17.414 CATaC'04 in Sweden

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Mon Dec 01 2003 - 03:24:25 EST

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 17, No. 414.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                         Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

             Date: Mon, 01 Dec 2003 08:09:10 +0000
             From: catac@wirth.murdoch.edu.au
             Subject: Cultural Attitudes towards Technology and Communication



    Fourth International Conference on
    27 June-1 July 2004
    Karlstad University, Sweden

    Conference theme:
    Off the shelf or from the ground up?
    ICTs and cultural marginalization, homogenization or hybridization

    The biennial CATaC conference series provides a continuously expanding
    international forum for the presentation and discussion of current research
    on how diverse cultural attitudes shape the implementation and use of
    information and communication technologies (ICTs). The conference series
    brings together scholars from around the globe who provide diverse
    perspectives, both in terms of the specific culture(s) they highlight in
    their presentations and discussions, and in terms of the discipline(s)
    through which they approach the conference theme. The first conference in
    the series was held in London in 1998, the second in Perth in 2000, and the
    third in Montreal in 2002.

    Beginning with our first conference in 1998, the CATaC conferences
    have highlighted theoretical and praxis-oriented scholarship and research
    from all parts of the globe, including Asia, Africa, and the Middle-East.
    The conferences focus especially on people and communities at the
    developing edges of ICT diffusion, including indigenous peoples and those
    outside the
    English-speaking world.

    Understanding the role of culture in how far minority and/or indigenous
    cultural groups may succeed - or fail - in taking up ICTs designed for a
    majority culture is obviously crucial to the moral and political imperative
    of designing ICTs in ways that will not simply reinforce such groups'
    marginalization. What is the role of culture in the development of ICTs
    "from the ground up" - beginning with the local culture and conditions -
    rather than assuming dominant "off the shelf" technologies are appropriate?
    Are the empowering potentials of ICTs successfully exploited among minority
    and indigenous groups, and/or do they rather engender cultural
    marginalization, cultural homogenization or cultural hybridization?

    Original full papers (especially those which connect theoretical frameworks
    with specific examples of cultural values, practices, etc.) and short
    papers (e.g. describing current research projects and preliminary results)
    are invited.

    Topics of particular interest include but are not limited to:

    - Culture: theory and praxis
    - Culture and economy
    - Alternative models for ICT diffusion
    - Role of governments and activists in culture, technology and communication
    - ICTs and cultural hybridity
    - ICTs and intercultural communication
    - Culture, communication and e-learning

    Our conference themes provide a range of approaches to the questions raised.

    Nina Wakeford, Foundation Fund Lecturer in Sociology and Social
    Methodology. For her DPhil at Nuffield College, Oxford, Dr Wakeford studied
    the experiences of mature students using a sociological conception of risk.
    Before coming to the University of Surrey in September of 1998, she spent
    three years studying "Women's Experiences of Virtual Communities", funded
    by an ESRC Post-Doctoral grant. The last two years of this Fellowship she
    conducted fieldwork in and around Silicon Valley while based at the
    University of California, Berkeley.

    CATaC'04 will also feature two particular foci, each chaired by a
    distinguished colleague who will oversee paper review and development of
    the final panels.

    PANEL 1: The Multilingual Internet
    Panel Chairs: Susan Herring and Brenda Danet
    Expanding on their collective work, including a special issue of the
    Journal of
    Computer-Mediated Communication (Vol. 9 (1), November, 2003 - see
    http://www.ascusc.org/jcmc/), this thread invites papers with
    a specific focus on how the Internet impacts language choice and
    linguistic practices in traditionally non-English speaking cultural
    contexts. Of particular interest are situations that respond in
    various ways to the tension between global English dominance and
    local linguistic diversity, e.g., through use of English as an
    online lingua franca, the "localization" of global or regional
    linguistic influences, translation or code-switching between
    different languages, and strategic uses of the Internet to
    maintain and invigorate minority languages.
    Susan Herring is Professor of Information Science and Linguistics,
    Indiana University Bloomington
    Brenda Danet is Professor Emerita of Sociology and Communication at the
    Hebrew University of Jerusalem

    PANEL 2: Utopian Dreams vs. Real-World Conditions: Under what conditions
    can ICTs really help worse off communities?
    Panel Chair: Michel Minou.
    CATaC'04 will likely feature some examples of "best practices" in using
    ICTs to aid culturally-appropriate development, especially as pursued
    through governmental or NGOs' projects, community informatics endeavours,
    etc. At the same time, however, real-world politics and realities - e.g.,
    violent oppression, political corruption, gender and ethnic discrimination,
    abuse of dominant economic position, structural disasters, worst practices
    of all kinds and origins, etc. - can shatter the best-laid plans for using
    ICTs to supposedly help especially the poorest of the poor. How far can
    ICTs succeed in supporting culturally-appropriate development - and what
    appropriate answers to real-world conditions are required in order for our
    best efforts to realize the liberatory potentials of these technologies not
    be broken down?
    Michel Menou, has worked on the development of national information
    policies and systems in many countries of the Southern hemisphere since
    1966. Since 1992 his work focused on the impact of information and ICT in
    development. He is a member of the Community Informatics Research Network
    and of the network of Telecentres of Latin America and Caribbean.


    All submissions will be peer reviewed by an international panel of
    scholars and researchers and accepted papers will appear in the conference

    Initial submissions are to be uploaded to the CATaC website according to
    the paper guidelines (available at the conference website). Submission of a
    paper implies that it has not been submitted or published elsewhere. At
    least one author of each accepted paper is expected to present the paper at
    the conference.

    There will be the opportunity for selected papers from this 2004 conference
    to appear in special issues of journals and a book. Papers in previous
    conferences have appeared in journals (Journal of Computer Mediated
    Communication, Electronic Journal of Communication/La Revue Electronique de
    Communication, AI and Society, Javnost- The Public, and New Media and
    Society) and a book (Culture, Technology, Communication: towards an
    Intercultural Global Village, 2001, edited by Charles Ess with Fay
    Sudweeks, SUNY Press, New York). You may purchase the conference
    proceedings from the 2002 conference from www.it.murdoch.edu.au/catac.

    Important Dates

    Full papers (10-20 pages): 12 January 2004
    Short papers (3-5 pages): 26 January 2004
    Notification of acceptance: end February 2004
    Final formatted papers: 29 March 2004

       Charles Ess, Drury University, USA, catac@it.murdoch.edu.au
       Fay Sudweeks, Murdoch University, Australia, catac@it.murdoch.edu.au
       Malin Sveningsson, Karlstad University, Sweden, malin.sveningsson@kau.se

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