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We all know that a computer network is a social network. Here's a
conference that I'm helping to organize that operationalizes this. Size is
about the same as Sunbelt.


  Barry Wellman        Professor of Sociology       NetLab Director
  [log in to unmask]

  Centre for Urban & Community Studies        University of Toronto
  455 Spadina Avenue   Toronto Canada M5S 2G8   fax:+1-416-978-7162


Call for Papers - IR 4.0: Broadening the Band
International and Interdisciplinary Conference of the Association of
Internet Researchers in Toronto, Ontario, Canada October 16-19

Lead organizer Knowledge Media Design Institute at the University of Toronto

Submission site opens: January 15, 2003
Deadline for submissions: March 1, 2003

Conference Website: |

Digital communications networks such as the Internet are changing the
way people interact with each other, with profound effects on social
relations and institutions. Yet many remain excluded from access and
meaningful participation. It is timely to consider who is included,
who is excluded and what we now know about the composition and
activities of online communities.

Internet Research (IR) 4.0 will feature a variety of perspectives on
Internet, organized under the theme Broadening the Band. As in
previous conferences, the aim is to develop a coherent theoretical
and pragmatic understanding of the Internet and those that are
empowered and disenfranchised by it. IR 4.0 will bring together
prominent scholars, researchers, creators, and practitioners from
many disciplines, fields and countries for a program of
presentations, panel discussions, and informal exchanges.

IR 4.0 will take place at the Hilton Hotel in the heart of downtown
Toronto. The conference is hosted by a team led by the Knowledge
Media Design Institute (KMDI) and its partners at the University of
Toronto. The IR 4.0 steering and working committees reflect the
growing pan-Canadian network of Internet researchers, including
members from Quebec, Alberta, and New Brunswick, in addition to the
local contingent from Toronto, York and Ryerson Universities.

This year's theme, Broadening the Band, encourages wide participation
from diverse disciplines, communities, and points of view. Under the
umbrella theme, contributors are called to reflect upon, theorize and
articulate what we know from within the emerging interdisciplinary
space known as Internet Research.

In a cultural sense, the theme calls attention to the need to examine
access, inclusion and exclusion in online communities. What role do
race, gender, class, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, age,
geography, and other factors play in the degree of online
participation? What are the indicators of meaningful participation?

In a technical sense, the theme points to the development of
broadband, wireless and post-internet networks and applications that
are currently coming on-stream including community, private, public
as well as national research networks (e.g. CA*net 4, Internet 2).
We plan to use these technologies to make the conference an
internet-mediated and internationally accessible event.

In an organizational sense, the theme reflects a widening of AoIR's
reach to include more researchers and constituencies involved in the
evolution of the Internet. French language presentations will be
included in the call for papers for the first time. Researchers and
practitioners in the arts and culture sectors are encouraged to
participate alongside social scientists and humanities scholars and

In a thematic sense, "Broadening the Band" suggests widening the
scope of topics and problematics considered within past conferences,
while retaining the consistent emphasis on rigorous research work.
This call for papers thus initiates an inclusive search for
theoretical and methodological correspondences between this expanding
theme and the many disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches that
are required to address it with precision.

Possible Topics:
- Who is bridging what: questions and answers on the digital divide
- New directions in digital art
- E-me, e-you? (E- Health, E-Governance, E-Commerce,E-Business,
E-games, E-entertainment, E-other)
- Ethnicity, Race, Identity, Gender, Sexuality, Language(s) and
Diverse Cultural Contexts Online
- Who Decides: Ethics, Law, Politics and Policy of the Internet
- We can't measure that, can we?  Meaningful Indicators for Internet
Access, Participation, Use and Effects
- Who owns what? Value, Space, and Commons on the Internet
- Is there an Author, a Publisher, or writing on the internet?
- Transformed by Technics: New Technologies and The Post-Internet Age
- Who is watching your computer, when You're not watching it....
- When we are glocal: the internet in global and local manifestations
- I put my lesson plans on the internet, what changed?  Teaching,
Learning and the Internet
- Digital media and terror/ism: global flows, economies, and surveillance
- Social movements, net-based activism, and hactivism in a global arena
- Which methods, whose theories? determining approaches to internet research
- Why did we digitize that, and what's it worth?  Exploring the value
of digital content

This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather to trigger ideas
and encourage submissions from a range of disciplines. The organizers
will take an active role in generating and joining the various
interests into appropriate formats.

Submission of Proposals

The Association of Internet Researchers invites paper, presentation,
and panel proposals from AoIR members and non-members on topics that
address social, cultural, political, economic, and aesthetic aspects
of the Internet. We welcome interdisciplinary submissions as well as
submissions from within specific disciplines. French language
presentations will be included in the call for papers for the first
time. We especially seek panel proposals that establish connections
across disciplines, institutions, and/or continents. We also
encourage creative presentations that will make use of Internet
technologies and artistic techniques. Proposals for papers should be
in the form an approximately 500-750 word abstract. Creative
presentations and demonstration projects should consist of an
approximately 500-750 word abstract, plus brief illustrative
material. Panels will generally include three to four papers or
presentations. The panel organizer should submit an approximately 500
word statement describing the session topic, include abstracts of up
to 250 words for each paper or presentation, and indicate that each
author is willing to participate in the session. Abstracts and
proposals may be submitted for review in English or in French.

Papers, presentations and panels will be selected from the submitted
abstracts on the basis of peer review, coordinated and overseen by
the Program Chair, assisted by sub-chairs with expertise in specific
areas of scholarly and aesthetic knowledge relating to the Internet.

Proposals can be for three types of contribution to the conference: -
papers, creative presentations, and panels. Each person is invited to
submit a proposal for 1 paper or 1 presentation. People may also
propose a panel of papers or presentations, of which their personal
paper or presentation must be a part. Average time allotted for a
paper or creative presentation will be 20 minutes. Average time
allotted for a panel will be 1 hour and 30 minutes, including
discussion time.

Detailed information about format of submission and review is
available at the conference website All
proposals must be submitted electronically at (_note_ - submission site opens
January 15, 2003).


Submission site available: January 15, 2003
Final date for proposal submission: March 1, 2003
Author notification: April 1, 2003
Presenter's Registration to the conference: September 1, 2003
Student Award: Completed paper: September 1, 2003

Graduate Students:

Graduate students are strongly encouraged to submit proposals. They
should note their student status with submission in order to be
considered for a special Student Award.  Students wishing to be a
candidate for the Student Award must also send a final paper by 1st
September 2003.

Canadian graduate students outside of central Canada should note that
funds may be available for travel and subsistence. Notice will be
sent out to the AoIR list as soon as funding commitments are

To ensure diverse participation, registration fees will be kept low
for presenters, and a billeting and room sharing system will be
established.  Simultaneous French language translation will be
available (subject to budgetary considerations) in certain sessions.

Pre-Conference Workshops

Prior to the conference, there will be a limited number of
pre-conference workshops which will provide participants with
in-depth, hands-on and/or creative opportunities. We invite proposals
for these pre-conference workshops; local presenters are encouraged
to propose workshops that will invite visiting researchers into their
labs or studios or locales. Proposals should be no more than 1000
words, and should clearly outline the purpose, methodology,
structure, costs, equipment and minimal attendance required, as well
as explaining its relevance to the conference as a whole. Proposals
will be accepted if they demonstrate that the workshop will add
significantly to the overall program in terms of thematic depth,
hands on experience, or local opportunities for scholarly or artistic
connections. These proposals and all inquires regarding
pre-conference proposals should be submitted as soon as possible to
the Conference Chair [log in to unmask], and will be accepted up to
June 15th. Notification of terms and space allocations will be sent
out as soon as details are confirmed, with final acceptance required
by June 30, 2003.


If you have questions about the conference, program, or AoIR, please

Program Chair: Matthew Allen, Curtin University of Technology, Australia
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- All inquiries on review and acceptances

Program Co-chair: David Mitchell, University of Calgary
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- Inquiries on conference themes and special technology themes

Conference Chair: Liss Jeffrey, Knowledge Media Design Institute and
McLuhan Program, University of Toronto
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  - All inquiries on Toronto conference and pre-conference workshops

Associate coordinator:  Katherine Parrish, OISE/University of Toronto
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AoIR President: Steve Jones
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Association Website:

Conference Website: |

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