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Internet Researchers' Conference 2019 (IRC19): List - Call for Sessions

Who makes lists? How are lists made? Who can be on a list, and who is missing? What new subjectivities - indicative of different asymmetries of power/knowledge - do list-making, and being listed, engender? What makes lists legitimate information artifacts, and what makes their knowledge contentious? Much debate has emerged about specificities and implications of the list as an information artifact, especially in the case of #LoSHA and NRC - its role in creation and curation of information, in building solidarities and communities of practice, its dependencies on networked media infrastructures, its deployment by hegemonic entities and in turn for countering dominant discourses. For the fourth edition of the Internet Researchers’ Conference (IRC19), we invite sessions that engage critically with the form, imagination, and politics of the *list*.

 

IRC19: List

For the last several years, #MeToo and #LoSHA have set the course for rousing debates within feminist praxis and contemporary global politics. It also foregrounded the ubiquitous presence of the list in its various forms, not only on the internet but across diverse aspects of media culture. Much debate has emerged about specificities and implications of the list as an information artifact, especially in the case of #LoSHA and NRC - its role in creation and curation of information, in building solidarities and communities of practice, its dependencies on networked media infrastructures, its deployment by hegemonic entities and in turn for countering dominant discourses. Directed by the Supreme Court, the Government of India has initiated the National Register of Citizens process of creating an updated list of all Indian citizens in the state of Assam since 2015. This is a list that sets apart legal citizens from illegal immigrants, based on an extended and multi-phase process of announcement of draft lists and their revisions. NRC is producing a list with a specific question: who is a citizen and who is not? UIDAI has produced a list of unique identification number assigned to individuals: a list to connect/aggregate other lists, a meta-list.

From Mailing Lists to WhatsApp Broadcast Lists, lists have been the very basis of multi-casting capabilities of the early and the recent internets. The list - in terms of list of people receiving a message, list of machines connecting to a router or a tower, list of ‘friends’ and ‘followers’ ‘added’ to your social media persona - structures the open-ended multi-directional information flow possibilities of the internet. It simultaneously engenders networks of connected machines and bodies, topographies of media circulation, and social graphs of affective connections and consumptions. The epistemological, constitutive, and inscriptive functions of the list, as Liam Young documents, have been crucial to the creation of new infrastructures of knowledge, and to understand where the internet emerges as a challenge to these.

As a media format that is easy to create, circulate, and access (as seen in the number of rescue and relief lists that flood the web during national disasters) or one that is essential in classification and cross-referencing (such as public records and memory institutions), the list becomes an essential trope to understand new media forms today, as the skeletal frame on which much digital content and design is structured and consumed through.

  • Who makes lists?
  • How are lists made?
  • Who can be on a list, and who is missing?
  • Who gets counted on lists, and who is counting?
  • What new subjectivities - indicative of different asymmetries of power/knowledge - do list-making, and being listed, engender?
  • What modalities of creation and circulation of lists affords its authority, its simultaneous revelations and obfuscations?
  • What makes lists legitimate information artifacts, and what makes their knowledge contentious?
  • What makes lists ephemeral, and what makes their content robust?
  • What makes lists hegemonic, and what makes them intersectional?
  • What makes lists ordered, and what makes them unordered?
  • What do listicles do to habits of reading and creation of knowledge?
  • What new modes of questioning and meaning-making have manifested today in various practices of list-making?
  • How and when do lists became digital, and whatever happened to lists on paper?
  • Are there cultural economies of lists, list-making, and getting listed?
  • Are lists content or carriage, are they medium or message?

For the fourth edition of the Internet Researchers’ Conference (IRC19), we invite sessions that engage critically with the form, imagination, and politics of the *list* - to present or propose academic, applied, or creative works that explore its social, economic, cultural, material, political, affective, or aesthetic dimensions.

 

Call for Sessions

We invite teams of two or more members to propose sessions for IRC19. All sessions will be one and half hours long, and will be fully designed and facilitated by the team concerned, including moderation (if any). Please remember this when planning the session. Everything happening during the session, except for logistical support, will be led and managed by the session team.

The sessions are expected to drive conversations on the topic concerned. They may include presentation of research papers but this is not mandatory.

We look forward to sessions that involve collaborative work (either in groups or otherwise) - discussions, interactions, documentation, learning, and (list-)making are most welcome.

We also look forward to sessions conducted in Indian languages apart from English. The proposing team, in such a case, should consider how participants who do not understand the language concerned may engage with the session. IRC organisers and other participants shall help facilitate these sessions, say by offering translation support.

The only eligibility criteria for proposing sessions are that they must be proposed by a team of at least two members, and that they must engage with the *list*.

The deadline for submission of sessions proposals for IRC19 is Wednesday, October 31.

To propose a session, please send the following documents (as attached text files) to [email protected]:

  • Session Title: The session should be named in the form of a hashtag (check the sessions proposed for IRC18 for example).
  • Session Plan: This should describe the objectives of the session (the motivations and expectations driving it), what will be done and discussed during the session, and who among the people organising the session will be responsible for what. This note need not be more than 500 words long. If your session involves inviting others to present their work (say papers), then please provide a description and timeline of the process through which these people will be identified.
  • Session Team Details: Please share brief biographical notes of each member of the session team, and their email addresses.

IRC19 will be organised in Hyderabad during January 31 - February 2, 2019. We will announce the venue of the conference in December 2018.

There is no registration fee for the conference, but participants are expected to pay for their own travel and accommodation (to be organised by CIS) expenses. Limited funding will be available to support travel and accommodation expenses of few participants who are unemployed or underemployed.

Session selection process:

  • October 31, 2018: Deadline of submission of session proposals. All submitted sessions will be posted on the CIS website, along with the names of the session team members.
  • November 5-25: Session selection process. All session teams will select 10 sessions to be included in the IRC19 programme. The votes will be anonymous, that is no session team will know which other session teams have voted for their session. The sessions with most votes will be selected for the final programme of IRC19.
  • December 3: Announcement of selected sessions.
  • December 10: Announcement of travel grants available for members of selected session teams.
  • January 31 - February 2, 2019: IRC19 in Hyderabad!

 

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