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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Locating Internets: Histories of the Internet(s) in India — Research Training and Curriculum Workshop: Call for Participation

Deadline for submission: 15th July 2011-06-08; When: 19th - 22nd August, 2011; Where: Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) University, Ahmedabad; Organised by: Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore and CEPT University, Ahmedabad.

LOCATING INTERNETS is an innovative, multi-disciplinary, workshop that engages with some of the most crucial debates around Internet and Society within academic scholarship, discourse and practice in India. It explores Where, When, How and What has changed with the emergence of Internet and Digital Technologies in the country. The Internet is not a singular monolithic entity but is articulated in various forms – sometimes materially, through accessing the web; at others, through our experiences; and yet others through imaginations of policy and law. Internets have become a part of our everyday practice, from museums and archives, to school and university programmes, living rooms and public spaces, relationships and our bodily lived realities. It becomes necessary to reconfigure our existing concepts, frameworks and ideas to make sense of the rapidly digitising world around us. The Internet is no longer contained in niche disciplines or specialised everyday practices. LOCATING INTERNETS invites scholars, teachers, researchers, advanced research students and educationalists from any discipline to learn and discuss how to ask new questions and design innovative curricula in their discipline by introducing concepts and ideas from path-breaking research in India.

Comprised of training, public lectures, open discussion spaces, and hands-on curriculum building exercises, this workshop will introduce the participants to contemporary debates, help them articulate concerns and problems from their own research and practice, and build knowledge clusters to develop innovative and open curricula which can be implemented in interdisciplinary undergraduate spaces in the country. It showcases the research outputs produced by the Centre for Internet and Society’s Researchers @ Work Programme, and brings together nine researchers to talk about alternative histories, processes, and bodies of the Internets, and how they can be integrated into mainstream pedagogic practices and teaching environments.

Knowledge Clusters for the Workshop

LOCATING INTERNETS is designed innovatively to accommodate for various intellectual and practice based needs of the participants. While the aim is to introduce the participants to a wide interdisciplinary range of scholarship, we also hope to address particular disciplinary and scholarly concerns of the participants. The workshop is further divided into three knowledge clusters which help the participants to focus their energies and ideas in the course of the four days.
  • Bridging the Gap: This workshop seeks to break away from the utopian public discourse of the Internets as a-historical and completely dis-attached from existing technology ecologies in the country. This knowledge cluster intends to produce frameworks that help us contextualize the contemporary internet policy, discourse and practice within larger geo-political and socio-historical flows and continuities in Modern India. The first cluster chartsdifferent pre-histories of the Internets, mapping the continuities and ruptures through philosophy of techno-science, archiving practices, and electronifcation of governments,to develop new technology-society perspectives.
  • Paradigms of Practice: One of the biggest concerns about Internet studies in India and other similar developed contexts is the object oriented approach that looks largely at specific usages, access, infrastructure, etc. However, it is necessary to understand that the Internet is not merely a tool or a gadget. The growth of Internets produces systemic changes at the level of process and thought. The technologies often get appropriated for governance both by the state and the civil society, producing new processes and dissonances which need to be charted. The second cluster looks at certain contemporary processes that the digital and Internet technologies change drastically in order to recalibrate the relationship between the state, the market and the citizen.
  • Feet on the Ground: The third cluster looks at contemporary practices of the Internet to understand the recent histories of movements, activism and cultural practices online. It offers an innovative way of understanding the physical objects and bodies that undergo dramatic transitions as digital technologies become pervasive, persuasive and ubiquitous. It draws upon historical discourse, every day practices and cultural performances to form new ways of formulating and articulating the shapes and forms of social and cultural structures.

Workshop Outcomes

The participants are expected to engage with issue of Internet and it various systemic processes through their own disciplinary interests. Apart from lectures and orientation sessions, the participants will actively work on their own project ideas during the period in groups and will be guided by experts. The final outcome of the workshops would be curriculum for undergraduate and graduate teaching space of various disciplines in the country.

Participation Guidelines

LOCATING INTERNETS is now accepting submissions from interested participants in the following format:
  1. Name:
  2. Institutional affiliation and title:
  3. Address:
  4. Email address:
  5. Phone number:
  6. A brief resume of work experience (max. 350 words)
  7. Statement of interest (max. 350 words)
  8. Key concerns you want to address in the Internet and Society field (max. 350 words)
  9. Identification with one Knowledge-cluster of the workshop and a proposal for integrating it in your research/teaching practice (max. 500 words)
  10. Current interface with technologies in your pedagogic practices (max. 350 words)
  11. Additional information or relevant hyperlinks you might want to add (Max. 10 lines)
  • Submissions will be accepted only from participants in India, as attachments in .doc, .docx or .odt formats at locatingInternets AT
  • Submissions made beyond 15th July 2011 may not be considered for participation.
  • Submissions will be scrutinized by the organisers and selected participants will be informed by the 20th July 2011, about their participation.
  • Selected participants will be required to make their own travel arrangements to the workshop. A 2nd A.C. return fare will be reimbursed to the participants.  Shared accommodation and selected meals will be provided at the workshop.
  • A limited number of air-fare reimbursements will be available to participants in extraordinary circumstances.
Chairs: Nishant Shah, Director-Research, Centre for Internet and Society Bangalore; Pratyush Shankar, Associate Professor & Head of Undergraduate Program, Faculty of Architecture, CEPT University
Supported by: Kusuma Foundation, Hyderabad
Experts:Anja Kovacs, Arun Menon, Asha Achuthan, Ashish Rajadhykasha, Aparna Balachandran, Namita Malhotra, Nithin Manayath, Nithya Vasudevan, Pratyush Shankar, Rochelle Pinto and Zainab Bawa
See the announcement on CIS website here
Distribute and share this as widely as possible.
Thanks and Regards,
Prasad Krishna
Publication Manager
Centre for Internet and Society
prasad AT
#194, Second 'C' cross
Domlur Second Stage

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