Conference attracts global scholars

The annual Social Media Technology Conference & Workshop, Oct. 3, 2019, hosted by the School of Communications at Howard University, is an intensive academic and professional conference that combines panel discussions, posters sessions and hands-on workshops designed to enlighten attendees about new scholarship, professional practices, and pedagogical approaches to social media. Click here to register at Eventbrite.com.

The conference provide attendees an opportunity to exchange ideas, present their original research, learn about recently completed and work-in-progress studies, and strengthen connections with their peers. It also broadens the prospective of scholars and practitioners about the changing role of social media around the world, and it provides them with the knowledge to create and effectively use social media in a variety of contexts. 

The Social Media Technology Conference and Workshop is growing in influence as it brings together educators, students, journalists, public relations professionals and other communication professionals interested in the intersection between social media and culture, journalism education, society and work, with a particular focus on African-Americans and people of color around the world.

In fact, our conference is one of the more diverse events organized to focus on this demographic. It has evolved into an important venue for scholars engaged in cutting-edge research in various areas of social media. We have hosted scientists, sound technicians, librarians, lawyers, journalists, marketers, engineering professors, social media experts and scholars from across the United States and several countries, including China, Israel, Egypt, and South Africa. 

This year’s theme, Social Media: Empowering Diversity and Ensuring Security, focuses on dissecting how online social connections provided by social media are being enhanced by multiculturalism, at the same time being challenged by the privacy and security of users. Social media have transformed the ways in which we connect, offering international collaborative relationships, diversity of thought, easy and instant communication and real-time access to news and information. Yet, some have argued that the unfettered authority we’ve ceded to the social media titans is responsible for the rise in malignant bots, cyborg-created fake news, foreign-based Internet trolls and emerging risks that may rival the benefits of social connectedness and collaborative online relationships. The call for papers for the 9th annual Social Media Technology Conference and Workshop seeks to examine these challenges and new possibilities as social media mature into mainstream and create opportunities for scholars, practitioners and observers to make more informed assessments about the direction of social media and the Internet and their impact on our virtual and actual lives.

The conference served as the inspiration for two books edited by the organizers — Social Media: Pedagogy and Practice and Social Media: Culture and Identity

In 2015, the conference questioned the ethical direction of social media, examining contradictions and dissected the connections between social media and popular -isms (distinctive doctrines, systems, confluence and theories), through presentations about Facebook becoming a platform for news organizations, parental shaming of children online, rampant misinformation, the “Gamergate” controversy, ephemeral video, as well as social media coverage of community uprisings, shocking images of police brutality and crowd-funded fundraising. Past conferences also included research on teaching with social media, the impact of social media on military families, the “Arab Spring,” the implications of social media for businesses, social media activism, social media journalism, and the impact of social media on other traditional media (and vise versa).  

The conference is organized by faculty in the School of Communications at Howard University from the departments of Strategic, Legal, and Management Communications and Media, Journalism, and Film, often with the help of graduate students from the department of Communication, Culture, and Media Studies. For more information, visit the conference website: www.socialmediatechnologyconference.com.

The conference provide attendees an opportunity to exchange ideas, present their original research, learn about recently completed and work-in-progress studies, and strengthen connections with their peers. It also broadens the prospective of scholars and practitioners about the changing role of social media around the world, and it provides them with the knowledge to create and effectively use social media in a variety of contexts. 

The Social Media Technology Conference and Workshop is growing in influence as it brings together educators, students, journalists, public relations professionals and other communication professionals interested in the intersection between social media and culture, journalism education, society and work, with a particular focus on African-Americans and people of color around the world.

In fact, our conference is one of the more diverse events organized to focus on this demographic. It has evolved into an important venue for scholars engaged in cutting-edge research in various areas of social media. We have hosted scientists, sound technicians, librarians, lawyers, journalists, marketers, engineering professors, social media experts and scholars from across the United States and several countries, including China, Israel, Egypt, and South Africa. 

The conference served as the inspiration for two books edited by the organizers — Social Media: Pedagogy and Practice and Social Media: Culture and Identity

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact our website www.socialmediatechnologyconference.com or send an email to the following organizers: ttyree@howard.edu klangmia@howard.edu iSturgis@howard.edu rgoel@howard.edu