The Association for Internet Research Conference (AoIR) Comes to Dublin This Year

01 November 2022

The conference explores the topic, ‘Decolonising the Internet’ with hundreds of academics from across the world

Dr Aphra Kerr, Principal Investigator in the ADAPT Centre for AI-driven Digital Content Technology, and Professor in the Department of Sociology at Maynooth University, is one of the key conference committee members organising the Association for Internet Research Conference (AoIR 2022), to be held from 2-5 November, 2022, in Dublin. 

The AoIR is an annual conference that brings together hundreds of academics, researchers, graduate students, and other participants for an interdisciplinary, multi-methodological look at the internet. Over 500 delegates are expected at the Technological University Dublin Grangegorman campus for the conference themed around the topic, ‘Decolonising the Internet’. 

Decolonisation of the internet is a persistently present and relevant topic especially this year at the centenary of the founding of the Irish Free State after independence from colonial rule. Even as countries and continents historically have shared this colonial experience, we continue to be shaped by new colonising forces like tech multinational giants who are re-fashioning the world in their own image even today. The conference aims to understand how the legacies of colonialism manifest in various ways across research objects, subjects, and contexts while new forms of coloniality and resistance are constantly emerging. 

As part of the conference committee, Dr Aphra Kerr is joined by Dr Kylie Jarrett (Maynooth University), Dr Caroline O’Sullivan (Technological University Dublin), Prof Eugenia Siapera (University College Dublin) and Dr Tanya Lokot, (Dublin City University). Just as Dr Kerr’s research explores the expectations and realities of AI governance, global media, and internet concentration, the other conference committee members’ academic work also aligns with the conference’s larger vision and theme. 

The keynote address will be delivered by writer and researcher, Nanjala Nyabola, from the Kiswahili Digital Rights Project in Kenya. Based on her experiences in contending with the language question in the context of digital rights, specifically through the Kiswahili Digital Rights Project and efforts to create a linguistic context for digital rights in Kiswahili language communities, Nanjala Nyabola’s talk will explore the political and social implications of what it means to decolonise the internet.

In addition to paper presentations, the conference will also have preconference workshops, roundtable sessions, experimental sessions and more, all of which focus on asking us to consider how we can de-centre white European and North American narratives about the internet, its cultures, its economies, and its infrastructures. 

Find the full schedule of the conference here.