CFP for the International Studies Association Annual Conference, 2016: Mapping and Meaning Making in the Crowded Networks of the Global South

Below is the abstract for a panel I'm proposing on crowd technologies for ISA 2016 in Atlanta next March.  

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CFP, ISA 2016: Mapping and Meaning Making in the Crowded Networks of the Global South

Discourses and representations of the new ‘population bomb’ in the global South are no longer only organized around 20th century concerns over birth rates and limited planetary resources; through advances in software, mobile technologies, and geo-spatial data collection they are now also about the visualization and digital agency of bodies deemed threatening, menacing and violent. These new digital cartographies of danger are facilitated by the move of crowdsourced data and funding models from commercial enterprises to international organizations and NGOs addressing a vast range of issues, from development and disaster management, to human security governance and sexual violence. The proliferating use of crowd-technologies raises important questions about how bodies, experiences, and publics are materialized through algorithms, statistics and the assembly and organization of data provided by these self-selecting communities.

This panel invites papers that critically reflect upon the ways in which crowdsourcing is altering international politics and publics, and how discourses about the assumed utility and democratizing potential of crowdsourcing filters in and through claims about ‘Western’ technological superiority, progress, innovation, precision, and market-based ethics. For instance, how does crowdsourcing and crowdmapping speak to the relationship between space and calculation? How might crowdsourcing produce racialized, class-based, and gendered exclusions through the assembly and organization of data in the interest of particular communities and security paradigms? How is crowdsourced data collected and assembled to present particular cartographic representations of politics ‘on the ground’, thus making certain visualizations of political life possible? And how might the resynthesizing of data to demonstrate large quantities or patterns of violence determine the shape and effects of particular kinds of international interventions?

Please email abstracts of no more than 200 words to Nicole Grove at by May 23rd.

Nicole Grove