DATUM 2019
The RSPI unConference is a two-day event (November 15-17, 2019) where presenters and attendees will collaborate on cutting-edge practices united by a single theme. The 2019 theme is “DATUM”. To learn more about RSPI, visit www.rspivcu.org.

DATUM is a single piece of information, as a fact, statistic, or code. It is the singular of “data”. Data have become the lingua franca of our increasingly complex, digitized world. We talk about the data we produce through various technologies; the way polities surveil citizens using data systems; we worry about social implications of data that can reshape reality before our very eyes. Data's singular form, DATUM, is an invitation to critically interrogate the historical, social and political forces that shape our society.

We invite scholars, practitioners, artists and citizens to reflect on their on-going research or everyday experiences: what are the root causes of the social problems that animate the ways you work, learn, build, or resist? We are especially interested in reflections that incorporate the DATUM of race, space, place and their intersections.

All Attendees will be invited to create and submit work to the RSPI digital archive, a multimedia platform for open access learning materials. The RSPI digital archive is being built in partnership with our partners at the Institute for Contemporary Art as a living, distributed archival community. Learn more here. Attendees that are affiliated with institutions that engage in research, broadly defined, will also be invited to participate in publication workshops held virtually and on-site at VCU throughout the year.


DEADLINE EXTENDED: Submissions are due September 6, 2019

unConference acceptances will be reviewed by an interdisciplinary panel of scholars, artists, and community members drawn from the RSPI steering committee. Acceptances are assessed for theme coherence and the possibility for interesting and informative connections for attendees.

Acceptances will be sent no later than September 19, 2019

Attendees must acknowledge that they will attend the entire convening no later than September 30th 2019. Travel and lodging information will be provided at the time of acceptance.

unConference facilitators will do preliminary work to connect attendees, based on their areas of expertise/interest, ahead of the event. An itinerary of the convening will be sent to confirmed attendees only, complete with locations, meals, and keynote information no later than October 15th.


An unConference up-ends the usual hierarchies at academic conferences. We strongly encourage works-in-progress that allow you to give as well as receive constructive feedback on your work. RSPI organizers are always happy to answer any questions you may have as you prepare your submissions or your unConference materials (info@rspivcu.org and vidale@vcu.edu).
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