Indiana University

Skip to:

  1. Search
  2. Breadcrumb Navigation
  3. Content
  4. Browse by Topic
  5. Services & Resources
  6. Additional Resources
  7. Multimedia News

Media Contacts

Joe Stuteville
IU Informatics

Last modified: Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Informatics conference to tackle global IT challenges

Feb. 8, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A noted Colombian anthropologist is among several experts who will share their views about the globalization of information and communications technologies at an upcoming conference hosted by the Indiana University School of Informatics.

Arturo Escobar, distinguished professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, is the keynote speaker at "Informatics Goes Global: Methods at a Crossroads," March 3-5.

Escobar and IU Interim Provost Michael A. McRobbie will speak at the opening plenary session on March 3 at 6 p.m. in Room 100, Psychology Building, 1101 E. 10th St. All other conference events will convene in Lindley Hall, Room 102.

"Dr. Escobar will describe specific place-based ICT practices of difference which, via politics, embrace the virtuality of current social and ecological life and also foster different approaches to globality," said informatics professor and conference organizer David Hakken. "Aiming at more desirable worlds, such practices can show us how informatics can escape the limits of its history, while they also help us separate more from less intelligent ways to talk about globalization."

McRobbie, interim provost for the Bloomington campus and IU vice president for academic affairs, will discuss how the university is responding to the challenge of globalization at the opening plenary session.

"Globalization presents powerful opportunities for Indiana University to play a key role in shaping the future," said McRobbie, who is also a professor of informatics. "With a world-class and highly integrated cyberinfrastructure supporting the university's mission, IU must capitalize on and leverage existing strengths in its international and intercultural dimensions in teaching, research and service to judiciously move forward its agenda for competing in the new global marketplace."

Among the other topics and issues to be covered in the conference's scientific program are rights and property in the digital era, funding global informatics research, and the global transfer of computing technology.

"This conference reflects the school's desire and goal to place itself at the forefront of international research in the new informatics approach to broadening the uses of information technology," said Hakken, a cultural anthropologist who recently returned from Malaysia where he studied open-source software development and advocacy. Hakken researches cyberspace issues and leads the School of Informatics' new globalization committee.

For more information or to register for the conference, go to

Other IU co-sponsors of the conference are the School of Informatics (IUPUI), the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Office of the Dean for International Programs, the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, the School of Library and Information Science, the Cultural Studies Program, the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, the Department of Anthropology, the East Asian Studies Center, the School of Education, the Russian and East European Institute, and the Institute for Development Strategies (School of Public and Environmental Affairs).

Informatics is an evolving field that studies and explains the impact of information technology and develops new uses for it in areas such as health, science, the arts, education, business and industry. The IU School of Informatics was established in 2000. It is the first and the largest of its kind in the nation, and has nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in programs in Bloomington, Indianapolis and South Bend.

To speak with David Hakken or Arturo Escobar, please contact Joe Stuteville at 812-856-3141 (office), 317-946-9930 (cell), or