CFP: Discard Studies Twitter Conference

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Discard Studies  is throwing a Twitter conference! Twitter conferences are accessible, create a permanent record of scholarship, support conversations with diverse audiences, and best of all, the presentations are short and planned in advance. Authors present their papers as threaded tweets, and audiences from around the world can read and comment from the comfort of their couch.

Twitter conferences “bring together public scholars from around the world in an online setting to encourage communication and collaboration, which also happens to be free, easy to follow and allows for multi-stranded communications, without the hassle of flights, accommodation and canapés” (Public Archeology, 2019).

This call for papers seeks submissions on any topic related to discard studies–research and thinking about how power relations, norms, and infrastructures make some things disposable, wasteable, and toxic while other things are not. From menstruation sanitation to pesticides to informal recycling, the topic is not as important as the approach: we’re looking for work that goes beyond common myths and best practices of waste studies and solutionism and looks at waste in a way that considers power relations and the creation and maintenance of norms. Submissions can include new or previous research.

The goal of the Discard Studies Twitter Conference is to showcase the breadth and depth of discard studies scholarship today. It will take place November 16-17th, 2020.

Please submit a ~200 word abstract using clear and accessible writing suitable to public audiences, with a clear thesis or argument, your Twitter handle if you have one, and contact information to editors@discardstudies.com by October 16th, 2020.

The Discard Studies  editorial team will select ~25 Twitter essayists from the call for papers.

How does a Twitter conference work?

Presenters will write “papers” consisting of 8-10 tweet thread that they will prepare ahead of time with guidance from the Discard Studies editorial team. Presenters will be allocated a time slot to post their threaded conference paper, marked with a conference hashtag so audiences can find all papers. Presenters will stay online for 15 minutes after their paper is delivered to answer questions and comments on their thread. The conference coheres through the use of a common conference hastag.

The top ten Twitter essays, based on the amount of public interaction, quality of content and discussions, and staying power of the thread, will be workshopped with the Discard Studies editorial team into full-length articles for publication on Discard Studies. This workshop will be virtual and include an introduction to writing for public audiences as well as one-on-one editorial support.

Currently, about 70k of Discard Studies  readers are from the USA, 11k from Canada, 10k from the UK, and between 6-2k from India, Australia, Germany, China, France, the Netherlands, and Sweden. We anticipate a similar international audience for the conference. The Discard Studies Twitter account has between 30,000-66,500 Twitter views/month and we anticipate this range as our lowest audience size, as presenters will bring in new audiences via their own social media networks.


Feature Photograph: Trash Can Line, May 2006, Hyena, Wikimedia Commons.

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