[Air-l] Outreach Working Group Charge, with a minor tweak

david silver dsilver at u.washington.edu
Mon Feb 4 21:56:06 PST 2002


folks,

i fear that i haven't done a good job articulating my position on the
outreach project.

first, i think that via a number of avenues -- individual recruitment,
word of mouth, successful conferences, media coverage, etc -- word of air
has gotten out.  within a few short years, the organization has grown in
leaps and bounds.  fantastic.  this is a result of all of our, and many
others', work.  for the most part, however, air membership it seems to me
is composed of scholars who self-identify themselves as internet scholars
or new media scholars, etc.  nothing wrong with that of course but i think
it's safe to say that we have done a great job getting the word out to
them.

when i ran for office, i ran on a platform that stressed further inclusion
of scholars and scholarship working on a number of avenues collected
(in)conveniently under cultural diversity.  i'm not sure what the final
results were (were they ever posted to air-exec?) but i do know that i had
some strong support.  i don't translate that into votes for david cause we
like him, but rather votes for my platform, which suggested that we begin
defining ourselves in many ways, including a more diverse spectrum (in
terms of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class) of scholarship.

my involvement into this discussion is not one fed by ego but rather one
driven by a very tame intellectual ideology, one that suggests that
cultural markers should be proactively made visible.  that is all i'm
suggesting.  there are dozens of directions air can go into -- coupling
with industry, becoming more technical, etc -- and this is one i'm
suggesting.  the reason i think this suggestion is legit is that it
appears to be the one i was elected to represent.

with that in mind (and knowing that the following paragraph won't satisfy
everyone but may make for some interesting conversation), what about this
for the second paragraph:

The purpose of this working group is to recommend an "external relations"
plan that considers how we might raise awareness of AoIR in the world, and
assesses what "worlds" to reach. WE ARE ESPECIALLY INTERESTED IN FINDING,
HEARING FROM, AND WORKING WITH SCHOLARS INTERESTED IN RESEARCH AND
TEACHING THAT EXPLORES THE MANY CULTURAL, SOCIAL, AND ECONOMIC ELEMENTS --
RACE, ETHNICITY, GENDER, SEXUALITY, CLASS, AND DISABILITY -- THAT
INTERSECT WITH THE NET AND NET USE.   The goal is not to target particular
people or institutions, but to assess where there are internet researchers
are not aware of, or not participating in, AoIR and to develop a strategy
for letting those sectors know that we exist and welcome their
participation.

david






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