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February 6, 2000: This message was distributed by Papyrus News, a free e-mail distribution list on the global impact of information technology on language, literacy, and education. Feel free to forward this message to others, preferably with this introduction. For information on Papyrus News, including how to (un)subscribe or access archives, see <>.






Conference Theme: Cultural Collisions and Creative Interferences in the Global Village

12-15 July 2000, Perth, Australia



Computer-mediated communication networks, such as the Internet and the World Wide Web, promise to realise the utopian vision of an electronic global village. But efforts to diffuse CMC technologies globally, especially in Asia and among indigenous peoples in Africa, Australia and the United States, have demonstrated that CMC technologies are neither culturally neutral nor communicatively transparent. Rather, diverse cultural attitudes towards technology and communication - those embedded in current CMC technologies, and those shaping the beliefs and behaviours of potential users - often collide.

This biennial conference series aims to provide an international forum for the presentation and discussion of cutting-edge research on how diverse cultural attitudes shape the implementation and use of information and communication technologies. The first conference in the series was held in London in 1998. For an overview of the themes and presentations of CATaC'98 and links to the papers, see <>

Original full papers (especially those which connect theoretical frameworks with specific examples of cultural values, practices, etc.) and short papers (e.g. describing current research projects and preliminary results) are invited. Papers should articulate the connections between specific cultural values as well as current and/or possible future communicative practices involving information and communication technologies. We seek papers which, taken together, will help readers, researchers, and practitioners of computer-mediated communication - especially in the service of "electronic democracy" - better understand the role of diverse cultural attitudes as hindering and/or furthering the implementation of global computer communications systems.

Topics of particular interested include but are not limited to:

- Communicative attitudes and practices in diverse industrialised countries.

- Communicative attitudes and practices in industrialising countries and marginalised communities.

- Impact of new communication technologies on local and indigenous languages and cultures.

- Politics of the electronic global village in democratising or preserving hierarchy.

- East/West cultural attitudes and communicative practices.

- Role of gender in cultural expectations regarding appropriate communicative behaviours.

- Ethical issues related to new technologies, and their impact on culture and communication behaviours.

- Legal implications of communication and technology.


All submissions will be peer reviewed by an international panel of scholars and researchers. There will be the opportunity for selected papers to appear in special issues of journals and a book. CATaC'98 papers, for example, appeared in the Electronic Journal of Communication/La Revue Electronique de Communication (Vol.8, Nos.3-4, 1998) and will appear in the AI and Society Journal and Javnost (Journal of the European Institute for Communication and Culture.

Initial submissions are to be emailed to as an attachment (Word, HTML, PDF). Submission of a paper implies that it has not been submitted or published elsewhere. At least one author of each accepted paper is expected to present the paper at the conference.

Important Dates:

* Full papers 14 February 2000

* Short papers 28 February 2000

* Notification of acceptance 27 March 2000

* Final formatted papers 17 April 2000


Highlights of the conference program include:

- discussion forums following technical sessions to focus on research objectives and progress

- keynote speakers

- public lecture

- public panels with panelists drawn from conference participants

- reception in an art gallery featuring a didgeridoo player

- conference dinner at a winery

- pre-conference tour and post-conference safari

For more information, see the conference web site.


Funding is being sought by the Committee to partially subsidise travel expenses for students and scholars from developing countries. Please contact the Co-Chairs if you wish to apply for a subsidy in the event that funds are available.


The venue is the Tradewinds Hotel, Fremantle, Western Australia, located on the Swan River. Fremantle, an atmospheric port of convict-constructed buildings and great pubs, is approximately 20km west of Perth. Perth was founded in 1829 and is the sunniest capital in Australia, and is the most isolated capital in the world. It has a Mediterranean climate, with warm to hot summers and cool winters. The average winter maximum temperature (June-August) is 20C (~70F).


Charles Ess, Drury College, USA,

Fay Sudweeks, Murdoch University, Australia,


Krishna Sen, Murdoch University, Australia

Andrew Turk, Murdoch University, Australia


Moira Dawe, Murdoch University,


Matthew Allen, Curtin University of Technology

Steve Benson, Edith Cowan University

John Gammack, Murdoch University

Fiona MacMillan, Murdoch University

Richard Thomas, University of Western Australia

Kathryn Trees, Murdoch University


Tom Addison, Witwatersrand University, South Africa

Phil Agre, University of California San Diego, USA

Peng Hwa Ang, Nanyang Technical University, Singapore

Michael Dahan, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Donald Day, Towson University, USA

Ken Friedman, Norwegian School of Management, Norway

Pat Hall, Open University, UK

Lorna Heaton, University of New Mexico, USA

Soraj Hongladarom, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

Herbert Hrachovec, University of Vienna, Austria

Lawrie Hunter, Kochi University of Technology, Japan

Steve Jones, University of Illinois Chicago, USA

Willard McCarty, Kings College London, UK

Lucienne Rey, Swiss Office of Technology Assessment, Switzerland

Cyd Strickland, The Fielding Institute, USA

Diane Witmer, University of California Fullerton, USA


Fay Sudweeks

Senior Lecturer in Information Systems

School of Information Technology

Murdoch University WA 6150 Australia

+61-8-9360-2364 (o) +61-8-9360-2941 (f)


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Last updated: February 7, 2000