Sunday, January 28, 2007

CFP: Internet Histories

CFP: Internet Histories
Location: Canada
Call for Papers Deadline: April 16, 2007
Workshop Date: October 16, 2007

Internet Histories
a pre-AoIR 8.0 workshop
October 16, 2007
Vancouver, Canada

Despite the fact that the Internet is entering its fifth decade, the understanding and writing of its histories is very much in its infancy. In this one-day workshop, to be held 16 October 2007 directly before the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) 8.0 conference (, we aim to explore the questions, assumptions, investments, frameworks, concepts, methods, biases, opportunities, archives, narratives, tropes, and logics that underlie the Internet’s diverse histories.

In particular, in the spirit of our 2006 ‘Internationalising Internet Studies’ workshop,, we start from the notion that the history of Internet uptake has been widely divergent across cultures and regions. In Asia, in particular, the initial PC-based phase of connectivity typical of the US and Europe, has not been replicated. Instead, Internet penetration was achieved via a variety of mobile devices, including Internet-enabled cell phones resulting in very different cultures of use and practice.

Accordingly, we call for papers on Internet histories, including, but certainly not limited to the following issues:

* what sorts of Internet histories are currently available, or in progress — whether national, country-specific, local, subcultural, community, or transnational and translocal?
* what are the histories and trajectories currently missing and why do these particular lacunae exist? What histories of the Internet are being foreclosed, overlooked, or not yet imagined, and what are the implications of this?
* who is currently writing, reading, collecting, valorising, or even enshrining Internet histories?
* what are the dominant accounts of Internet history, or dominant assumptions regarding these?
* what histories do we have of Latin American, African, Oceanic, or Asian Internet, for instance, compared to European or North American Internet?
* what challenges does doing Internet history pose? what is specific about Internet history compared to histories of media, communications, or other technologies, or broad social or cultural histories?
* how do our understandings of Internet and mobile technologies and cultures vary depending on the kinds of quite specific histories that condition these?
* how do a researcher’s own culture and patterns of use determine the kinds of questions s/he may raise concerning the history of ‘the Internet’?

This project brings together researchers working on country-specific and regional histories of the Internet as well as those researching Internet use by local and transnational subcultures and communities. This will be the first of what is anticipated to be a series of workshops, leading to an edited collection aimed at understanding the different historical patterns of Internet deployment and cultural and technological development.
We welcome abstracts of no more than 500 words by Monday 16 April 2007.

Please send your abstract to both organisers: Gerard Goggin ( and Mark McLelland (

Acceptance will be advised by the end of April 2007. Subsequent to acceptance, presenters will need to register for the workshop and the AoIR conference via the AoIR online conference registration system. Please note that acceptance of your paper at the pre-conference workshop does not preclude you from also submitting a different paper to the main conference.

For those selected, papers of 5,000 words will be due by mid-September 2007. Following the workshop, papers will be considered for inclusion in an edited collection on Internet Histories.

The project website is:

About the organisers:

Gerard Goggin is an ARC Australian Research Fellow in the Dept of Media and Communications, University of Sydney, Australia. His books include Cell Phone Culture (Routledge, 2006), Virtual Nation: The Internet in Australia (2004), and Digital Disability (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), and he is currently working on a study of global mobile media.

Mark McLelland lectures in Sociology in the School of Social Sciences, Media and Communications at the University of Wollongong. His publications include Japanese Cybercultures (2000) and Queer Japan from the Pacific War to the Internet Age (2005).

Gerard and Mark are editors of Internationalizing Internet Studies (Routledge, 2007).

Mark McLelland,
Lecturer in Sociology
School of Social Sciences, Media and Communication
Arts Faculty
University of Wollongong
NSW 2522

Visit the website at