“There is more than one internet.” This statement was the starting point for the forthcoming international conference Computer Networks Histories (CNH): Local, National and Transnational Perspectives. The conference will gather scholars and researchers from a variety of disciplines who want to present, share and discuss the multiple paths that computer networks have taken in and between local, national and transnational spaces over time.
The CNH conference aims to overcome and criticise the unilateral vision of a single, dominant history of the internet. It will create an international space for discussion involving scholars from different countries and continents. The range of worldwide experiences could provide original frames and new perspectives.
The conference, organised by the Institute of Media and Journalism of USI – Università della Svizzera italiana and the association Infoclio.ch, will be held in Lugano, the 14-15 of December 2017.
The two keynote speakers have recently focused their research on lesser known computer networks histories.
Professor Benjamin Peters (Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Tulsa) has recently published How Not to Network a Nation: The Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet (MIT Press). He offers an account of the Soviet Union’s failed attempts to construct their own national computer networks for civilians during the height of the Cold War tech race.
Professor Hu Yong (professor at Peking University’s School of Journalism and Communication) is a well-known new media critic and is considered a Chinese internet pioneer. His The Rising Cacophony: Personal Expression and Public Discussion in the Internet Age investigates the major transformations in Chinese cyberspace.
The conference secretariat looks for new and overlooked histories of networks, thus submissions from South America, Africa, Asia and Oceania will be warmly welcomed. The call is available at the conference website. The deadline for abstract submission is 28 February.