Internationalizing Internet Studies

Call for papers for a edited collection by
Gerard Goggin (University of Sydney) & Mark McLelland (University of

From the mid-1990s onwards, the Internet has shifted fundamentally
from its co-ordinates in English-speaking countries, especially North
America, to become an essential medium in a wide range of countries,
cultures, and languages. According to October 2005 statistics,
Chinese language now represents 14% of all Internet communication and
media use, Spanish 9% and Japanese 9%. At 35% and falling, English
use is now a minority in terms of overall online language use.
However, communications and media scholarship, especially in the
Anglophone world, has not registered the deep ramifications of this
shift – and the challenges it poses to the concepts, methods,
assumptions, and frameworks used to study the Internet.

The vast body of Anglophone scholarship into ‘the Internet’ is
predicated on research on and about English-language websites by
academics and other researchers working and publishing in English.
Despite the fact that there is also a large body of work being
produced by scholars in non-English-speaking cultures and locales,
hardly any of this work is being translated and it has had little
impact on theorization of the developing fields of Internet and web

The purpose of this anthology, ‘Internationalizing Internet Studies’,
is to acknowledge that Internet use and Internet studies take place
‘elsewhere’ in various national and international contexts. We seek
to uncover how non-Anglophone uses of the Internet might challenge
certain preconceived notions about the technology and its social
impacts as well as the manner in which Internet studies is taken up,
valued and taught outside the circuits of understanding prevalent in
Anglophone academia. Through bringing together researchers whose
daily experience of the Internet is mediated through non-Anglophone
languages and cultures as well as researchers situated within the
Anglophone academy whose work focuses on cultures outside North
America and Europe, we hope to promote the visibility of work already
being done outside the Anglophone world. We also aim to encourage new
work that critically engages with Anglophone Internet scholarship
that is based on research into diverse locales and draws upon a range
of intellectual traditions.

Accordingly, we wish to gather together a distinctive collection of
contributors who can illuminate the key features of the Internet’s
internationalization, surveying exemplary Internet language groups
and cultures. We hope to encourage explorations of the distinctive
features of the consumption and use of the Internet by various
language groups, and how this expands and questions taken-for-granted
notions of Internet studies.

We are also interested in contributions that reflect upon this
cosmopolitan turn in the Internet, and what it signifies for our
methods, tools, and concepts of Internet studies – and for media,
communication, and cultural theory themselves. Here we are concerned
with the debate – yet to emerge – on the internationalization of
‘Internet studies’.

Contributions would be welcomed, but are not restricted to, the
following topics:

* non-anglophone language communities use of the Internet
* Asian countries and communities use of the Internet (especially
Chinese, Japanese, and Korean)
* mobility and the Internet: how the Internet is deployed by people
on the move across borders
* use of the Internet by diasporic communities
* Internet use by minority language speakers in majority Anglophone
and other language contexts
* Indigenous use of the Internet
* how particular Internet technologies (websites, peer-to-peer
technologies, blogs, social software, mobile Internet) have been
shaped and are used by different language and cultural groups
* cell phone, mobile and wireless technologies and the
internationalizing of the Internet
* how does this change our understanding of Internet cultures and
cultural histories?
* what the implications of internationalizing of the Internet for
debates concerning cultural citizenship and media diversity? (not
least Internet governance, open source and commons debates)
* what are the implications of increasing ‘global governance’ of the
Internet for local and countercultural communities?
* how is Internet studies responding to the internationalizing of the
Internet – what new concepts, methods, locations and relationships
does it need?


Please send abstracts of no more than 500 words to both editors
outlining your proposed contribution to the edited collection by 31
January 2006. We will advise acceptance by 1 April 2006.

We will be holding a workshop on ‘Internationalizing Internet
Studies’ in Brisbane on 27 September 2006 immediately before the
Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) Annual Conference 7.0, and
hope that we will be able to invite some contributors to attend and
present drafts of their full papers. (We expect limited travel
bursaries will be available for those attending from outside

About the Editors:

From January 2006, Dr Gerard Goggin ( will be an
ARC Australian Research Fellow in the Department of Media and
Communication, the University of Sydney. He has published widely on
Internet and new media, including Digital Disability (2003), Virtual
Nation: The Internet in Australia (2004) and Cell Phone Culture
(forthcoming 2006).

Dr Mark McLelland ( is a Lecturer in the School
of Social Sciences, Media and Communication at the University of
Wollongong. Recent Internet-related publications include Japanese
Cybercultures (2003) and Queer Japan from the Pacific War to the
Internet Age (2005).

Dr Gerard Goggin
ARC Australian Research Fellow
Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies
University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072 Qld Australia
e: m: 0428 66 88 24