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CFP: Prato Conference – Community Archives Meets Community Informatics

Call for papers and other submissions for the Prato Conference on Nexus, Confluence, and Difference: Community Archives Meets Community Informatics, to be held October 28-30in Prato, Italy. Submissions are due May 15th. The full CFP can be viewed on the Prato Conference Web site, and an excerpt is included below. Queries about the conference should be e-mailed to

Prato CIRN Conference

Oct 28-30 2013, Monash Centre, Prato Italy

Nexus, Confluence, and Difference: Community Archives meets Community Informatics

In 2013 the Prato Conference is being jointly organised by CIRN, the  Center for Information as Evidence, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and the Centre for Organisational and Social Informatics at Monash University. It will explore the rich synergy of experiences and viewpoints amongst Community Informatics and Community Archives researchers.

Community Informatics is primarily concerned with improving the wellbeing of people and their communities, through more effective use of ICTs. Community Informatics foregrounds social change and transformative action in emergent social-technical relationships rather than prediction and control. This orientation also has much in common with Development Informatics.

Community-centric archival research, education and practice are concerned with empowering communities in support of such desirable objectives as democracy, human and civil rights, self-determination, sustainable development, and social inclusion. Recordkeeping and archiving are fundamental infrastructural components supporting community information, self-knowledge and memory needs, thus contributing to resilient communities and cultures.

The 2012 Prato Conference was the first time that people from Community Informatics and Community Archives came together. Much of the research that CI people were reporting was of great interest to archivists because it addressed memory and identity infrastructures and how technologies can support them. New approaches to archival research, education and practice that support community-based scholarship provide an alternative lens for looking at Community Informatics research, education and practice. Community Informatics researchers gained new insights into the characteristics, motivations and interests of diverse, often underrepresented communities.

2012 Conference participants identified a strong nexus between the two areas of research in which closer interaction could result in significant support for each other’s activity. There also appears to be a strong alignment in values around the principles of transformative research, social justice, and giving voices to those who currently lack a voice.


Some topics to consider for conference papers, and presentations or special workshops:

  • How can Community Informatics and Community Archives inform each other?
  • How might such cross-fertilization or convergence (professional, practical, conceptual) be encouraged?
  • The dark side of community activity; dealing with suspicion, trauma, failure or hostility and their legacies.
  • How do we use and tell stories ethically and effectively?
  • Addressing incommensurability in community-based research.
  • Community-aware management, storage and ownership of community data and technology.
  • Participatory methodologies in Community Informatics and Community Archives research
  • The relationship of other frameworks such as Citizenship Journalism or Community-based research to Community Informatics and Community Archives
  • Working with the hard end of the Information Sciences.