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Norman Makoto Su <[log in to unmask]>
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Norman Makoto Su <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 18 Oct 2019 10:57:38 -0400
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Special Issue on Rural Computing and HCI
ACM Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction (ToCHI)

Special Issue Editors: Norman Makoto Su (Indiana University Bloomington),
Jean Hardy (University of Michigan), Morgan Vigil-Hayes (North Arizona
University), Tiffany Veinot (University of Michigan), Shaowen Bardzell
(Indiana University Bloomington)

Contact: [log in to unmask]

Deadline for Abstract Submissions: Friday January 10th, 2020

45 percent of the world’s population—over 3 billion people—live in rural
areas. Scholarship has begun to amplify the already innovative practices
and opportunities of rural communities for HCI, while drawing out the
uniqueness that defines rural spaces. Rural areas offer us novel insights
on privacy, location, values, and space for imagining more diverse forms of
information infrastructures and technologies. HCI can and is offering an
important counter to popular media that often emphasizes the apparent
helplessness of rural people in the face of complex sociopolitical and
economic crises—whether it be about outmoded infrastructure, lack of jobs,
and health crises. Such a counter aligns with the “cultural turn” in rural
sociology, geography, and public health research that speak to “multiple”
ruralities, the interconnectedness of urban and rural spaces, and the
active enactment of rural identities.

The time is ripe for a special issue at ToCHI on rural computing that seeks
to build and grow a computing research community interested in celebrating
rurality. Such an issue will contribute to deeper discussions from ICTD,
emboldened by postcolonial, social justice, and feminist perspectives,
questioning the dominance of cities in design. We seek scholarship
dedicated to understanding, designing, and building computing technologies
that are particular to the needs, aspirations, and practices of rural areas
around the world. We welcome narratives on how research can avoid
parachuting, dehistoricizing, and imposing upon rural communities sometimes
wary of past research and efforts that have promised technological change.
In parallel, we also seek contributions that help legitimate rural
computing not as “niche area” but rather a space offering exciting
opportunities to benefit design for all of us. HCI has an opportunity to
work with the rural as a legitimate voice of expertise in design.

We welcome articles that contribute to this special issue in the following

* Theoretical work that explores, problematizes, or locates rurality in
HCI, especially work that tackles issues of multiple ruralities (e.g.,
developed VS. developing rurals, queer and other identity-based
understandings of rurality, etc.)

* Work identifying and offering potential solutions to methodological
challenges of the rural, including the challenge of bridging rural and
non-rural populations or researcher fatigue

* Articles that introduce concepts outside HCI that can help us better
understand the complexities of geography and rurality

* Work that considers popular discourse around the rural

* Empirical studies of the design and use of technologies in rural places,
particularly studies within the unique context of local rural culture and
values (e.g., novel insights on privacy, location, values, information

* Design methods that engage with rurality in equitable and inclusive ways,
or that propose new ways of thinking about and doing design methods in
rural places

We will use a standard journal review process for this special issue, with
two rounds of reviews and revisions. Authors are required to submit a short
abstract (300-500 words) and a tentative title prior to the full paper
submission to be reviewed by the special issue editors. Please submit the
materials (abstract and title) to [log in to unmask] by Friday
January 10th, 2020.

Authors should address the following in their abstracts:

* Description and motivation for the work, methodology, and primary

* Definitions of rural: How rural is being defined or conceptualized in
their proposed paper and whether that definition is truly representative of
the data and experiences of participants (if applicable)

Please see the official call at:

More details on the motivations for this special issue can be found at:

Norman Makoto Su, PhD
Pronouns: he/him/his
Human-Computer Interaction Design
Assistant Professor of Informatics
Indiana University Bloomington
[log in to unmask] <>

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