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DOCAM 2024 : Annual Meeting of the Document Academy


When Sep 19, 2024 - Sep 21, 2024
Where Philadelphia, PA
Submission Deadline Apr 5, 2024
Notification Due Apr 30, 2024
Final Version Due Sep 19, 2024

Call For Papers

Documents involve technology, meaning they change with the times. The ancient Latin root of "document" referred to an oral teaching, and centuries later the most common form of document was a piece of paper. Now, with computing widespread, perhaps most documents are digital. What will tomorrow's documents bring, particularly in light of generative AI? What might change, and what might stay the same?

There's a long history of imagining the future of documents—think of fictional representations like Star Wars holograms and space billboards in Blade Runner, or of academic imaginings like Vannevar Bush's Memex or J. C. Licklider's vision of man–computer symbiosis.

The theme for this year's Annual Meeting of the Document Academy invites attendees to reflect on the future of documents—and because the future is informed by the past, we may simultaneously also reflect on the past of documents.

Explorations relevant to the theme may involve, but are not confined to, the following considerations:

- Reflections on document media, modes and technologies over the tides of change
- Ethical reflections on documents in the past, present and future
- Discussions of how past predictions and visions of future documents either nailed it or missed the mark (e.g., format wars)
- Bridges between the ancient past and far future
- Speculative design, critical design, and design futures proposals
- Investigations of presentism and syncretism, palimpsests and anachronisms—what happens when timelines collide?
- Meditations on the relevance of materiality in digital environments
- Examinations of time as a concept in library and information studies and allied fields, building on recent work such as a special issue of Journal of Documentation
- Explorations of what stays the same when things change—plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose?
- Analyses of emerging technologies such as generative AI and ubiquitous computing with respect to document theory
- Potential visions for future documents making use of new technologies
- Imaginings of what museums, archives and libraries—as the homes of documents—may look like in 1,000 years or even 10,000 years

Call for Proposals

This year's meeting, hosted by the College of Computing & Informatics at Drexel University and Speculative Futures Philadelphia, welcomes completed research, research in progress, general conceptual and theoretical work, projects and case studies, creative and practical work relevant to the conference theme in the following formats:

- Standard conference presentations
- Discussions and alternative events
- Creative works in performance or on display
- Field trips or in-situ presentations at relevant spaces around the city (logistics of travel permitting)


For any of the above contribution types, presenters are welcome to submit a manuscript to the Proceedings from the Document Academy.

The DOCAM’24 issue of the Proceedings from the Document Academy will be accepting submissions later in 2024, including a few weeks after the annual meeting. Dates and deadlines to be announced. The language for papers in the Proceedings is English.


DOCAM'24 is the annual meeting of the Document Academy, an international network of scholars, artists and professionals in various fields, who are interested in the exploration of the concept of the document as a resource for scholarly, artistic, and professional work.

The aim of The Document Academy is to foster a multi-disciplinary space for experimental and critical research on the document in the widest sense, drawing on scholarship, traditions and experiences from the arts and humanities, social sciences, education, and from such diverse fields as information, media, museum, archival, cultural, and science studies.

The Document Academy originated as a co-sponsored effort by the Program of Documentation Studies, University of Tromsø, Norway, and the School of Information, University of California, Berkeley. Since then, it has convened in various locations across the globe, from Australia to France.

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