[Air-L] Special issue of IwC: Feminism and HCI

Elizabeth Churchill churchill at acm.org
Thu Jan 28 15:50:27 PST 2010


Feminism and HCI: A Special Issue of Interacting with Computers
Special Issue Editors:
Shaowen Bardzell (Indiana University School of Informatics and
Computing) and Elizabeth F. Churchill (Yahoo! Research)

Portrayals of feminism, in politics, the media, and even in Human
Computer Interaction (HCI) conferences, suggest that this household
word is not always well understood. Academically, feminism is a
subdomain of critical theory that integrates a collection of theories,
analytical and interpretative methodologies, ethical values, and
political positions, which have evolved over the past two centuries.

In recent years, HCI as a research discipline has expanded beyond
preoccupations with how efficiently a system performs or how 'easy' it
is to use; HCI researchers and practitioners are increasingly
concerned with culture, society, and the experiential qualities of

HCI as a discipline stands to benefit from a deeper engagement with
feminist perspectives on the design, promotion, adoption and
adaptation of interactive, computer-based technologies. Feminist
theories and concepts offer reflective considerations of dominant and
alternative epistemologies; offer ways to understand the constitution
of gender and the self in everyday life; give us perspectives through
which to investigate the indirect effects of design; consider
emotional landscapes in design, including pleasure, desire,
attraction, sentiment, anger, fear and resistance; address issues of
power and agency in how technologies are adopted by us or imposed upon
us, including engagement with issues such as privacy, surveillance and
gaze; study the adoption and adaptation of technologies in leisure
activities such as crafts; consider issues in designing for homes,
critically addressing the notion of "home" itself; and address broader
issues such as embodiment, memory and performance.

The “Feminism and HCI: New Perspectives” Special Issue seeks to
provide a forum for scholarly contributions and applications of
feminism to the discipline of HCI. Though the topic of feminism has
many inputs and applications, we confine our focus to the interaction
design implications of this problem space. Specifically, we are
concerned with the design and evaluation of interactive systems that
are imbued with sensitivity to the central commitments of
feminism—agency, fulfillment, identity and the self, equity,
empowerment, diversity, and social justice. We also seek to improve
our understanding of how gender identities and relations shape both
the use of interactive technologies and their design. Additionally,
feminist HCI entails critical perspectives that could help reveal
unspoken values within HCI’s dominant research and design paradigms,
and underpin the development of new approaches, methods and design

We see the contribution of feminist theories and methods to HCI in the
following ways and encourage submissions that address the following
types of issues:

·      Fundamental and theoretical: how feminism critiques core
operational concepts, assumptions, and epistemologies of the field,
and what opportunities this critique opens up for the future

·      Methodological considerations: how feminism interacts with user
research, iterative design, evaluation methodologies

·      User considerations: updating the notion of “the user” to
reflect gender in a way that noticeably and directly affects design

·      Artifact considerations: critically examining how designs
configure users’ femininity and masculinity—and what implications they
bear for future design work

·      Your experiences: To what extent do you perceive feminist
perspectives already informing your work in HCI? Do you sense that
feminist perspectives are informing others’ work in the field? What
current issues in HCI might benefit from the application of feminist

All submissions need to be based on original research and will be
subject to the full review process of Interacting with Computers.

Instructions for Authors

Authors are encouraged to submit a short abstract (300-500 words) and
a tentative title prior to the full paper submission, by February 28,
2010, to Shaowen Bardzell (selu (at) indiana (dot) edu) and Elizabeth
Churchill (churchill (at) acm (dot) org). Please feel free to send an
inquiry prior to writing the abstract. Please put "IwC Feminism SI" in
your email subject line.

The deadline for the final full-paper submission is June 1, 2010.
Manuscripts should be 5000-7500 words, prepared according to the IwC’s
guide for authors and should be submitted online. Illustrations must
be provided in separate .jpg or.gif files, and APA Publication Manual
(not ACM or IEEE) style is used. Color is discouraged. The guide for
authors and online submission are available at

If you are a first-time user of the journal's online submission tool,
you will have to register yourself as an author on the system at

Potential authors should contact Shaowen Bardzell (selu (at) indiana
(dot) edu) and Elizabeth Churchill (churchill (at) acm (dot) org) with
any questions about the special issue. Please put "IwC Feminism SI" in
your email subject line.

For information on Interacting with Computers, please see

Detailed timeline

    * Abstract submission (300-500 words) deadline: February 28, 2010
    * Full paper submission deadline: June 1, 2010
    * First-round reviews to authors: late August/early September, 2010
    * Revised papers due for final review and comments to authors: November 2010
    * Final papers due: Dec 15, 2010
    * Special issue publication: March, 2011

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