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Fay Sudweeks <[log in to unmask]>
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Fay Sudweeks <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 7 Jan 2004 17:59:56 +0800
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Deadlines for CATaC'04 have been extended!

In order to create a greater equality between general submissions and panel
submissions (one co-chaired by Susan Herring and Brenda Danet, and the the
other chaired by Michel Menou), we have extended the deadline to 1 February
2004 for _all_ the following submissions:

Full papers (10-20 formatted pages)
Short papers (3-5 formatted pages)
Panel 1 papers (3-5 pages)
Panel 2 papers (full or short papers)

These changes are noted on the updated website,

Charles Ess
Fay Sudweeks
Co-chairs, CATaC'04


Fourth International Conference on
27 June-1 July 2004
Karlstad University, Sweden

Conference theme:
Off the shelf or from the ground up?
ICTs and cultural marginalization, homogenization or hybridization

The biennial CATaC conference series provides a continuously expanding
international forum for the presentation and discussion of current research
on how diverse cultural attitudes shape the implementation and use of
information and communication technologies (ICTs). The conference series
brings together scholars from around the globe who provide diverse
perspectives, both in terms of the specific culture(s) they highlight in
their presentations and discussions, and in terms of the discipline(s)
through which they approach the conference theme. The first conference in
the series was held in London in 1998, the second in Perth in 2000, and the
third in Montreal in 2002.

Beginning with our first conference in 1998, the CATaC conferences
have highlighted theoretical and praxis-oriented scholarship and research
from all parts of the globe, including Asia, Africa, and the Middle-East.
The conferences focus especially on people and communities at the developing
edges of ICT diffusion, including indigenous peoples and those outside the
English-speaking world.

Understanding the role of culture in how far minority and/or indigenous
cultural groups may succeed - or fail - in taking up ICTs designed for a
majority culture is obviously crucial to the moral and political imperative
of designing ICTs in ways that will not simply reinforce such groups'
marginalization. What is the role of culture in the development of ICTs
"from the ground up" - beginning with the local culture and conditions -
rather than assuming dominant "off the shelf" technologies are appropriate?
Are the empowering potentials of ICTs successfully exploited among minority
and indigenous groups, and/or do they rather engender cultural
marginalization, cultural homogenization or cultural hybridization?

Original full papers (especially those which connect theoretical frameworks
with specific examples of cultural values, practices, etc.) and short papers
(e.g. describing current research projects and preliminary results) are

Topics of particular interest include but are not limited to:

- Culture: theory and praxis
- Culture and economy
- Alternative models for ICT diffusion
- Role of governments and activists in culture, technology and communication
- ICTs and cultural hybridity
- ICTs and intercultural communication
- Culture, communication and e-learning

Our conference themes provide a range of approaches to the questions raised.

Nina Wakeford, Foundation Fund Lecturer in Sociology and Social Methodology.
For her DPhil at Nuffield College, Oxford, Dr Wakeford studied the
experiences of mature students using a sociological conception of risk.
Before coming to the University of Surrey in September of 1998, she spent
three years studying "Women's Experiences of Virtual Communities", funded by
an ESRC Post-Doctoral grant. The last two years of this Fellowship she
conducted fieldwork in and around Silicon Valley while based at the
University of California, Berkeley.

CATaC'04 will also feature two particular foci, each chaired by a
distinguished colleague who will oversee paper review and development of the
final panels.

PANEL 1: The Multilingual Internet
Panel Chairs: Susan Herring and Brenda Danet
Expanding on their collective work, including a special issue of the Journal
Computer-Mediated Communication (Vol. 9 (1), November, 2003 - see, this thread invites papers with
a specific focus on how the Internet impacts language choice and
linguistic practices in traditionally non-English speaking cultural
contexts. Of particular interest are situations that respond in
various ways to the tension between global English dominance and
local linguistic diversity, e.g., through use of English as an
online lingua franca, the "localization" of global or regional
linguistic influences, translation or code-switching between
different languages, and strategic uses of the Internet to
maintain and invigorate minority languages.
Susan Herring is Professor of Information Science and Linguistics,
Indiana University Bloomington
Brenda Danet is Professor Emerita of Sociology and Communication at the
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

PANEL 2: Utopian Dreams vs. Real-World Conditions: Under what conditions can
ICTs really help worse off communities?
Panel Chair: Michel Menou
CATaC'04 will likely feature some examples of "best practices" in using ICTs
to aid culturally-appropriate development, especially as pursued through
governmental or NGOs' projects, community informatics endeavours, etc. At
the same time, however, real-world politics and realities - e.g., violent
oppression, political corruption, gender and ethnic discrimination, abuse of
dominant economic position, structural disasters, worst practices of all
kinds and origins, etc. - can shatter the best-laid plans for using ICTs to
supposedly help especially the poorest of the poor. How far can ICTs succeed
in supporting culturally-appropriate development - and what appropriate
answers to real-world conditions are required in order for our best efforts
to realize the liberatory potentials of these technologies not be broken
Michel Menou, has worked on the development of national information policies
and systems in many countries of the Southern hemisphere since 1966. Since
1992 his work focused on the impact of information and ICT in development.
He is a member of the Community Informatics Research Network and of the
network of Telecentres of Latin America and Caribbean.


All submissions will be peer reviewed by an international panel of
scholars and researchers and accepted papers will appear in the conference
proceedings. Submission of a paper implies that it has not been submitted or
published elsewhere. At least one author of each accepted paper is expected
to present the paper at the conference.

There will be the opportunity for selected papers from this 2004 conference
to appear in special issues of journals and a book. Papers in previous
conferences have appeared in journals (Journal of Computer Mediated
Communication, Electronic Journal of Communication/La Revue Electronique de
Communication, AI and Society, Javnost- The Public, and New Media and
Society) and a book (Culture, Technology, Communication: towards an
Intercultural Global Village, 2001, edited by Charles Ess with Fay Sudweeks,
SUNY Press, New York). You may purchase the conference proceedings from the
2002 conference from

 Charles Ess, Drury University, USA, [log in to unmask]
 Fay Sudweeks, Murdoch University, Australia, [log in to unmask]
 Malin Sveningsson, Karlstad University, Sweden, [log in to unmask]