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I’m heading to Berlin on an early morning train, among other things for next week’s Berlin Symposium on Internet and Society (#hiig2010). The program is available here and should catch your attention if you’re in Internet research. Be sure to give me a shout if you’re coming and want to have drinks some time.

The Symposium kicks off with the formal inauguration of the newly founded Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG). This is the official name of what has so far been referred to by most people in the field as “the Google Institute” since the plan to launch it was publicly announced by Eric Schmidt in February.

I’m involved with the Institute as a project associate, which means that I’ll be working on one specific issue (a platform dubbed Regulation Watch — more on that soon) for the next few months. I’m excited to be part of an inspiring and highly interdisciplinary team of people who are all studying the Internet’s effect on culture and society in one way or another, which is an especially exciting prospect if you’ve been more or less on your own with your research interest in this area for the better part of your career.

As I’ve been meaning to get back to blogging anyway, I’ve decided to post updates on what’s happening at HIIG (or “hig”, rhyming with “twig”, as I’ve decided to call my new employer in spoken English) on a semi-regular basis. Next week’s inuaguration and symposium will be covered here with occasional short updates, news flashs and comments, as well as links to stuff other people have posted.

The institute’s mission is both to conduct research and to engage in an ongoing dialogue with the general public, an idea that is very much in accord with the vision of it’s patron. Alexander von Humboldt was a scientist, explorer, diplomat and, frankly, somewhat of a crazy person for trying things that most of his contemporaries considered both mad and futile. His research resonated with society and frequently stirred controversy. He challenged widely held beliefs about the world and was unwavering in his dedication to shedding light on scientific truth beyond superstition. I’m excited by HIIG’s aim to do something similar for our time’s unchartered continent — the net — and look forward to contributing to this goal.

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Unfortunately I’m not able to attend the annual IPrA conference next week in Manchester and had to cancel the trip short notice. I was scheduled to give a talk as part of the session Quoting in Computer-mediated Communication on my work with Katrin Weller on retweeting among scientists.

Luckily for me, there will be a follow-up event of sorts (see below). I’ve posted the call here since it doesn’t seem to be available on the Web other than as a PDF. Submit something if you’re doing research on quoting! I’m fairly sure that the deadline will be extended by a week or two.

CfP: Quoting Now and Then – 3rd International Conference on Quotation and Meaning (ICQM)

University of Augsburg, Germany

19 April – 21 April 2012

Conference Convenors:
Wolfram Bublitz
Jenny Arendholz
Christian Hoffmann
Monika Kirner

Contact: Monika Kirner
E-mail: monika.kirner@phil.uni-augsburg.de

Call for Papers
This conference addresses the pragmatics of quoting as a metacommunicative act both in old (printed) and new (electronically mediated) communication. With the rapid evolution of new media in the last two decades, approaches to the study of (forms, functions and impact of) quoting have been gaining momentum in linguistics. Although quotations in print media have already been investigated to some extent, quoting in computer-mediated communication is still unchartered territory. This conference shall focus on the formal and functional evolution of quoting from old (analog) to new (digital) media. While the conference builds on the panel “Quoting in Computer-mediated Communication” to be presented in July 2011 at the International Conference of Pragmatics (IPrA), it assumes a much broader perspective, paying special tribute to the inherent confluence and complementarity of synchronic and diachronic approaches. Consequently, we invite papers from both (synchronic and diachronic) perspectives to report on the formal, functional as well as the pragmatic-discursive and multimodal nature of quoting in different genres or media.

Plenary talk: Jörg Meibauer

Please submit an abstract of not more than 500 words (for a 30 min talk plus 10 min discussion) via e-mail to monika.kirner@phil.uni-augsburg.de

Deadline for abstracts:
1 July 2011
15 August 2011

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