Call for Proposals to host the AoIR Flashpoint Symposium in 2020

by | Jun 24, 2019 | Administrative, Community, Conferences

To supplement our annual October conference, and to follow up on the success of the Inaugural AoIR Flashpoint Symposium to be held in Urbino, Italy on 24 June 2019,  the Association of Internet Researchers is seeking proposals for a one-day AoIR Flashpoint Symposium to take place between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2020.

As the 2020 AoIR conference takes place in Dublin, Ireland, only proposals for locations outside of Europe will be considered for this round.

The AoIR Flashpoint Symposium is a small event that provides an opportunity to deepen or foster conversations about internet research among regions, groups, and thematic research areas that have been underrepresented in the Association of Internet Researchers and its conferences. The Association is making available a grant of up to US$7,500 for the purpose of supporting a one-day symposium that will contribute to the life and mission of AoIR and feed into its annual conference.

The symposium will be a standalone event to take place in a region of the world that differs from that of the 2020 annual conference (Dublin, Ireland). Preference is given to regions and locations where an AoIR conference has not yet been held but where at least one active AoIR member, who will be on the Flashpoint Symposium planning committee, resides. We also require that the symposium makes a contribution to the main 2020 AoIR conference in some way (e.g., a panel, pre-conference workshop, or another format that presents key contributions and outcomes from the symposium). In addition to local participants, all AoIR members are invited to attend the Flashpoint Symposium.

Deadline for the submission of this proposal is 1 September 2019, with a decision rendered by the end of October 2019. Proposers are expected to engage in a conversation with the AoIR symposium committee (in person or via Skype) during AoIR 2019 in Brisbane, Australia.

Proposals should:

  • Be no more than 1-2 pages in length.
  • Outline a distinct issue or theme to be addressed by the symposium, and demonstrate how this theme has not been sufficiently addressed by AoIR conferences to date.
  • Include a proposed date (between 1 March and 30 June) and schedule for the one-day event, and identify potential keynote speakers (keeping in mind AoIR’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity). Note: the proposal should not suggest parallel sessions but rather envision a day of consecutive sessions (i.e. single stream only).
  • Include a brief description of the leadership team’s history with AoIR and their plans for future involvement.
  • Demonstrate how this Flashpoint Symposium will connect with the AoIR mission and goals.
  • Include a preliminary budget that demonstrates in-kind support and/or sponsorship from the host institution(s) and creates a preliminary plan for cost items. Please note that AoIR funding is not to be allocated for the funding of participant travel costs, staff costs in support of the symposium’s organization, or indirect costs (such costs must be borne by local sponsorship), but may include  keynote honoraria, travel of keynote speakers, meals, venue or labor costs.
  • Indicate how regional and transnational graduate students will be encouraged to participate.
  • Include a discussion of projected outcomes from this symposium and its potential for ongoing benefit to the AoIR organization’s mission and goals (e.g., AoIR conference panel, special issue, etc.). A selection of organizers and delegates must make a firm commitment to present key contributions and outcomes from the Flashpoint Symposium at the year’s annual conference.

AoIR’s commitment to the symposium will include:

  • Support for promotion and administration through our various channels and platforms (e.g. via organization social media accounts and email lists), as well as limited AoIR administrative support.
  • Up to US$7,500 disbursed in the form of reimbursements and invoices to cover costs related to organizing of the symposium.
  • Mentorship from members of AoIR Executive Committee related to the organization of the symposium and subsequent deliverables/outcomes.
  • Allocation of one session slot (panel, roundtable, fishbowl, experimental session, or pre-conference workshop) on the annual AoIR conference’s program to the symposium organizers. This session is invited and will be planned jointly by the symposium organizers, the AoIR Executive Committee, and the AoIR Conference organizers in order to present the symposium’s major themes and outcomes. It must involve several participants selected from among the organizers, keynote speakers, and/or other participants of the symposium in order to allow the symposium conversation to continue at the main annual conference.

Proposals will be ranked in relation to their ability to:

  • Advance AoIR’s goals and mission and the Flashpoint Symposium’s general goals and mission of contributing to the diversification of membership and the expansion of geographical presence in the annual AoIR conference.
  • Articulate a clear outcome that will foster conversation in the future.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to encouraging graduate student participation, particularly from those in the host region.
  • Address a theme, topic, or issue not yet prominent in AoIR’s annual conferences.
  • Demonstrate capacity for carrying out the symposium in a manner that contributes to the benefit of AoIR and the individual organizer(s).
  • Demonstrate a commitment to present outcomes at the annual AoIR conference.

(This listing does not imply any ranking in the importance of these requirements.)

AoIR will accept one symposium proposal per annum.

Submit your proposals to by 1 September  2019.