literature and other related topics. Workshops are intended as a space to share innovative practice into the making of digital writing and related themes. They invite proposals from anyone interested in leading one of the workshops as part of this Call – see below for how to submit proposals for workshops.

The conference will also host the launch of the Special Issue of Convergence: the International Journal of New Media Technologies: Writing Digital: Practice, Performance, Theory. This Special Issue arose from themes developed for MIX 2015. A new Call for Papers for an open access peer-reviewed Journal issue will be launched at MIX 2017.

HOW TO SUBMIT PROPOSALS

Abstracts of up to 300 words for a 20 minute paper or presentation or a 90 minute workshop should be sent to mix@bathspa.ac.uk by Monday 30 January 2017 . The Abstract must be a separate Word, pdf or rtf file; the document name must be in the following format: Author Surname, Abstract Title, Type of Proposal (i.e. paper/presentation/workshop). The Abstract must stipulate which theme(s) the paper or presentation will address: revolution, regeneration, or reflection.

CONFERENCE PRICING:

MIX 2017 Standard £200
MIX 2017 Early Bird £145
MIX 2017 Concession £100

  • All presenters are guaranteed the early bird price – until a final Call is issued in mid June. If they miss this, the registration goes up to standard.

  • Early bird ticket sales for non-presenters cut off mid-May

  • The £100 concession is offered to independent practitioners, students, global South, and Bath Spa staff; it is available right up to the conference opening day.

BOOKING:

For information about booking into the conference and accommodation, please go to the conference website at www.mixconference.org.

Enquiries to mix@bathspa.ac.uk

MIX are pleased to announce that MIX 2019 will be hosted by Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia in July 2019.

Bath Spa University Conference Committee: Co-Directors Kate Pullinger and Lucy English, Executive Producer Bambo Soyinka, Exhibition and MediaWall Producer Anthony Head, Event Producer Gavin Bower, Comms Producer Steve Hollyman, Workshop Producer Matthew Freeman, Exhibition and Admin Coordinator Abbi Cross.

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