CFP: Workshop on Internet Histories (4/16/07; 10/16/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Mark McLelland
contact email: 

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, =
net-studies.html, 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?=20
* 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 =
* 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 =

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 =
We welcome abstracts of no more than 500 words by Monday 16 April 2007.=20

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 =

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:=20

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.=20

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).

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Received on Sun Jan 28 2007 - 15:00:15 EST