[acc-cca-l] CFP for Amazon Anthology

Alexander Monea amonea at gmu.edu
Sat Mar 20 12:42:39 MDT 2021


CFC: An Anthology about Amazon

Since its founding in 1994, Amazon has steadily and inexorably become probably the most visible and easily recognized e-commerce platform in the world. Amazon websites receive nearly 2.5 trillion visits per annum, and in 2018 Amazon’s share of e-commerce activity in the US hit almost 50%. Even while Amazon has struggled to cope with the unexpected demands of the Covid-19 moment, its dominance in the US and European markets has remained unquestioned and mostly unchallenged as projections and expectations continue to be revised upwards by market analysts.

During the two decades or so of its rise, Amazon.com has been at the forefront of the majority of Silicon Valley’s technological  innovations: efforts to index the world; simplify and automate e-payments (e.g. 1-Click); facilitate e-reading (e.g. Topaz, Kindle, etc.); stream digital multimedia content (e.g. Audible, Video on Demand, Prime Video, MP3 Store); personalize the internet and implement recommendation engines; incorporate machine learning (e.g. Mechanical Sensei, Amabot); develop voice command through natural language processing (e.g. Alexa); domesticate AI devices (like Echo and the suite of similar devices hosting Alexa technology); scan the world’s books (e.g. Search Inside the Book), implement web analytics and ad sales (e.g. Clickriver); map the world’s roadways and offer street views (e.g. Block View); facilitate the gig economy (e.g. Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, Amazon Fresh); automate hiring, firing, and labor management; develop facial recognition and security software (e.g. Rekognition) for domestic, commercial and governmental use;  and, perhaps most importantly, offer server services like web hosting and virtual machines for advanced computation through Amazon Web Services (AWS).

For 26 years, Amazon has either been the first to imagine and implement these and other technological innovations, or has been quick to perfect its own versions of new features developed in Silicon Valley by poaching key employees from rivals, acquiring smaller companies, developing in-house versions, and throwing its weight around as the premier e-commerce platform in the United States.

We are currently compiling an anthology that will try to give an account of the multifaceted—indeed, omnipresent and ubiquitous—activities and presence of Amazon. The anthology will publish original contributions by major scholars in the field, and also republish crucial or seminal articles about Amazon. And we are about to sign a contract for the anthology with a major publisher.

At this moment we would like to solicit new contributions in several areas related to Amazon which we think have been undertreated in scholarship. If you have work, or would like to develop work, or can suggest work, that fits broadly into any of the following themes, please contact us to talk about it. We would want to have finished contributions by the end of 2021 and would like to receive initial communication and inquiries by April 15th.

  *   Direct media production by Amazon and its subsidiaries
  *   The relation of Amazon’s enterprises to on the environment and ecological issues
  *   Amazon and race, especially in regard to Amazon’s labor practices
  *   The story of Amazon post-Covid 19

Paul Smith, Professor of Cultural Studies & Global Affairs, George Mason U

Alex Monea, Assistant Professor of English & Cultural Studies, George Mason U

Maillim Santiago, Cultural Studies, George Mason U.

Please email us: psmith5 at gmu.edu<mailto:psmith5 at gmu.edu>, amonea at gmu.edu, msantia7 at gmu.edu<mailto:msantia7 at gmu.edu>

Alexander Monea

Assistant Professor

English | Cultural Studies

George Mason University

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