Digital Infrastructures and Contemporary Urbanities 2.0

deadline for submissions: 
December 20, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, National Institute of Technology Silchar

We inhabit a moment of accelerated urbanization primarily driven by the integration of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in urban planning and management, most ambitiously articulated in the promises of the ‘smart city’. The ubiquity of digital information infrastructures has reshaped the form, shape, and texture of cities. Contemporary urbanity has come to be defined by ICTs. As the social, experiential and physical spaces in the city are increasingly being experienced with and through data generated by networked digital devices, digital mediations exert profound impact on how urban spaces are being reconfigured, curated and navigated. Departing from here, this workshop seeks to examine the evolving nature of urban spatialities in light of digital mediations and networks. It explores the recent interferences of digital infrastructures, their ‘affordances’ in light of data infrastructures, trails and networks; and how digitality as a phenomenon brings into ‘being’ certain conditions of spatialities connected to such data environments: that is, digitally navigable spaces that are transient and contingent upon specificities and exigencies of data availability. We are interested in exploring, for example: What affordances does the digital furnish in terms of imaginations of urban spatialities? Who/what does it enable? How does it fulfill the aspirations of the ‘smart’ city and what are its ramifications? How do people negotiate and maneuver digital technologies to navigate through the cityspace? How do they (re)construct the digitally (re)mediated city?
This workshop will be help in-person at NIT Silchar. To participate, please submit (in a single file) a ~250-word abstract of your unpublished work and a ~150-word bio-note to avishekray@hum.nits.ac.in with a copy to neha.ckgupta@gmail.com by 20 December 2023. Use ‘Digital Infrastructures and Contemporary Urbanities’ in the subject line. Once selected, you’d be required to submit a ~3000-word preliminary draft of your paper by 15 February 2024, following which papers will be pre-circulated for discussion at the workshop. There will be no paper presentations in the classical sense.

Beneficiaries: The interdisciplinary workshop intends to support early career researchers, working to stimulate professional networks, develop research partnerships, encourage skills development, and provide hands-on writing training. Select papers from this writing workshop will be considered for publication in high impact journals in the fields of Urban Studies, Mobility Studies, Sociology, Urban & Regional Planning, Architecture etc.

Logistics: Local hospitality including accommodation at Silchar will be covered. Besides, bursaries for domestic travel are available, typically for graduate students, early-career and un(der)employed academics. This event is a sequel to an eponymous workshop held at NIT Silchar in September 2023 and is being sponsored by the Indian Council of Social Science Research.