Call for Papers | Digital Diasporas: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Andrew E. Larsen (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Call for Papers

Digital Diasporas: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, 6-7 June 2019
Since Appadurai wrote on the intertwined phenomena of electronic media and migration as disruptive and defining features of modern subjectivity (1996), the relationship between digital technologies and diasporic communities has emerged as a critical area of study across a number of disciplines. However, such research risks remaining isolated within disciplinary silos, often despite the similar processes, practices and materials studied. This conference aims to inspire greater dialogue across disciplinary boundaries in order to develop a richer understanding of the role of the digital in creating and sustaining diasporic connections and communities, and of how diasporic groups and individuals transform and shape digital tools and technologies for their own creative and strategic purposes.
Through this dialogue it is hoped that new transdisciplinary ways of working may develop which challenge knowledge fragmentation in order to confront the complexity of the contemporary context of intensified cultural and linguistic flows and new patterns of human mobility. At the same time, drawing attention to diasporic narratives and approaches to digital culture and technologies can function as both critique and challenge to centralised narratives of digital progress and development often restricted to predominantly Anglophone contexts.
We especially welcome research which pays attention to the linguistic and cultural dimensions of digital technologies and media. This is, however, not restricted to any specific geographical area, language or type of community. Equally, the digital is intended to encompass the fullest range of digital practices, materials and technologies, while the conference aims to include methodological and analytical approaches ranging across, for example, ethnographic, cultural studies and computational approaches.
Areas of particular, but not exclusive, interest include:
  • Social media and migration focused research;
  • Multilingualism and digitally mediated communications;
  • Histories of the internet and web archives research;
  • Ethnographies of the internet and uses of digital technologies (including research combining offline-online methods);
  • Digital media, cultural and visual studies;
  • Digital and diasporic cultural memory;
  • Digitally mapping and visualising migrations and diasporic networks, with attention to ethical and political concerns.
Invited keynote and panel speakers include [more to be announced]: Jannis Androutsopoulos (Universität Hamburg); Tobias Blanke (King’s College London); Alexandra Georgakopoulou (King’s College London); Agnieszka Lyons (Queen Mary, University of London); Mirca Madianou (Goldsmiths, University of London); Sandra Ponzanesi (Utrecht University); Roopika Risam (Salem State University); Caroline Tagg (The Open University); Funda Ustek-Spilda (London School of Economics/Goldsmiths); Janet Zmroczek (British Library)
We invite abstract submissions for 20-minute presentations. Abstracts should be between 150-300 words in length (the bibliography does not count towards the word limit). Presentations can be on previously published research or ongoing projects. We intend to develop a Special Issue or edited volume which will include an invited selection of the research presented at the conference.
In order to incorporate emerging work in progress, particularly from ongoing PhD projects, the conference will have space for a smaller number of lightning research talks of 5-7 minutes for which we also invite abstracts of 100-200 words.
Please submit through EasyChair:
The deadline for submissions is 1 December 2018. Accepted papers will be confirmed by 1 February 2019.
We also have a small number of bursaries of £100 to contribute towards travel and/or accommodation costs for postgraduate students or Early Career Researchers (within 8 years of receiving the PhD) whose submissions are accepted and who have restricted access to alternative funding for conference attendance. If you would like to be considered for an award, please attach with your submission a pdf or word document with a short statement of no more than 300 words explaining what the benefits of attending the conference would be for you and your research.
Conference team:
Francielle Carpenedo, Doctoral Researcher, School of Advanced Study
Saskia Huc-Hepher, Senior Lecturer in French, University of Westminster
Dong Nguyen, Research Fellow, Alan Turing Institute
Naomi Wells, Research Fellow, School of Advanced Study
Jane Winters, Chair of Digital Humanities, School of Advanced Study
This conference is funded as part of the translingual strand of the AHRC ‘Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community’ project (part of the Open World Research Initiative) and is led by the Institute of Modern Languages Research and Digital Humanities at the School of Advanced Study (University of London).