UNIVERSITY OF OREGON IN PORTLAND • APRIL 19-21, 2018
The eighth annual What is…? Conference-Experience, What is Universe? examines communication, complexity, simplicity, coherence, incoherence and how they may or may not contribute to “a pluralistic universe”—networks of relationships. It expands the University of Oregon’s commitment to transdisciplinary research and its impact—by cultivating communication at the heart of science, technology, and their environments.
This year’s event will continue to catalyze and accelerate the impact of transdisciplinary inquiry across communication universes with over 100 international, national, and regional researchers, participating in six plenary sessions and over 20 panels. These include a wide range of “universes,” not limited to: systems, ecologies, social worlds, native pragmatism, politics, news, solutions journalism, documentary, entertainment, games, comics, immersive virtual realities, digital identity and embodied practice, advertising, effects, globalization, posthumanism and agential realism, IoT, maker culture, urban ecodesign, multicultural communities and cosmologies.
With definitions of “universe” continuing to expand, this year marks the third collaboration with scholars from the natural sciences, social sciences, and the arts.
What is Media? (2016) elaborated a transdisciplinary notion of medium/media with special attention to its material, historical, and ecological ramifications.
What is Life? (2017) investigated how communication/media constitute and permeate all avenues and forms of life by examining our lifestyles and lifeworks, emphasizing the lifeworlds we live in.
What is Universe? (2018) builds on the previous two years’ conference-experiences. consummating the Media • Life • Universe trilogy. It is also a prelude to Earth Day (April 22, 2018) and a two-month countdown to Reimagining Sustainability: IAMCR 2018 (June 20–24, 2018).
This year’s conference-experience is dedicated to UO SOJC Prof. Tom Wheeler (1947–2018).