Free and Open to the Public

Everyone thinks they know what digital means. So pervasive are digital technologies in the 21st century that it is difficult to find critical distance from this immersive new world of ubiquitous connectivity, social media feeds, smartphones, mobile apps, responsive design, algorithmic recommendation systems, and voice-controlled home shopping assistants. While the question “what is the digital?” is compelling, the more pressing question might be instead: what does it mean to be alive in the digital age?

Across campus, this question has emerged in courses, colloquia, lectures, and informal conversations among students, faculty, staff, and peers, critically engaging with the big issues, urgent consequences, and radical possibilities for grappling with the meaning of life in this era of digital ubiquity. Whether defined as “animated corporeal existence,” “vitality,” or “to continue, to remain,” the conference approaches the digital world through a spectrum of the meaning of life-ness, explored through selfhood, labor, health, environment, politics, and memory.



Keynote Speakers

Adam Greenfield - Author of Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life and Founder and Managing Director of Urbanscale.

Sarah Sharma - Associate Professor and Director of the McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto


Tiffany Funk, Video Games Art (VGA) Gallery
Meg Leta Jones, Georgetown University
Shannon Mattern, The New School for Social Research
Curtis Roth, The Ohio State University
Ridhi Tariyal, NextGen Jane
Dan Taeyoung, Columbia GSAPP
Molly Wright Steenson, Carnegie Mellon School of Design
Sophia Brueckner, U-M School of Art & Design
Jerry Davis, U-M Ross School of Business
Nicole Ellison, U-M School of Information
Anna Watkins Fisher, U-M American Culture
Muzammil Hussain, U-M Communication Studies
Andrew Ibrahim, U-M Hospital / HOK Architects
Osman Khan, U-M School of Art & Design
Mark Lindquis
Nancy Love, U-M Civil and Environmental Engineering
Upali Nanda, U-M Taubman College
Kathy Velikov
, U-M Taubman College

2019 Michigan Meeting Co-Organizers

Ellie Abrons, Assistant Professor of Architecture, U-M Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
Megan Sapnar Ankerson, Associate Professor of Communication, U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
McLain Clutter, Associate Professor of Architecture and Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Strategic Initiatives, U-M Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
Paul Conway, Associate Professor of Information, U-M School of Information
Adam Fure, Assistant Professor of Architecture, U-M Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
Sarah Murray, Assistant Professor of Film, Television, and Media, U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Lisa Nakamura, Gwendolyn Calvert Baker Collegiate Professor of American Culture, U-M College of Literature, Science, and Arts; Director, U-M Digital Studies Institute