The biennial Communities and Technologies (C&T) conference is the premier international forum for stimulating scholarly debate and disseminating research on the complex connections between communities – in their multiple forms – and information and communication technologies.
C&T 2019 welcomes participation from researchers, designers, educators, industry, and students from the many disciplines and perspectives bearing on the interaction between community and technology, including architecture, arts, business, design, economics, education, engineering, ergonomics, informatics, information technology, geography, health, humanities, law, media and communication studies, and social sciences.
We look forward to welcoming you to an exciting conference in Vienna!
Communities are defined in many ways, often in relation to ancestry, culture, ethnicity, geography, interests, practices, religion, threats, or other categories of social connection. The concept represents both inclusion and exclusion along with other paradoxes of human relationships. Conservative alliances may use the trope of national or local communities to respond to external threats. Progressive groups may focus on communities to contain and contrast the alienation of extreme individualization. Regardless of catalyst, the ingroup|outgroup narratives of any community can hide internal inequalities. In addition, some communities find their commonality in a desire to harm others. Communities can be damaging.
The capacity of the term, its breadth of use, highlights the draw of social life: the myriad forms of human solidarity, the capacity to recognize other human beings as like us, the possibility for mobilization in defense of or to strengthen the communities with which a sense of belonging exists. Indeed, vibrant communities are not fixed entities, rather they are constantly made and remade everyday through people interacting across cultural, economic, environmental, political, and technological dimensions.
C&T's 2019 theme, "Transforming Communities", embraces such a dynamic view of communities. We recognize how communities are rooted in the construction of solidarities and mutual recognition at the same time there is tension and desire for change. We welcome scholarly contributions that pay particular attention to the roles of technology, and technology design, in the making, un-making, and re-making of communities.
C&T focuses on the notion of communities as social entities comprised of people who share something in common; this common element may be geography, needs, goals, interests, practices, organizations, enemies, or other bases for social connection. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), and the design of new ICTs, can support community formation and development by facilitating communication and coordination among members, as well as enable and empower communities to work towards their goals. We must also acknowledge that ICTs are used in processes that degrade communities and community life; some ICTs could actually be antithetical to healthy communities; and some communities actively work towards oppressing others through their use of ICTs. For these reasons we encourage critiques of existing systems, approaches, communities, policies, and trajectories.
Communities may transform through efforts to secure a more equitable society, a healthy and diverse environment for future generations. However, transformation may lead to other types of outcomes, unforeseen or unacknowledged. The theme of transforming communities raises a number of questions, issues, possibilities and tensions and we encourage submissions to engage with both the intended and unintended effects of Communities & Technology.