Category Archives: presentations

Summer 2012



On May 21, I participated in a roundtable discussion as part of a seminar on The Promises of Democracy in Troubled Times, organized by Reset DOC.



On June 18, I was invited to give a seminar on my work at the University of Western Sydney. I had the opportunity to meet wonderful colleagues from the Institute for Culture and Society and the Global Media Journal. On June 19, I delivered a keynote lecture as part of UWS’ Interventions and Intersections post-graduate conference.

Upcoming Talks: 4S & Peace Studies Conference

liberation-technologyI’m giving two talks in the next few days.

The first one is titled “Brought to you by Twitter: Revolutions and Social Media Monopsonies,” to be presented on November 4 at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) in Cleveland.

I’m also giving the plenary address at the 23rd Annual Peace Studies Conference: Globalized Restructuring, New Media, and Mobilization. The talk is titled “Liberation Technology, Popular Uprisings, and Neoliberal Ideology.” The talk is on Nov. 12 at Le Moyne College, Syracuse. I believe it will be Skyped for those who cannot attend in person. The registration form is here (pdf).

If you are attending either one of these events, please let me know!

NCA Session: Media Ecology on the New Media Frontier

Anyone going to NCA?

I will be participating at the 96th Annual Convention of the National Communication Association (Sunday, Nov 14 – Wednesday Nov 17, 2010, San Francisco).

The session is titled Media Ecology on the New Media Frontier and is sponsored by the Media Ecology Association.

It will be held Wednesday Nov 17 – 8:00am – 9:15am at the Parc 55 Hotel, Balboa Room.

Session Participants:

Chair: Robert MacDougall (Curry College)
Respondent: David Linton (Marymount Manhattan College)

Mapping Experience: Chorographical Representations of Place in Google Maps
Lauren Elizabeth Clark (North Carolina State University)

Many-to-One: Social Media and the Rise of the Monopsony
Ulises Mejias (SUNY Oswego)

Becoming Bombs: 3D Satellite Imagery and the Weaponization of the Eye
Roger Stahl (University of Georgia)

Exploring the News Ecosystem
Christine Tracy (Eastern Michigan University)

Video of talk at Georgetown Communications Symposium

The video from Georgetown University’s Scholarly Communications Symposium, Social Media: Implicatons for Teaching and Learning, is now available.


Even though I had the difficult task of presenting the “dissenting” view, I learned a lot from participating in the session and I really enjoyed meeting the folks at Georgetown. Here’s the blurb about the event from the website:

Social media tools have gained widespread use across our campuses in a very short time. Many academic disciplines are also adopting these online tools as they embrace collaboration and interactivity. The implications of these developments are profound–not only for scholars and students but also for the potential transformation of the teaching and learning process. How do social media networks change the way our students learn and our faculty teach? How is the traditional classroom relationship altered? Are students becoming more active and engaged learners? The speakers were Gerry McCartney, Vice President for Information Technology and CIO and Oesterle Professor of Information Technology, Purdue University; Edward Maloney, Director of Research and Learning Technology at the Center for New Designs in Leaning and Scholarship and Visiting Assistant Professor of English, Georgetown University; and Ulises Mejias, Assistant Professor of New Media in the Communication Studies Department at the State University of New York at Oswego.

You can also download the video directly from iTunes U.

Social Media in the Classroom: Implications for Teaching and Learning

If you are going to be in the DC area this Friday, Feb 19, I’ll be speaking at the Tenth Scholarly Communication Symposium at Georgetown University: Social Media in the Classroom: Implications for Teaching and Learning


Georgetown University Libraries: Scholarly Communication Team

Date: February 19, 2010
Time: 10:00am-11:30am
Location: Murray Room, Lauinger Library
Contact Information: Please RSVP to William Olsen,


Participation in Digital Labor conference

I had the pleasure of participating in the Internet as Playground and Factory: A Conference on Digital Labor at The New School from November 12-14, 2009. I’m writing a review of the conference for Afterimage, and I will post a link to it once it is published. Meanwhile, here’s a little video promo and the slides from my talk.

You should also take a look at the iDC listserv for a continuing discussion about these topics.

Medialab-Prado paper and presentation now available


The texts and videos of the lectures and keynotes presented during the 4th Inclusiva-net Meeting: P2P Networks and Processes (July 6 through 10, 2009) are now available for download!

My paper, Peerless: The Ethics of P2P Network Disassembly, is available here (o si deseas la versión en español esta aqui). The video of the lecture is also available.

Other noteworthy presentations:

And while you are at it, check out the sites of some of the cool people I met there or the amazing organizations I got to learn about:

Participation in 4th Inclusiva-net Meeting

I have been invited to give a paper at the 4th Inclusiva-net Meeting: P2P Networks and Processes, organized by Medialab-Prado (in Madrid). The meeting will focus on “an analysis of ‘peer-to-peer’ networks and network processes, highlighting the social potentials of cooperative systems and processes based on the structures and dynamics inherent to these types of networks.”

I’ve heard good things about this workshop, and it looks like an interesting selection of papers. My own contribution is titled Peerless: The Ethics of P2P Network Disassembly. The proposal is below.

In theory, P2P networks embody a model of collaboration that spells out the end of monopolies of communication. Like the Inclusiva-net Call for Papers states, P2P exemplifies principles like “equality of power among participants, free cooperation among them, putting into circulation or forming what are considered ‘common goods’, and participation and communication ‘from many to many.'” While all this has been empirically confirmed in isolated cases, we need to question the ‘goodness’ of these premises at a large societal scale.

Even if we are to accept the claim that P2P network architecture engenders publics instead of markets, we should not put aside Kierkergaard’s critique of publics as nihilistic systems intended to facilitate the accumulation of information while postponing action indefinitely. While Kierkergaard was putting down newspaper media, his critique couldn’t be more fitting in the age of Web browsers, RSS aggregators and bitTorrent clients. Another way of putting this is to say that while P2P networks may indeed democratize access to cultural contents, we still need to ask: Whose cultural contents? The whole piracy debate revolves around the fact that the statistical majority of ‘pirates’ are using P2P networks not to disseminate radical countercultural products, but to share the latest Hollywood blockbuster or teen idol musical hit. We need to question how network processes normalize monocultures, and to do so we need to theorize what form of resistance is embodied by existing in the peripheries of networks.

In my work, I argue that digital technosocial networks (DTSNs) function not just as metaphors to describe sociality, but as full templates or models for organizing it. Since in order for something to be relevant or even visible within the network it needs to be rendered as a node, DTSNs are constituted as totalities by what they include as much as by what they exclude. I propose a framework for understanding the epistemological exclusion embedded in the structure and dynamics of DTSNs, and for exploring the ethical questions associated with the nature of the bond between the node and the excluded other. Contrary to its depiction in diagrams, the outside of the network is not empty but inhabited by multitudes that do not conform to the organizing logic of the network. Thus, I put forth a theory for how the peripheries of the network represent an ethical resistance to the network, and I suggest that these peripheries, the only sites from which it is possible to un-think the network episteme, can inform emerging models of identity and sociality.

This is important because we are perhaps entering an age when deviation from social norms will only be possible in the private, non-surveilled space of the paranodal (the space beyond the nodes), away from the templates of the network as model for organizing sociality. Subjectivization, as Rancière argues, happens precisely through a process of disidentification: parts of society disidentify themselves from the whole, and individuals and groups recognize themselves as separate from the mainstream. Thus, to paraphrase Rancière, the paranodal is the part of those who have no part; it is the place where we experience—or at least are free to theorize—what it is like to be outside the network. Articulating this form of disidentification, of imagining and claiming difference even in relation to ‘democratic’ P2P networks, is an important step in the actualization of alternative ways of knowing and acting in the world.

Presentation at CIT 09

I’ll be presenting a paper at this year’s SUNY Conference on Instructional Technology (CIT 2009).

Active Learning, Social Media, and Serious Games: Case Studies
Dr. Ulises A. Mejias
Friday May 22, 10:15 – 10:45 am
Alternate Reality Games, played with everyday communication and information technologies, can be used as forms of active learning and research that involve students in analyzing a real-life problem, collectively articulating a multitude of realistic and possible responses to it, and addressing the ethical imperative for action.

Also, some of you might be interested in the webcast of the keynote by Liz Lawley (of mamamusings fame). Dr. Elizabeth Lane Lawley is Director of the Lab for Social Computing and Associate Professor of Information Technology at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She will be giving two talks on Thursday May 21 (free and open to the online public, as far as I can tell): Technology – Technical, Tangible, Social (10:15am ET) and Gaming and Learning (2:15 pm ET). To watch, go here.

Gold Farming and the Geopolitics of Trade: The ARG

I’m going to be coordinating a couple of ARGs this Spring. Here’s the announcement for the first one. Please join us!

‘Stop Gold Farming!’ is an Alternate Reality Game (ARG) developed for the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival. It could be called an experiment in collective storytelling, a radical new media project, or an internet ‘hoax’ with a social message! Anyone can play (participants interact with the narrative in real-time using a variety of communication technologies such as email, blogs, SMS, digital video, podcasts, etc.), and therefore anyone can shape the outcome. The game revolves around a fictional controversy unfolding at Ithaca College related to the issue of gold farming, or the practice of selling virtual goods that can be used in massive multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs) such as World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy. These goods are often produced under sweatshop conditions in developing countries for the consumption of First World clients. ‘Stop Gold Farming!’ is the story of a student organization demanding that an IC student engaged in the distribution of virtual goods be expelled from the college. As part of the ‘Trade’ stream of FLEFF, the goal of this ARG is to engage students and festival participants in an exploration of gold farming as an embodied economic practice in a gaming context characterized by virtuality and disembodiment, and in the context of globalization and trade as a process that reinforces “unequal human relations rather than merely intensifying connectedness” (Biao, 2008). By framing the experience as an ARG, this FLEFF LAB involves various communities in analyzing a real-life problem, collectively articulating a multitude of realistic and possible responses to it, and examining the ethical question of what form action should take after the game. This FLEFF LAB was conceptualized and is being coordinated by Prof. Ulises Mejias from SUNY Oswego, and produced in collaboration with FLEFF interns. You can join the experience by visiting You can also join us on April 3 from 9:00 to 10:30 AM in the Park soundstage (Ithaca College) for a discussion that will include a gold farming demo and a live conference call with a team of researchers in China.