Call for Contributions: Virtual Workshop 'ASIA.LIVE: Locating Livestreaming in Asia'

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List members may be interested in the following upcoming event, for which we are inviting audiovisual submissions, with the option for contributors to later also submit accompanying research articles for publication.

Hosts: Leiden University, the Leiden Asia Centre, and Asiascape: Digital Asia. 
Organisers: Florian Schneider, Dino Ge Zhang, Gabriele de Seta.
Date: 13 September 2019
Abstract Deadline: 20 June 2019

The practice of broadcasting live video through the internet has recently seen a resurgence, as livestreaming platforms recuperated the format pioneered by cam sites from around the early 2000s (Senft, 2008). From Periscope and Twitch to YouTube and Facebook Live, livestreaming video is today a popular media format, especially among gaming communities, Esports audiences, and popular media commentators (Taylor, 2018). 

The uptake of livestreaming in Asia around 2013 is, as of yet, a largely untold story. In the distinct digital ecosystems of the Asia region (Steinberg & Li, 2017), this format has been embraced not only by gamers and their audiences but by a diverse range of communities and performers, fuelling the rise of livestreaming genres like the South Korean mukbang (social eating) or the Chinese huwai zhibo (outdoor livestreams). This local uptake and regional diversification is accompanied by the rise of Asian livestreaming platforms. These are either revamped from established video streaming sites, such as afreecaTV in Korea, Niconico Namahosho in Japan, or Bilibili Live in China, or they come in the new forms of mobile-exclusive apps such as Bigo Live in South East Asia or Inke in China. There are also local scenes of livestreaming cultures on international platforms such as Facebook Live, Twitch, and YouTube. The local ecologies of Western and Asian platforms in Asian national contexts are home to intricate networks of regional livestreaming cultures, and these cultures interact in complicated ways with geopolitical flows and borders (Steinberg & Li, 2017). Livestreaming in Asia has become a veritable ‘live’ laboratory of screen cultures in which new genres, performativities, personalities, audiences, and commenting practices emerge.

Workshop topics:

ASIA.LIVE aims to bring together researchers interested in Asian livestreaming cultures and practices. Through our ‘virtual workshop’ format, we support and encourage a live dialogue around this emergent, ephemeral, and often undocumented domain of contemporary digital culture. The workshop invites submissions of audio-visual presentations discussing the following issues and beyond:

•    Emerging theories of liveness and real-timeness.
•    Microhistories of live video in Asia.
•    Situated genres of livestream performance.
•    Live comment cultures.
•    The platformisation of Asian livestreaming.
•    Livestreaming apps and mobility.
•    Representation and intersectionality in livestreaming cultures.
•    Livestreamed localism, nationalism, and regionalism.

Workshop format:

As a ‘virtual workshop’, ASIA.LIVE is structured around pre-recorded audio-visual presentations that will be broadcasted online, along with livestreamed Q&A sessions, on the date of the event. Submissions must be 15-minute-long videos. However, the format can range from traditional slides with voiceover or webcam talk to video essays or even more experimental genres (archival footage remixes, mini documentaries, performance pieces, livestreamer interviews, etc.). Although it will be possible and encouraged to join us at Leiden University during the livestream event, participation will be largely remote via a livestream. 

Submissions:

Interested contributors should submit a 250-word abstract with a short bio detailing their idea for the video presentation in order to be considered for the workshop. Please submit abstracts to live.asia.workshop@gmail.com by 20 June 2019 and we will respond to your expression of interests on 1 July 2019. If your abstracts are selected, you will be invited to submit your video file before/on 1 September 2019.

Journal special issue:

Particularly promising contributions to the conference may later be included in the form of research articles in a special issue of the peer-reviewed academic journal Asiascape: Digital Asia (Brill), to be published in the spring of 2021. The deadline for these articles will be 1 April 2020.

References:

Senft, T. M. (2008). Celebrity & Community in the Age of Social Networks. New York: Peter Lang.
Steinberg, M., & Li, J. (2017). Introduction: Regional Platforms. Asiascape: Digital Asia, 4, 173–183.
Taylor, T. L. (2018). Watch Me Play: Twitch and the Rise of Game Live Streaming. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.