IS@Q is a venture in research networking based at Queen's
Our primary goal is to promote communication among people interested
in a broad range of social, political, economic, and cultural phenomena
which affect and/or which have been affected by the emergence and
spread of internet technology. Governments and businesses throughout
the world continue to expend enormous resources aimed at shaping the
character of the Internet and promoting it as the new "information
superhighway". We believe it is imperative that the Internet's
development and social importance be considered from standpoints that
move beyond purely instrumental concerns regarding this technology's
usefulness for the achievement of specific political and commercial
goals. The following questions are indicative of the types of issues
with which IS@Q is concerned:
- What are the prospects for e-democracy?
What is really involved in the digital divide?
Does online learning entail losses as well as gains?
Will m-commerce benefit more than the elite?
Are speed and acceleration today's replacement for utopia?
Are privacy and liberty compromised by Internet surveillance?
Does the Internet mitigate divisions of class, race, and gender?
Is 'code' truly a 'law' of cyberspace?
Do online networks represent true 'communities'?
IS@Q grew out of already existing research at Queen's
(Studies in Communication and Information Technologies, founded
1984), that found particular expression in a stimulating international
symposium held in May-June 2002, featuring Manuel Castells and others
in a debate called Network
Worlds: The Internet and Society. Faculty and graduate
students from the Departments of Film, Geography, Political Studies,
Sociology, Women's Studies, the Schools of Business, of Policy Studies
and of Computing, and the Faculties of Law and of Education were
IS@Q encourages collaborative and multi-disciplinary
research in Internet Studies through a seminar program, a speaker
series, and occasional workshops and symposia. It also fosters participation
in initiatives such as the Association
of Internet Researchers, whose annual conference was
held in Toronto in October 2003, and the Oxford
Internet Institute, with which we have faculty links.