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The old face of 'new' social networks : the republic of letters as a virtual community

Callisen, Christian T. & Adkins, Barbara A. (2010) The old face of 'new' social networks : the republic of letters as a virtual community. In IR11.0 : Sustainability, Participation, Action', the 11th Annual Conference for the Association of Internet Researchers, 21-23 Oct 2010, Gothenburg, Sweden. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This paper explores the idea of virtual participation through the historical example of the republic of letters in early modern Europe (circa 1500-1800). By reflecting on the construction of virtuality in a historical context, and more specifically in a pre-digital environment, this paper calls attention to accusations of technological determinism in ongoing research concerning the affordances of the Internet and related media of communication. It argues that ‘the virtual’ is not synonymous with ‘the digital’ and suggests that, in order to articulate what is novel about modern technologies, we must first understand the social interactions underpinning the relationships which are facilitated through those technologies. By analysing the construction of virtuality in a pre-digital environment, this paper thus offers a baseline from which scholars might consider what is different about the modes of interaction and communication being engaged in via modern media.

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ID Code: 38406
Item Type: Conference Paper
Keywords: social networks, virtual participation, technological affordances, republic of letters, virtuality
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > LIBRARY AND INFORMATION STUDIES (080700) > Social and Community Informatics (080709)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY (210000) > HISTORICAL STUDIES (210300) > European History (excl. British Classical Greek and Roman) (210307)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australasian CRC for Interaction Design (ACID)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Division of Research and Commercialisation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 please consult the authors
Deposited On: 09 Dec 2010 09:14
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2011 00:59

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