AoIR2022 Preconference Workshops

AoIR routinely hosts several preconference workshops before the main conference. Attendees must register for the full conference to attend a preconference workshop. All workshops have a US$10 fee applied charged during registration. Refunds on workshop fees are only available if entire registration is cancelled, and then will be subject to the cancellation and refund policies of the organization. This fee does not apply to the Doctoral Colloquium.

If you are accepted into the Doctoral Colloquium do not register for any preconference workshops. The Doctoral Colloquium and the preconference workshops occur simultaneously on 2 November 2022.

In order to attend a workshop you do have to register for the full conference. Conference registration is available here.

The conference program is available here.


AoIR Early Career Scholars Workshop

Organizers: Joanne Gray, University of Sydney; Germain Halegoua, University of Michigan;
TL Cowan, University of Toronto; Asaf Nissenbaum, Hebrew University of Jerusalem;
‪Lucía Vázquez Mendoza, Dublin City University

Purpose: This half-day workshop brings early career scholars together to address unique issues they face, develop strategies to achieve career goals, and foster a professional network. We define early career scholars as people who have finished the requirements for their terminal degree but have not advanced to the next level in their field or industry (e.g. in North America this would be tenure). AoIR’s strength is its communication. Now in its third year, this workshop fosters community among emerging scholars and bridges the divide between junior and senior scholars. We aim to continue working toward making this community as inclusive and representative as possible.

The workshop addresses both challenges and opportunities unique to early career scholars in the many fields and forms of scholarship represented at AoIR. First, we have to negotiate the transition from graduate student to early career professional that requires a higher level of autonomy and the challenge of figuring out the pragmatic and social aspects of a new work environment. Second, we must work quickly to establish ourselves in our fields and, often, secure funding. Third, we have increased service responsibilities. Fourth, after being guided by our advisors and committees for several years, we transition into mentorship roles. Fifth, we must learn to navigate to the next level of our careers while managing various degrees of precarity and ensuring time with family and friends. Being a junior scholar also comes with unique opportunities that we will explore. While recognition of internet scholarship has come a long way since AoIR’s inception, junior scholars still may find themselves facing certain hurdles in gaining recognition for their research (i.e. subject, method, etc.) in terms of promotion. In fact, some of the challenges we face are also opportunities to work towards changing the ways in which internet scholarship is perceived and valued within the academic structure.

The issues we will cover depends greatly on the participant. AoIR is an international and diverse organization, and we know that our experiences as scholars and educators vary by country, institution type, and field and are framed by our own identities (race, gender, etc.). Our goal is to discuss shared challenges and opportunities while understanding differences so that we can build our own professional networks at the same time that we create a diverse and inclusive community of scholars who will eventually become future career mentors within AoIR.

Format: Based on feedback from the 2017 workshop, we will maintain last year’s three-session format while making important adjustments to the content of those sessions. We will open with an activity for generating questions/concerns/issues relevant to junior scholars that participants would like addressed during the first session. That first session will consist of a fish-bowl discussion for workshop participants. This discussion is intended as a get-to-know others event as well as an opportunity to discuss the issues and opportunities we face collectively. The second session will be a panel of established scholars who can share their insight and experiences. We define established scholars as those individuals who have continued to research and publish within their field, and who have been promoted within their given professional system.

Our goal in recruiting panelists this year is to be responsive to the needs of the different types of junior scholars participating in the workshop. This year, we hope to engage more scholars from the humanities and non-academic environments. The organizers will start the panel with questions drawn from the first session. In the final session, participants will form small groups with a senior scholar to address topics relevant to them (type of institution, academic system, etc.). Time will be left for follow-up questions and group discussion. We also are planning an informal social activity following the workshop.

Audience: This workshop is geared toward early career scholars who have their terminal degree. Please do not register for this workshop if you have not completed your degree.

1) Provide a space for the next generation of AoIR scholars to start building strong ties with each other, more established researchers, and the AoIR community.
2) Promote understanding of the breadth of academic work, including our shared experiences and differences.
3) Connect with established academics to build a stronger communities of support for our careers.
4) Develop strategies to build and maintain a junior scholar community outside of the annual conference.

Decolonizing knowledge translation for teaching and learning: multi-modal tactics and transgressions

Organizers: MaryElizabeth Luka, University of Toronto, Annette Markham, RMIT University, Jill Walker Rettberg, University of Bergen, and Casey Fiesler, University of Colorado Boulder

In this half-day pre-conference workshop session, we invite AoIR attendees to discuss and then generate multi-modal experiments to decolonize materials or techniques in the teaching and learning space, most often a typical classroom. The question we pose in this workshop is: how can our basic training materials for students use contemporary streaming and casual video sharing modalities to further resist the pernicious persistence of traditional reading materials or lectures? The workshop originates from Annette Markham and Mary Elizabeth Luka’s experiments in 2020 to simplify and popularize qualitative research methods through a series of short videos called “On Method.” Through our production process of this alternative to a scholarly textbook, we strove to decenter the traditional knowledge transmission model with a co-creation collaborative process, involving a cross-industry and cross-disciplinary team of experts. Through each person’s editing and augmentation of each video, the meaning of the output was transformed. The cumulative effect of this inductive and open-ended production process was greater than we might have anticipated, despite the fact that our experiment generated a rather mild intervention in the decolonizing space.

This experiment sits alongside a long legacy of using social media to intervene in research translation and educational traditions through multi-modal production, not least the experiments and innovations by co-facilitators of this workshop, Jill Walker Rettberg with blogs and Snapchat and Casey Fiesler with Tiktok. We push this legacy forward in this workshop, asking: How can this tactic of educational intervention be more transgressive? Which transgressive interventions might work in a variety of contexts? What are some key considerations in terms of logistics, practicalities, and unexpected challenges or outcomes?

Logistics: We will send out broad invitations to participate in this session prior to the conference. Participants who register by an early deadline will be sent a brief questionnaire to assess their interests and experiences. Participants will also be asked to bring along some multi-modal materials they’ve created (or would like to put together) for scholarly and extended audiences.

On the day, M.E. Luka and Annette Markham will begin with a showcase of “On Method” videos, which use a Youtube or Masterclass style combined with both foundational and more complex concepts from digital ethnographic (and, more generally, qualitative) methods. We pose questions about what conditions might be required to hold space for non-hierarchical knowledge production, grounded in our experiences in this production collaboration, where we frequently swapped “hats” (subject matter expert, media editor, show runner, scholar, animator, creative producer, line producer, videographer, director).

This is followed by a quick session in decolonialist and feminist pedagogical styles of creating course materials, focused on multi-modal formats using the practices of short form communication on social media, focused on Snapchat, TikTok, meme-laden syllabi, and Youtube. Drawing on the innovative experiences of Casey Fiesler on Tiktok and Jill Walker Rettberg on Blogs and Snapchat, as well as potential expertise and experiences from some attendees, we will discuss tactical interventions and strategies for promoting long-term transformations that decolonize knowledge forms in teaching and learning.

Finally, to embody this on the spot, we will work in teams to generate scripts and footage for two or three playful experimental videos that decenter and resist a “classic” western-centric methods text. For example, we might rewrite Erving Goffman’s key ideas in his classic text, “Performance of Self in Everyday Life,” which is often widely used without any critical refiguring, then use Judith Butler’s feminist reworking of resulting concepts of identity formation. The workshop organizers (and participants, if they have these skillsets) will do rapid rough cuts of videos to share through the #aoir2022 hashtag over the course of the conference, seeking additional feedback for a future final product: a transgressive methods video on decolonizing knowledge translation.

This workshop does not simply highlight a process of using media producers to transform scholarship into professional video lectures with a talking head that can be distributed widely for educational purposes, though there may be an element of this in the products we will demonstrate and examine together. Rather, through this workshop, we will build specific creative evidence for the argument that interdisciplinary teams generate something that has the potential to help decolonize the academic sphere.

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Exploring the Surveillance Society and the Decoupling of Privacy

Organizers: Marie Eneman, University of Gothenburg, Marie Griffiths, University of Salford Manchester and Rachel McLean, Liverpool Screen School at Liverpool John Moores University.

Digitalization is laying the ground for surveillance of a magnitude we have not seen before with surveillance being performed by both state and market actors (Richards, 2013). Law enforcement agencies are rapidly introducing various surveillance techniques such as body cameras, drones, cameras in cars, biometric techniques such as facial recognition and various sensors with the expectation of increased security in society (Solove & Schwartz, 2020). On social media people casually share opinions, reveal personal information, and report on their everyday activities, leading to a huge repository of information that is readily available for use in surveillance, marketing and political campaigning (Matzner, 2016). Workplace surveillance (Ball, 2010; Mateescu & Nguyen, 2019) added an alternative dimension in connection with Covid-19 with enforced working from home giving rise to further privacy dilemmas (Vitak & Zimmer, 2021) as personal effects feature in video backgrounds. Surveillance has become a totally embedded part of everyday life, manifested by notions as “surveillance societies” (Lyon, 2007) and “surveillance capitalism” (Zuboff, 2019). However, these powerful technologies have far-reaching consequences for integrity (Véliz, 2020). Ribeiro-Navarrete, et al (2021) further highlight the privacy concerns of the massive data collection, by private companies and the state, from users’ mobile devices accessed to control the pandemic. These all raise important questions about whether there has been a decoupling of privacy in connection with the digitalisation of society and today’s powerful surveillance practices, as well as how privacy can be understood and protected. A further example of intensification of surveillance is the EU regulations on a common Entry and Exit system (EES) with requirements for strong and smart borders, where biometric technologies will be introduced at external borders in 2022.

We argue that digital technologies are not only tools related to certain practices anymore, but rather ubiquitous infrastructures connecting a growing number of devices and services providing data that give insights into all aspects of human life, thus forming a backbone that conditions human action in very far-reaching ways. The growing entanglement of market and state surveillance raises many questions (Ball & Snider, 2019), as it manifests in daily news feeds. A topical example is law enforcement agencies’ use of the facial recognition application Clearview AI (Eneman et al, 2022). Today, data collected on individuals flows between government and the private sector (Ball et al, 2019). Surveillance in today’s society transcends both the public and private. An important issue is the need to stem the uncoupling of individuals’ privacy, as state and market logic creates different meanings of integrity (Solove, 2021).

Objectives with the workshop:

The purpose of the workshop is to provide an international platform where researchers (both junior and senior) can meet to critically discuss issues related to surveillance in the digital society and also share experiences of theoretical concepts, ethical issues and methods. We encourage and welcome research from different areas that critically reflects on surveillance in the digital society.

Examples of research that would be of relevance are below (though this is not exclusive):

  • What challenges and dilemmas do emerging technology (not least AI and ML) afford for surveillance practices?
    How are surveillance practices organized and governed/regulated?
    How can the relationship between state and market actors be understood in today’s surveillance society?
    The dichotomy of giving out data freely, desensitization to invasion of privacy through data collection and yet increasing awareness of the need to protect our data (the privacy paradox), increased legislation to comply with regarding data and privacy protection (the privacy paradox).
    How do we maintain control of our privacy once data is shared across state and private organizations?
    What implications has the pandemic given rise to around surveillance?
    How can privacy be conceptualized in today’s surveillance society and how can privacy be protected?
    Examples of sousveillance and other resistance strategies in relation to surveillance that take place in today’s society?

If you have any questions you are welcome to contact: marie [dot] eneman [at]

This half day day (three hours including breaks) workshop will be organised as follows:

1) Welcome and walkthrough of the half day

2) Keynote with invited speaker – Dr. Daniel Silverstone from the University of Greenwich who will speak on the theme: Surveillance, the Academy and Serious and Organized Crime

3) Discussion of all submitted extended abstracts in smaller working groups

4) Wrapping up with joint discussion

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Quali-quantitative Internet Research with 4CAT

Organizers: Stijn Peeters and Sal Hagen, University of Amsterdam

This pre-conference workshop will teach participants how to use the 4CAT Capture and Analysis Toolkit, a modular tool to capture, process, and analyse data from a variety of Web sources (Peeters and Hagen, 2022). Internet research presents a unique opportunity to combine qualitative, situational approaches with large-scale quantitative data analysis. Yet combining these “two cultures” (Snow, 1998) requires significant time investment and methodological know-how. 4CAT aims to facilitate this blend of qualitative and quantitative methods. The tool has a graphical interface that does not require knowledge of command-line interfaces or programming language.

4CAT can capture and store posts from Web sources in a local database and interface with external APIs, like Twitter’s v2 API (including its ‘academic track’) or the Pushshift API for Reddit. After data gathering, 4CAT offers a range of processors that can quantitatively manipulate the captured information. These range from simple post frequencies to more complex NLP methods, as well as methods for network and visual analysis. Next to an exploration of these quantitative processors, the workshop teaches participants how to use 4CAT’s Explorer, a feature that allows reading through, sorting, and annotating datasets in a Web environment that mimics the source platform. This facilitates ethnography-inspired approaches, content analysis, and close reading – methods that in quali-quantitative studies all too often result in cumbersome scrolling through Excel sheets. The participants will be given access to a Web-based 4CAT installation and be guided through these aforementioned processes.

After this practical component, we wish to end with a brief dialogue on the future and ethics of quali-quantitative, tool-based research. How can 4CAT (or other tools) facilitate this further? What data sources and processors can participants envision? How can we ensure that the tools that co-produce our research outputs do so in a transparent, FAIR (Wilkinson et al. 2016), and ethically sound manner?

We propose the tutorial to last half a day (three hours including breaks) with the following structure:

00:00 – 01:00: Introduction and walkthrough
Discussing 4CAT’s primary use cases, practical and epistemological challenges, architecture, and the affordances guiding its design.
Walkthrough of 4CAT’s interface, including its data capturing features and analytical processors.

01:00 – 02:15: Guided exploration
We provide 4CAT access to work with sample exercises and datasets. In this more informal part of the tutorial there is also room for participants to explore 4CAT on their own terms or ask questions to the developers.
(Coffee break)

02:30 – 02:50: Dialogue on tool-based quali-quantitative research
We discuss potential future uses of 4CAT (depending on interest by participants) and practical or ethical pitfalls arising from quali-quantitative, tool-based methods.

02:50 – 03:00: 4CAT after the workshop
How to install 4CAT for yourself or your institution, get access to other instances, and contribute data sources or processors.

All participants are required to bring a laptop. No technical knowledge is required. For the workshop, we provide access to our own 4CAT instance, available via a web interface. We seek researchers who:

  • Are interested in quali-quantitative tool-based research.
  • Want to work with datasets from online sources like Twitter, Telegram, Reddit, 4chan, 8kun, BitChute, Douban, or Parler.
  • Have custom social media datasets they would like to analyse with e.g. natural language processing.

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Undergraduate Teaching Workshop

Organizers: Holly Kruse, Rogers State University and Adrienne Shaw, Temple University

Last year we (Adrienne Shaw, Temple University and Holly Kruse, Rogers State University, alongwith Emily van der Nagel, Monash University) organized a first-ever Undergraduate Teaching Workshop at AoIR in order to address an overlooked area at AoIR conferences that is of critical importance to many AoIR members. Building on the momentum of that successful, entirely online workshop at AoIR 2021, we are offering a half-day (3-hour) hybrid undergraduate-teaching-focused workshop for the 2022 conference. The idea behind this workshop is that teaching is a big part of our academic lives, and in the classroom (on campus or virtual), our students’ understandings of social media and internet use don’t always align with broader press or research narratives. What do we learn from our students about the internet, how are we using the internet to teach, and what’s the best way of bringing AoIR research into our classrooms? How do we use the internet in teaching when our students don’t have broadband access, aren’t digitally-savvy, and when our institutions do not offer robust technical infrastructures or support?

As professors with experience teaching that spans types of institutions, student populations, and institutional support, we understand that there are no one-size fits all solutions to teaching in ever changing technological and social contexts. Also, and building on last year’s workshop, this year’s workshop will attend to the ways that teaching loads, expectations, terms, and more. are different in different regions of the world. For that reason the workshop will be discussion/conversation-based so we can all learn from and with one another.

The main event will be held in-person in Dublin, with the workshop planned primarily as an in-person event, but virtual participation by some registrants can also be accommodated by connecting them to each other and the in-person conversation over Zoom. The hybrid plans will remain flexible as the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and other variables may demand and will be announced closer to the event.

This workshop will adhere to AoIR’s Statement of Principles and Statement of Inclusivity, which is a commitment to academic freedom, equality of opportunity, and human dignity. This means that in this workshop, just like in the rest of the AoIR conference, no harassment or discrimination will be permitted, and members must commit to the inclusion and recognition of all members. We appreciate the participants in this session arriving with a shared sense of purpose, community, and respect as we discuss teaching today.

Prior to the workshop, participants will be asked to fill out a questionnaire before the event so that we have a sense of what teaching contexts and expectations are for those attending. We also intend to use the shared Google document as a resource that participants can use after the event, especially because we participants will list helpful classroom resources on the document as part of our session.

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