Thursday, October 19, 2017

Internet Researchers' Conference 2018 - Offline | Call for Session Proposals

Internet Researchers' Conference 2018 - Offline | Call for Session Proposals by Nov 12

Dear colleague,

Does being offline necessarily mean being disconnected? Beyond anxieties such as FOMO, being offline is also seen as disengagement from a certain milieu of the digital, an impediment to the way life is organised by and around technologies in general.

Being offline, however, is not the exception, as examples of internet shutdown and acts on online censorship illustrate the persistence and often alarming regularity of the offline even for the 'connected' sections of the population.

Who is offline, and is it a choice? The global project of bringing people online has spurred several commendable initiatives in expanding access to digital devices, networks, and content, and often contentious ones such as Free Basics /, which illustrate the intersectionalities of scale, privilege, and rights that we need to be mindful of when we imagine the offline.

Further, efforts to prioritise the use of digital technologies for financial transactions, especially since demonetisation, has led to a not-so-subtle equalisation of the 'online economy' with the 'formal economy'; thus recognising the offline as the zones of informality, corruption, and piracy. This contributes to the offline becoming invisible, and in many cases, illegal, rather than being recognised as a condition that necessarily informs what it means to be digital.

The experience of the internet for most users is mediated through prior and ongoing experiences of traditional media, and through cultural metaphors and cognitive frames that transcend more practical registers such as consumption and facilitation. How do we approach, study, and represent this disembodied internet – devoid of its hypertext, platforms, devices, it's nuts and bolts, but still tangible through engagement in myriad, personal, and often indiscernible ways.

For the third edition of the Internet Researchers' Conference (IRC18), we invite participants to critically discuss the *offline*.

We invite sessions that present or propose academic, applied, or creative works that explore social, economic, cultural, political, infrastructural, or aesthetic dimensions of the *offline*. 

Please submit sessions proposals by Sunday, *November 12*.

Conference details can be found here:

Conference poster can be found here:

Please write to us at for any questions regarding the conference.

Warm regards,


Sumandro Chattapadhyay
Research Director
The Centre for Internet and Society

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