Call for Proposals

Networked Publics

Workshops: 18 October 2017
Main Conference: 19-21 October 2017
University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia

Proposal Submission Deadline: 1 March 2017

AoIR 2017 is the 18th annual conference of the Association of Internet Researchers, a transdisciplinary gathering of scholars interested in the place of networked technologies in social processes. This year’s conference is hosted by the University of Tartu, Estonia.

Networked publics play an important role in shaping the political, social, economic, cultural but also moral, ethical and value-laden landscapes of contemporary life. In spite of – or perhaps because of – the emergence of digital technologies and platforms, the concept of a single, overarching public sphere has remained not only an unreachable ideal, but also, for many, an uncomfortable ideology. Scholars have been crafting many different, sometimes conflicting conceptualisations of ‘publics’ – from affective publics through personal publics to algorithmic publics, and from ad hoc publics through issue publics to platform publics (and beyond) – while activists have been crafting publics by building new digital spaces for expression, engagement, and protest.

AoIR 2017 will provide an opportunity to discuss the emergence of networked or digital publics, and their possible role in re-constituting the public sphere.

We call for paper, panel, and pre-conference workshop proposals from any discipline, methodology, community, or combination thereof that address the conference themes, including, but not limited to, papers that intersect and/or interconnect with the following:

  •     Spaces and places for digital publics
  •     Technologically and computationally mediated publics
  •     Imaginary, invoked, performed and constructed (counter) publics
  •     Building and living in online publics
  •     Networked publics and (political, economic, cultural, media) crises
  •     Empowering networked publics
  •     Being public and being part of a public
  •     Digital publics and historical perspectives
  •     The future role of networked publics
  •     Race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, religion, nationality and publicness
  •     Networked publics and fan culture
  •     Activism, agency and affective publics
  •     Surveillance, dataveillance and publics
  •     Privacy, intimacy and the public(s)
  •     Big data and algorithmic publics
  •     e-government and e-publics
  •     Radicalizing the networked publics
  •     Mainstream media and networked publics
  •     Studying networked publics: methodological, theoretical and ethical challenges

Sessions at the conference will be established that specifically address the conference themes, and we welcome innovative, exciting, and unexpected takes on those themes. We also welcome submissions on topics that address social, cultural, political, legal, aesthetic, economic, and/or philosophical aspects of the internet beyond the conference themes. In all cases, we welcome disciplinary and interdisciplinary submissions as well as international collaborations from both AoIR and non-AoIR members.


We seek proposals for several different kinds of contributions. As in the past, we welcome proposals for traditional academic conference papers, organized panel proposals that present a coherent group of papers on a single theme, as well as pre-conference workshops which focus on a particular topic. We also invite proposals that focus on discussion and interaction among conference delegates. Common forms of this type are roundtable or fishbowl sessions, but we would also like to encourage other experimental formats.

In the interest of diversity and collegiality, each conference participant is limited to presenting one individual paper and one paper in a panel, and to participating in one roundtable. You can be a co-author on additional papers, but you must not be the scheduled presenter of these papers. Please do not submit as a presenter for any more papers than this, to allow everyone an opportunity to participate in the conference.

All paper and panel submissions must use the AoIR 2017 paper template.