[iDC] Introduction for Mobility Shifts

Nishant Shah itsnishant at gmail.com
Thu Jun 23 16:09:21 UTC 2011

Hello Everybody,
It is great to be a part of this group. I can see a lot of familiar names
that I have always wanted to meet, and a handful of people who I look
forward to meeting again. I completed my doctoral work from the Centre for
the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore where I worked on a thesis
titled "The Technosocial Subject: Cities, Cyberspaces and Cyborgs". It has
been an incredible journey for me so far, from the early days of University
rejections in India, where I was advised that the 'cyberspace' is 'too
flimsy' to be studied to extremely enriching fellowships in East Asia
(Taiwan and China) to now, where I co-founded my own research
organisation<http://www.cis-india.org>in 2008, as Director of

A lot of the ambitions and visions that the Centre for Internet and Society
has, draw from my own personal experiences and challenges as a research
student in South Asia, working in a field that still suffers from a paucity
of research and pedagogy. Some of the larger visions that we have are to
build localised, multidisciplinary research infrastructure which can
facilitate further research in the field of Internet and Society, to look at
questions of equity, justice and rights as they get mediated by digital
technologies, and to implement innovative pedagogic models towards an open
and accessible knowledge system. It sounds quite a mouthful, and as a young
research centre, we are still taking small steps towards actualising these
ideas, but they are dreams that drive us in new and often exciting

In the last two year, apart from managerial and programmatic commitments
aimed at incubating and facilitating new research within India, I have been
spear-heading a Knowledge Programme called "Digital Natives with a
research inquiry looks at the potentials and possibilities for social
transformation and public participation embedded in young peoples' use of
digital and Internet technologies in the emerging ICT societies of the
Global South. We have been interacting with young people from Asia, Africa
and Latin America to consolidate knowledge about how young people perceive
politics of change and their own role as change makers. The learnings
from these
interactions, <http://digitalnatives.in> with more than a 100 people who
identify themselves as digital natives along with a larger community of
actors who support, draw from, interact and work with digital natives, are
coming out in a book titled "Digital (alter)natives with a cause?" that is
being launched in mid-September. Which means that I might be actually able
to bring some copies with me to the Mobility Shifts workshop :)

At the workshop in NY, I am going to present some of the work we have done
with a complementary project called The Pathways Project, which actually
looks at digital outcasts and people who live on the fringes of digital and
online technologies. It is a project that seeks to reformulate young
peoples' notions of social justice by working with undergraduate students
who are identified, through affirmative action, as 'underprivileged.' The
project introduces them to different possibilities of digital and internet
activities and helps them implement their own visions of change towards
better articulation and awareness of 'social justice' within their peers as
well as external related communities. The project also asks questions about
the space of the classroom, the changing nature of students' expectations
and the role that mobile technologies of computing and information access
play in reformulating young students' interaction and engagement with larger
social and political movements in the country.

I shall stop here, before this email becomes a novella. I shall look forward
to learning more about other participants and the discussions that are going
to ensue.

Nishant Shah
Director (Research), Centre for Internet and Society,( www.cis-india.org )
Asia Awards Fellow, 2008-09
# 00-91-9740074884
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://mailman.thing.net/pipermail/idc/attachments/20110623/ab6a6c21/attachment.htm 

More information about the iDC mailing list