SIGCIS Workshop 2016: Convergence and Divergence

SIGCIS Workshop 2016: Convergence and Divergence

June 26, 2016


The Special Interest Group for Computers, Information and Society (SIGCIS) welcomes submissions for our 2016 annual Workshop meeting, to be held on June 26, 2016. This is immediately after the end of the regular annual meeting of our parent organization, the Society for the History of Technology.

Preliminary Schedule 



Workshop Theme: Convergence and Divergence

The terms “convergence” and “divergence” are opposite to one another, but they can both be used, sometimes simultaneously, to study information and computing technologies in their social, cultural, and political contexts. For instance, an individual computer may serve as a site of convergence for raw materials sourced around the world. At the same time, the journey of each of those materials from their extraction sites to the manufacturers’ factories may itself be a story of divergence—that is, of how resources and ideas scatter away from their point of origin.

Convergence and divergence also occur beyond the material cultures of computing and information. The technical standards, social conventions, and legal frameworks that shape how people can engage with information technologies can vary wildly across the globe, or even from one local context to the next. People working in different national or local contexts may develop similar frameworks by following entirely different paths and, conversely, ways of conceptualizing, using, and regulating computing and information in a local setting may gain global appeal.

The theme for this year’s SIGCIS meeting is “Convergence and Divergence,” broadly conceived. Possible lines of inquiry include:

  • Comparative or international studies of governance and regulation
  • Local and regional cultures of computing
  • Changes in computing technologies and market structures (such as digital convergence)
  • Global systems of resource extraction and equipment manufacturing
  • The movement of information technology within and across national borders
  • The convergence and/or divergence of disciplinary perspectives in the history of computing and information


Preliminary Schedule: SHOT-SIGCIS Workshop

June 26. 2016


“Convergence and Divergence”


9:00-10:30: All SIG Plenary - Ngee Ann Kong Si Auditorium, Education Resource Centre


11:00-11:15: SIGCIS 2016 Welcome

Jason Gallo, Science and Technology Policy Institute, USA and Ramesh Subramanian, Quinnipiac University & Yale University, USA


11:15-12:00: Keynote Address

(Speaker TBA)


12:00-1:30: Lunch - U Town Food Court


1:30-3:00: Session 1

A.      Usage and Representation - Seminar Room 2, Education Resource Centre

Chair & Commentator: Thomas Haigh (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA)

  • Art, Maths, Electronics and Micros: Convergence and divergence in the work of Stan Ostoja-Kotkowski. Presenter: Melanie Swalwell (Flinders University, Australia) Co-author: Maria Garda (University of Lódz, Poland).
  • Feeling Machines & Model Humans: The Genesis of Emotional Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), 1975-1985. Presenter: Luke Stark (New York University, USA
  • When Physicists Meet Microprocessors: Professional Scientific Hackers at the Dawn of the Micro Era in France. Presenter: Loïc Petitgirard (Conservatoire national des arts et métiers, France)

B.       Data and Policy - Seminar Room 3, Education Resource Centre

Chair & Commentator: (TBA)

  • Local Data, Local Users: A Case Study in Data Visualization for Computer History with Softalk Magazine. Presenters: Laine Nooney (Georgia Tech, USA) and Kevin Driscoll (Microsoft Research, USA)
  • From Computing Clerks to Androids – A Tentative Archaeology of ‘Data’ in India. Presenter: Sandeep Mertia (Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, India)
  • Opening the CryptoDB Vault to Map Convergence and Divergence in Cryptologic Research. Presenter: Niranjan Sivakumar (Sciences Po Medialab, France)
  • Social capital and ICT: an historical analysis of regional policy initiatives in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Presenter: Janet Toland (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand). Co-author: William Tibben (University of Wollongong, Australia).


3:00-3:30: Break


3:30-5:00: Session 2

A.      Cybersecurity: Genealogies and Practices - Seminar Room 2, Education Resource Centre

Chair & Commentator: Quinn DuPont (University of Toronto, Canada)

  • Measuring Computer Security. Presenter: Rebecca Slayton (Cornell University, USA)
  • Historical Consciousness of Cybersecurity in India. Presenter: Ramesh Subramanian (Quinnipiac University & Yale University, USA)
  • Political and Sociocultural Formation of Cybersecurity Policy in the US, EU, and China. Presenter: Morten Bay (UCLA, USA)

B.       Works in Progress - Seminar Room 3, Education Resource Centre

Chair & Commentator: Melanie Swalwell (Flinders University, Australia)

  • Assembling peripherics. Networks of exchange and Colombian technoculture in the 1980s. Presenter: Fabian Prieto-Nanez (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA)
  • A Body in Motion: A History of Human Modeling for Computer Graphics and Animation, 1960s-1980s. Presenter: Alana Staiti (Cornell University, USA)
  • Beyond “The Imitation Game”: Flowers, Tutte, Turing, and the Automation of Logic. Presenter: Thomas Haigh (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA)


6:00: Meet for Dinner