Call: Transnational Times: Locality, Globality and Mobility in Technology Design and Use

Call for Papers: Transnational Times: Locality, Globality and Mobility in Technology Design and Use

A workshop at Ubicomp 2010
September 26, 2010
Copenhagen, Denmark

Organizers: Irina Shklovski, Silvia Lindtner, Janet Vertesi, Paul Dourish

We seek interdisciplinary scholars interested in exploring the role of ubiquitous computing, the use of information and communication technologies and the politics of technological design in transnational settings to participate in our workshop, TRANSNATIONAL TIMES, at Ubicomp 2010. Through this workshop we aim to expand our current scholarly vocabulary for the conceptualization of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in addressing the interplay of local and global user interaction.

Current work in Ubiquitous computing is already considering the use of technologies in the developing world and marginalized users in the developed world. This workshop extends such an interest to examine interactions with ubiquitous technology in a transnational context. After all, technologies such as mobile phones, social networking applications and the internet writ large complicate the framing of use and culture as bounded by national or geographical borders, as such illuminating diverse user practices and identities. In this analytical frame we take inspiration from theorists of the global in anthropology, sociology, and HCI who focus on flows across boundaries, hybridity and transnationality.

Examples of possible papers or research topics of interest include (but are not limited to): the use of pervasive technologies such as multiplayer gaming across borders, studies of the use of social network sites among diaspora communities, use of the internet and other ICTs in censorship state zones, the role of mobile technologies in reconfiguring the local and the global, technology in the context of international migration networks, ubiquitous computing and cross-cultural collaboration, and the role of technology in international politics. Papers that develop theoretical approaches, that examine or report on empirical work, or that design technological artifacts are welcome, and need not be limited to “developing world” sites of interest.

We hope to attract submissions from scholars working in a range of fields across computational, social and humanistic studies, such as human computer interaction, anthropology, media studies, sociology, science and technology studies and social and cultural geography. The goal of the workshop is to assemble like minds and projects, to develop a language and toolset appropriate for the study of ubiquitous technologies in transnational spaces, and to engage a wider community of researchers working in this area. We also hope this workshop will interest technology designers and developers currently working in non-western contexts. Full papers may later be solicited for a potential edited volume.


Interested participants should submit a 2-4 page paper in Ubicomp Archival Format describing your current project and its contribution to the workshop topic and themes. As you prepare your paper we suggest you visit our website for more information at

Papers must be emailed to  by JUNE 15, 2010. Decisions will be announced by June 30. All accepted participants should plan to attend at least one full day of Ubicomp 2010 in addition to the workshop. Registration will be handled by Ubicomp 2010’s central registration page via

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