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Digital Divide Conference for PhD Students

January 6, 2001: This message was distributed by Papyrus News. Feel free to forward this message to others, preferably with this introduction. For info on Papyrus News, including how to (un)subscribe or access archives, see

Call for Response Regarding a Conference for Doctoral Students Doing Research to Understand or Close the Digital Divide

(Please forward this message so that more doctoral students will see it. A copy of any forwards would be welcome at

The Alliance for Community Technology at the University of Michigan plans to host a small international conference of doctoral students whose research includes the digital divide -- the gap between technology haves and have-nots -- or its social implications. We would like to hear from current doctoral students who would be interested in participating. Modest travel grants will be available. We also hope to publish a book of the best and most representative student papers.

In order to design the conference, we would like to hear from as many interested doctoral students as possible from around the world. Our collaboration can only advance research and knowledge. Our objectives include sensemaking (are we asking the right questions?), community-building, and sharing perspectives and references.

The digital divide, as it is known in the US, has spawned a variety of related concepts: digital or social inclusion, community technology, community networks, telecenters, public access computing, and more. It has stimulated researchers from many disciplines to apply quantitative and qualitative methods and to develop experimental models and tools.

If you are currently pursuing a doctoral degree and your research area includes the digital divide, please reply by January 22 to with answers to the questions below:

1. Your name?

2. Your email address?

3. Your discipline (sociology, computer science, urban planning, public policy, communications, library/information studies, engineering, etc.)?

4. Your university?

5. What year did you begin your doctoral work?

6. One or two sentences on your dissertation topic (either tentative or firm)?

7. Other research you have done that relates to the digital divide (if any; URLs are helpful)?

Please keep this project in mind as term begins and you plan your research and writing for the coming months. We will contact respondents with further information by February 15, 2000.

Thank you very much.

Kate Williams
Research Assistant, Alliance for Community Technology
Doctoral Student, U. of Michigan School of Information

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Last updated: January 8, 2001 in Hot Metal Pro 6.0