The Community Informatics Research Network (CIRN) Conference, November 9-11, 2015 is now open to MA/MS student submissions for a special Graduate Student Colloquium during the conference. Here are the details from the conference organizers:
Dear Colleague, this is a further call for the 12th CIRN Prato Conference 2015, “Privilege, Information, Knowledge & Power: An endless dilemma” . We still have some spaces for papers.
Please note: we now welcome submissions from MA/MSc studies into a Graduate Student Colloquium– as with PhDs, this is a wonderful opportunity to get exposure and international conference experience.
Further Information, including a link for uploading abstracts and key dates, is via http://cirn.wikispaces.com/Conference+2015. Please distribute this invitation to colleagues and students.
We seek refereed and non-refereed papers, practitioner reports and works-in-progress, posters, workshops and panels, and PhD /MA/MSc symposium presentations.
We are pleased to confirm that the Keynotes will be —
Kiera Ladner, University of Manitoba /Canada Research Chair. Dr. Kiera Ladner is an expert in the field of indigenous politics and the competing visions of indigenous self-government in Canada. Her community based research into constitutional reconciliation and decolonization is creating a deeper understanding of these rival ideas and the tensions they have created, both within communities and between First Nations and Canada.
Shawna Ferris, University of Manitoba. She researches in the areas of violence against women, critical race and feminist cultural studies, and sex work studies. Her current research examines anti-violence, anti-racism, and decolonization-oriented activism stemming from the growing number of missing and murdered people—many of whom are Indigenous women—in urban centres across Canada. As part of this research, she is working with Dr. Kiera Ladner on the Digital Archives and Marginalized Communities Project.
Safiya Noble, UCLA. She conducts research in socio-cultural informatics; including feminist, historical and political-economic perspectives on computing platforms and software in the public interest. Her research is at the intersection of transnational culture and technology in the design and use of applications on the Internet.
Information and knowledge are socially constructed artifacts located and often literally inscribed– within particular relations of information and knowledge production. Such relations of information and knowledge production can reflect unequal distributions of power and privilege, whether manifested in gendered activity; the primacy given to formalized expertise or particular language codes; restricted access to information, knowledge and production for those not in positions of institutional control; or the production of particular artifacts (such as ICT systems) that privilege one group over another.
Critical Community Informatics (CI), Development Informatics (DI), and Community Archiving (CA) education, research, and practice seeks to recognize these relations and openly challenge privileged statuses and practices. They recognize that a pluralistic approach to the problem of information and knowledge production and its preservation as different forms of activity and memory is a critical step to moving beyond approaches that result in privilege to those with skills and power in information and knowledge production across time and space in different environments.
Such a critical perspective also works to move beyond an apolitical approach and utilitarian approach to information and knowledge production or the romanticize and colonization of communities (whether urban, indigenous, or traditional and so on) as unitary, and easy-to-label collectivities. Instead, it sees information and knowledge as inherently contested and political at all societal levels and to see communities as heterogeneous and likewise, political.
Critical scholarship also raises ethical dilemmas as we consider the privilege given to lineal written language in academic work, as the warrant for particular informational or knowledge truth and procedures. We thus question the role of the academy in defining terminology and appropriate technologies of memory, and we recognize the ways such privileging of the academy serves as a form of epistemological colonization that flows on into different forms of institutional and organizational practice. How to move beyond this privilege is a grand challenge, and in fact, can we move beyond it?
Our aim for the conference is for it to be an active community practice in, and not just discussions about, pluralism. We therefore encourage participation from a wide range of cultures, races, ethnicities, religions, socio-economic statuses, gender identities, disabilities, and ages. We also encourage proposals for different ways of knowing and sharing. We especially seek to foster dialog across difference rather than presentation and preservation of homogeneity, when new ICTs in particular allow the existence and fruitful production of multiverses of information and knowledge.
Key questions arising from the conference theme can be found at this link, and abstract submissions made to the conference database via http://cirn.wikispaces.com/Conference+2015+Themes