IRC18: Offline, Kandbari, Feb 22-24, 2018

Does being offline necessarily mean being disconnected? Beyond anxieties such as FOMO, being offline is also seen as disengagement from a certain milieu of the digital (read: capital), an impediment to the way life is organised by and around technologies in general. However, being offline is not the exception, as examples of internet shutdown and acts on online censorship illustrate the persistence and often alarming regularity of the offline even for the ‘connected’ sections of the population. The *offline* is the theme of the third Internet Researchers' Conference (IRC18). We invite teams of two or more members to submit sessions proposals by Sunday, November 19 (final deadline). The session selection process is described below. The Conference will be hosted by the Sambhaavnaa Institute of Public Policy and Politics (Kandbari, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh).

Open review process is on till December 17. All session teams, as well as other interested contributors, are invited to review and comment upon the submitted proposals.

Selected Papers

Proposed Sessions

Call for Sessions (on CIS website)

Sambhaavnaa Institute of Public Policy and Politics (website)

IRC17, Bengaluru, March 03-05, 2017

With great pleasure we announce the second edition of the Internet Researchers' Conference (IRC), an annual conference series initiated by the Researchers at Work (RAW) programme at CIS to gather researchers, academic or otherwise, studying internet in/from India to congregate, share insights and tensions, and chart the ways forward. The Internet Researchers' Conference 2017 (IRC17) will be held at the International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore (IIIT-B) campus on March 03-05, 2017. It is being organised by the Centre for Information Technology and Public Policy (CITAPP) at IIIT-B and the CIS.

Call for Sessions (on CIS website)

Proposed Sessions

Conference Page (on CIS website)

Conference Programme (PDF)

CITAPP, IIIT-B (website)

IRC16, New Delhi, February 26-28, 2016

The first Internet Researchers' Conference (IRC16) was organised at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi, on February 26-28, 2016. The focus of the Conference was on the experiences, adventures, and methods of 'studying internet in India.' The event was hosted and co-organised by the Centre for Political Studies (CPS) at the Jawaharlal Nehru University JNU, for hosting the Conference, and was supported by the CSCS Digital Innovation Fund (CDIF).

Call for Sessions (on CIS website)

Conference Page (on CIS website)

Conference Programme (PDF)

Conference Booklet (PDF)

IIRC: Reflections on IRC16 (on CIS website)

CPS, JNU (website)

CDIF (website)

Internet Researchers' Conference (IRC) Series

The last decades have seen a growing entanglement of our daily lives with the internet, not only as modes of communication but also as shared socio-politico-cultural spaces, and as objects of study. The emergence of new artifacts, conditions, and sites of power/knowledge with the prevalence of digital modes of communication, consumption, production, distribution, and appropriation have expectedly attracted academic and non-academic explorers across disciplines, professions, and interests.

These attempts have in turn raised new questions around understanding of digital objects, online lives, and virtual networks, and have contributed to complicating disciplinary assumptions, methods, conceptualisations, and boundaries.

The Researchers at Work (RAW) programme at the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) takes this opportunity to initiate an annual conference series titled 'Internet Researchers' Conference,' or IRC, to create an annual temporary space for internet researchers from India (and elsewhere) to gather and share experiences.

The IRC series is driven by the following interests:

  • creating discussion spaces for researchers and practitioners studying internet in India and in other comparable regions,
  • foregrounding the multiplicity, hierarchies, tensions, and urgencies of the digital sites and users in India, accounting for the various layers, conceptual and material, of experiences and usages of internet and networked digital media in India, and
  • exploring and practicing new modes of research and documentation necessitated by new (digital) objects of power/knowledge.

Each year, we plan to host the IRC in a different city and in partnership with a different institutional partner.

We are most grateful to our partners, funders, advisors, volunteers, participants, and well-wishers for making the journey possible.

The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS)

The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) is a non-profit organisation based in India that undertakes interdisciplinary research on internet and digital technologies from policy and academic perspectives. The areas of focus include digital accessibility for persons with diverse abilities, access to knowledge, intellectual property rights, openness (including open data, free and open source software, open standards, open access, open educational resources, and open video), internet governance, telecommunication reform, digital privacy, and cyber-security. The academic research at CIS seeks to understand the reconfiguration of social processes and structures through the internet and digital media technologies, and vice versa.

The Researchers at Work, or RAW, programme at the CIS is a multidisciplinary research initiative driven by contemporary concerns to understand the reconfiguration of social processes and structures through the internet and digital media technologies, and vice versa. We are interested in producing local and contextual accounts of interactions, negotiations, and resolutions between the internet and socio-material and geo-political structures. We take India as our physical field of research, as our unevenly excavated site of artifacts and practices, and also as our vantage point to reflect on the polymorphous growth of internet technologies and their relationships with societies across the world.



RAW Programme: