[Air-L] Second CFP - CATaC'12 - June 18-20, 2012 - Aarhus, Denmark: keynote speaker announced

Charles Ess charles.ess at gmail.com
Thu Dec 1 22:43:19 PST 2011

Dear AoIRists,
with the usual apologies for duplications and cross-postings - but please
forward to relevant lists and potentially interested students and
CATaC¹12 (Cultural Attitudes towards Technology and Communication) ­ Second
Call for Papers
Conference theme: Beyond the digital/cultural divide: in/visibility and new
The conference will take place June 18-20, 2012, at Aarhus University,
Aarhus, Denmark.  Please see <http://www.catacconference.org/> for more
AoIRists will understand our very great pleasure in announcing that our
first keynote speaker is Dr. Rasha Abdullah (Associate Professor and Chair
of the Journalism & Mass Communication Department, The American University
in Cairo). Provisional title: ³Lessons from Egypt: the roles and limits of
social media in political activism and transformation.²
As AoIRists will know, Dr. Rasha Abdullah has researched digital media and
social media usages and their impacts in the Egyptian and Arab contexts for
over a decade. In particular, Dr. Abdullah was among the first to examine
how blogging practices could circumvent state censorship and thereby foster
greater dialogue, freedom of expression, and political dissent.  Her own
blog posts both contributed to and helped document the Egyptian revolution
of 2011, while at the same time critically correcting Western enthusiasms
for so-called Facebook or Twitter Revolutions.
Additional keynote speaker to be confirmed.
The biennial CATaC conference series, begun in 1998, has become a premier
international forum for current research on the complex interactions between
culturally-variable norms, practices, and communication preferences, and
interaction with the design, implementation and use of information and
communication technologies (ICTs).
Our 2012 conference, as the title suggests, begins with the recognition that
the ongoing issues and challenges clustering around digital divides - often
involving mutually reinforcing cultural divides - extends beyond classic and
stubborn problems of access to new media and communication technologies.
For example, matters of representation come into play, issuing in a cluster
of questions: 
- Whose images and words are seen/presented/promoted and whose aren't? And
If activists are using new media to represent realities of, say, oppressed
indigenous people in a given country, is this better than no visibility at
all, even if the people in question do not have access or skills to present
themselves as subjects?
- In particular:
Local and indigenous HCI/ID is about making visible the semiotic scripts and
political processes of meaning construction that shape the process of
technology design and knowledge representation from a sociotechnical
perspective. Making visible these scripts enables the assessment of the
value of these tools and frameworks from indigenous and/or local
perspectives. Key concerns here are (1) to examine the meaning and validity
of democratic values that drive participatory design as a discipline, and
(2) to question 'exported' representations of what constitutes good
usability and user experience.
- How do new practices of cloaking messages in otherwise public or
semi-public media; for example, the strategies of online steganography work
to create intentional invisibility in otherwise visible spaces? Are there
important culturally-variable elements in these practices that, when brought
to the foreground, help illuminate and clarify them in new ways?
- What are the role(s) of (culturally) diverse understandings and
representations of gender in structuring the frameworks and practices of
design and implementation. How do these roles foster the visibility of some
vis-a-vis the invisibility of 'others' (in Levinas' sense, in particular)?
Additional submissions are encouraged that address further conference points
of emphasis: 
- Theoretical and practical approaches to analyzing 'culture'
- New layers of imaging and texting interactions fostering and/or
threatening cultural diversity
- Impact of mobile technologies on privacy and surveillance
- Gender, sexuality and identity issues in social networks
- Cultural diversity in e-learning and/or m-learning
- Culturally-variable approaches to online identity management/creation,
privacy, trust Copyright and intellectual property rights: recent
developments, culturally-variable future directions
- Culturally-variable responses to commodification in online environments
Both short (3-5 pages) and long (10-15 pages) original papers are sought for
presentation.  Panel proposals addressing a specific theme or topic are also
Our provisional schedule:
    Submission of papers (short or full), panel proposals: 17 February 2012
    Notification of acceptance: 16 March 2012
    Final formatted papers (for conference proceedings): 19 April 2012
    Conference: 18-20 June 2012
Further details regarding program (including keynote speakers and
pre-conference activities), registration fees, travel and accommodations
will be available soon on the conference website,
We look forward to welcoming you to Aarhus next June!
Charles Ess (IMV, Aarhus University, Denmark), Chair
Fay Sudweeks (Professor Emerita, Murdoch University, Australia), honorary
Herbert Hrachovec (University of Vienna, Austria)
Leah Macfadyen (University of British Columbia, Canada)
Jose Abdelnour Nocera (University of West London, UK)
Kenneth Reeder (University of British Columbia, Canada)
Ylva Hård af Segerstad (Gothenburg University, Gothenburg, Sweden)
Michele M. Strano (Bridgewater College, Virginia, USA)
Andra Siibak (University of Tartu, Estonia)
Maja van der Velden (University of Oslo)

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