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What is Universe? Communication • Complexity • Coherence

University of Oregon Portland
70 NW Couch Street
Portland, Oregon 97209, US (map)



The eighth annual What is…? conference-experience, What is Universe? examines communication, complexity/simplicity, coherence/incoherence and how they may or may not contribute to “a pluralistic universe”—networks of relationships. It addresses some of the most pressing issues of our time, including how do societies move forward when there is less shared agreement about the nature of our world, the problems confronting it, and/or the solutions necessary to improve it?

Scholars, practitioners, and other participants will explore universes—from reality bubbles, immersive virtual environments, and alternate histories, to agential realism, media genealogy and archaeology, to bio-inspired, urban and ecological design, to universal rights, disabilities studies, multicultural communities and cosmologies.

With definitions of “universe” continuing to multiply, important questions abound. We will address a sweeping range of issues next April in Portland, Oregon.