Call: Transnational HCI: Humans, Computers and Interactions Considered Globally (special issue of Human-Computer Interaction)

Call for Papers

(for the full text of this call please see:

A special issue of Human-Computer Interaction
“Transnational HCI: Humans, Computers and Interactions Considered Globally”

Deadline for proposals: December 1, 2011

Special issue editors:
Irina Shklovski IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Janet Vertesi Princeton University, USA
Silvia Lindtner University of California, Irvine, USA
Lucy Suchman Lancaster University, UK

HCI researchers are increasingly interested in understanding the role of technology in relation to global processes. ICT4D (Information and Communication Technologies for Development), emerging markets, new forms of mobility, and the internationalization of organizations dominate contemporary conversations about information and communication technology. Whether in academia or industry, all agree that technology design and research today must consider the role these globalizing processes play in the way people collaborate, interact and exchange ideas across national and cultural boundaries.

The focus of this special issue is on the relations between transnational processes and technology practice, design and research. We are especially interested in characterizing the theoretical, methodological, and empirical challenges of our work in transnational settings in a way that will be useful for future research and design in this area. For example, what analytical and methodological frames from within the HCI tradition offer new approaches to this empirical context, and which of our existing frames require reconsideration? How does “Transnational HCI” engage with or challenge ICT4D or Reflexive HCI? Thinking interdisciplinarily, what can the broader HCI community learn by drawing on work in other disciplines, such as information studies, anthropology, media and cultural studies, communications, science and technology studies? How can HCI contribute a novel perspective on transnationalism and technology to those disciplines as well?

We encourage papers that represent a variety of disciplinary perspectives and analytical approaches. True to the “transnational” perspective, submissions do not have to be limited to “developing world” sites. Examples of topics that fall into the scope of this special issue include but are not limited to: 

  • The network society: global flows, frictions and politics in local-global technology use
  • Cross-cultural collaboration and culture as encounter
  • Communication and collaboration across boundaries (not just the nation-state)
  • Diaspora communities, the politics of international migration, and technology
  • Use of information and communication technologies in censorship state zones
  • The role of information and communication technologies in reconfiguring “the local”
  • Political, local and translocal in new technological sites
  • Technology design and use in constructing, reproducing, or enforcing notions of global connectedness or local community
  • The role of technology in preserving versus undermining cultural identity
  • Mobility and circulation in constructing or moving between the local and the global
  • Methods for analysis and design in complex, hybrid, or virtual transnational spaces
  • The relationship between the researcher, designer and user in transnational collaborative projects

This special issue follows upon two successful workshops: the Ubicomp 2010 workshop “Transnational Times” organized by Shklovski, Lindtner, Vertesi, and Dourish, and the CHI 2011 workshop “Transnational HCI” organized by Vertesi, Lindtner and Shklovski.

Important Dates

Deadline for proposals: December 1, 2011
Response to authors: January 5, 2012
Full papers due: April 2, 2012
Reviews to authors: July 16, 2012
Revised papers due: October 15, 2012
Reviews to authors: February 15, 2013
Final papers due: April 1, 2013

Submission of proposals

Proposals should be at least 1000 words and provide a clear indication of what the paper will be about. Proposals should be submitted by email to the special issue editors ( Mention explicitly in the email that your submission is intended for this special issue. The proposals will be evaluated for relevance to the special issue themes and guidance will be given. The full paper submissions will be peer reviewed to the usual standards of HCI.


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