A Decade in Internet Time: Symposium on the Dynamics of the Internet and Society

A Decade in Internet Time: Symposium on the Dynamics of the Internet and Society

University of Oxford

21-24 September 2011

Event: Symposium

Location: OxfordUniversity of Oxford with sessions at the Social Sciences Manor Road Building, and Said Business School

Organized by: Oxford Internet Institute and iCS (the journal Information, Communication and Society)

Sponsors include: Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group)

The Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and the journal, Information, Communication and Society (iCS) are co-organizing a symposium to critically assess the last decade of social research on the Internet and identify directions for research over the next. The symposium will be held in Oxford from the afternoon of 21 September until noon on the 24th. This event will be punctuated by a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the founding of the OII, providing an opportunity to relate broader lessons for the field to the case of one of the first departments at a major university focused on the societal implications of the Internet and related information and communication technologies. Ten years is only a moment in the span of social research, but eons in Internet time. Has social research across the disciplines been up to the challenges?

There will be parallel sessions across the days, with late-afternoon plenary sessions, and ample time for informal discussion. One plenary session will focus on the Anniversary of the OII. The parallel sessions will focus on the presentation of papers submitted for review in response to this call.

Invited Keynotes

Manuel Castells is Research Professor at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), in Barcelona. He also a University Professor and the holder of the Wallis Annenberg Chair of Communication Technology and Society at the Annenberg School of Communication, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, the Marvin and Joanne Grossman Distinguished Professor of Technology and Society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Internet Studies at Oxford University. He was Professor of Sociology and of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley (1979-2003).

Vint Cerf is a computer scientist who is recognized as one of the ‘fathers of the Internet’. His contributions have been widely acknowledged by many honorary degrees and awards, including the National Medal of Technology, the Turing Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and membership in the National Academy of Engineering. Vint Cerf is currently Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist at Google. [Provisional Acceptance]

Andrew Graham is the Master of Balliol College, University of Oxford, and founding Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Oxford Internet Institute. He was the driving force in establishing the OII and was the Acting Director of the OII until July 2002. An Oxford graduate, Andrew Graham became economic adviser to Prime Minister Harold Wilson, 1967–69, before joining Balliol as a Tutorial Fellow in Economics. He returned to 10 Downing Street as a Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister, 1974–76 and later, from 1988–94, became economic advisor to the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer and, from 1992, Leader of the Labour Party, John Smith.

Laura DeNardis is a Research Scholar, Lecturer, and the Executive Director of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. DeNardis is an Internet governance scholar and the author of Protocol Politics: The Globalization of Internet Governance (MIT Press 2009), Information Technology in Theory (Thompson 2007 with Pelin Aksoy), and numerous book chapters and articles. DeNardis received a Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies (STS) from Virginia Tech, a Master of Engineering degree from Cornell University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Engineering Science from Dartmouth College.

Eszter Hargittai is Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Faculty Associate of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University where she heads the Web Use Project. Eszter received a B.A. in Sociology from Smith College and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Princeton University where she was a Wilson Scholar. She was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford (2006-07) and a fellow at the Institute for International Integration Studies, Trinity College Dublin (2007). Currently, she is a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

Lisa Nakamura is the Director of the Asian American Studies Program, Professor in the Institute of Communication Research and Media Studies Program and Professor of Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. She is the author of Digitizing Race: Visual Cultures of the Internet (University of Minnesota Press, 2008), Cybertypes: Race, Ethnicity and Identity on the Internet (Routledge, 2002) and co-editor of Race in Cyberspace (Routledge, 2000). She is editing a collection with Peter Chow-White entitled Digital Race: An Anthology (Routledge, forthcoming) and is writing a new monograph on social inequality in virtual worlds, tentatively entitled ‘Workers Without Bodies: Towards a Theory of Race and Digital Labor in Virtual Worlds, or, Why World of Warcraft needs a Civil Rights Movement’.

Barry Wellman is the S.D. Clark Professor at the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto, where he directs NetLab. He is also a cross-appointed member of the university’s Knowledge Media Design Institute, and Faculty of Information. With Lee Rainie, he’s just finished Networked: The New Social Operating System, to be published by MIT Press, January 2012.

Call for Papers and Panel Proposals

Authors are invited to submit abstracts of unpublished, original work for initial review as symposium papers. Abstracts for papers should be limited to approximately 500 words; abstracts for proposed panels or workshops to 1000 words, including information about participants.

Abstracts for papers or panels should be submitted by 8 December 2010 to events@oii.ox.ac.uk and have ‘iCS Symposium’ in the subject. Authors for whom abstracts are accepted will be asked to provide a completed paper by 12 September 2011.

Abstracts and papers may address any topic concerning social research on the Internet and related technologies. Proposals can be made for individual papers or for a panel. They will be evaluated on the basis of their originality and promise for shaping theoretical, methodological or empirical advances in the study of the Internet. Work that has a promise to shape research, policy or practice in this emerging field would be especially welcomed.

Themes of parallel and plenary sessions are likely to focus on change over time, including, but not limited, to such themes as:

  • The diffusion of the Internet: shifts and plateaus in digital inclusion and divides across geography, generations, and society;
  • Sizing the Internet economy and its growth over time and space;
  • Changing patterns and requirements for digital literacy and skills;
  • Trust over time and across areas of Internet use, from commerce to public services and news and information;
  • Emerging roles of networking in the public domain, government, and democratic institutions and processes, such as in election campaigns, democratic accountability and the rise of a Fifth Estate;
  • The role of the Internet in major societal crises and natural disasters;
  • Evolution of digital academe, including digital collections, formal and informal learning, e-research and academic publishing;
  • The quality and changing sources of information – from news to research – and their consequences;
  • Collaboration – myths and realities of new forms of collaborative network organizations and technologies;
  • The developing role of the Internet in social networking, whether in the workplace, everyday life, or in shaping major life chances;
  • The dark side of the Internet: growth of cyber-crime, cyber-terrorism, malicious computing, and approaches to addressing these problems;
  • Collective action – the evolving role of the Internet in social and political movements;
  • Privacy and surveillance trends and research;
  • Localism – the new Internet frontier;
  • Closing of the Internet through appliances, aps, and regulations;
  • The rise of Internet governance and regulation in areas ranging across policy arenas, from standards to freedom of expression?
  • The development of Internet research and digital research methods.

Key Dates:

Submission of Abstracts for Papers or Panels: 8 December 2010

Notification of Acceptance of Papers and Panels: 21 December 2010

Papers due: 12 September 2011


Programme Chairs

Bill Dutton, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Brian Loader, Science and Technology Studies Unit, University of York

Victoria Nash, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Barry Wellman, Netlab, University of Toronto

Programme Committee

Members of the iCS Editorial Board

Faculty of the OII


Information about registration procedures and fees are to follow. Questions may be addressed to events@oii.ox.ac.uk

Comments are most welcome