Call for Papers – The 17th Chinese Internet Research Conference

The 17th Chinese Internet Research Conference

 “Digital Cultures: Chinese Internet and Beyond”


28 June 2019, Friday


Co-organized by National University of Singapore &

Murdoch University, Singapore and Australia



The Department of Communications and New Media at the National University of Singapore, together with Murdoch University, Singapore and Australia, welcome scholars from all disciplinary backgrounds to the 17th annual Chinese Internet Research Conference (CIRC), to be held in Singapore on Friday, 28 June 2019.

The theme for CIRC 2019 is “Digital Cultures: Chinese Internet and Beyond”.

Papers or panel proposals that address the theme directly or broadly are welcome, as are presentations that are related to the economic, political, cultural, or social dimensions of internet use and digital cultures in China, as well as its reverberations beyond China. This means that presenters are encouraged to submit and share their research findings and ideas on the implications of digital cultures that are local, national, transnational, or global to China.

The Conference Theme

As the epitome of digital cultures, the Internet – and its concomitant technological spin-offs such as smartphones and other digital devices – is often attributed as the cause of rapid media, social, cultural and political developments in China. This is true not only in China, it is also true in every location that has embraced the Internet as a way of life.

Amidst the speed of change in the world of Chinese Internet, there is consensus that there has not been sufficient nor sustained scholarly efforts to examine how digital cultures have been impacted, not just in China, but beyond. After all, the Internet is by its very design global, even though it will always seek to maintain at the very least a semblance of national specificity and sovereignty.

To this end, CIRC 2019 proposes to interrogate questions around this theme – including inter alia:

  • What is the state of the Chinese Internet vis-à-vis the global digital culture?
  • What new forms of digital cultures have emerged in recent years? Do they replicate old cultural formations or are they new dynamics of communication?
  • How do digital cultures shape our sense of ‘cultural imaginaries’ or ‘collective consciousness’?
  • Have local and/or global Chinese identities been shored up or further contested with increased Internet engagement?
  • Are Chinese diasporic communities challenged or empowered by new forms of digital cultural use? Do they extend and/or accelerate established logics of social interactions, group affiliations, and governance?
  • How do national development policies on culture and digital innovation (e.g., China’s ‘Internet+’ policy) intersect with local/international efforts for digital collaboration?
  • What are the manifestation, organization, and efficacy of digitally enabled participatory culture?
  • How does popular culture interact with digital technologies to shape social relationship, value formation and changes, and collective actions?
  • What regulatory structures have emerged or leveraged to govern the Internet and digital cultures or the related practices?
  • How are traditional methods of Internet censorship and other gatekeeping functions relevant to regulating digital cultural use?

There are many other discourses that are worthy of further analyses. We invite contributors to CIRC 2019 to put these issues to the test not only in the Chinese contexts, but also beyond China, and to explore the idea of ‘digital cultures’ through both critical, theoretically-minded research and innovative empirical methods.

Paper and Panel Proposals

Proposals are invited for paper presentations or panels that address one or more of the questions raised above, as well as proposals related more generally to questions concerning the internet in the culturally Chinese world. This may include (but not limited to) topics such as:

  • The economic and financial aspects of Chinese Internet industry (including the online operation of news media)
  • The organizational culture and practice of Chinese Internet companies (including the onlne operation of news organizations)
  • The ethical challenges facing Chinese Internet
  • Social and political participation in Chinese digital networks, as well as limitations to such participation (e.g. access, digital divides, etc.)
  • Internet and digital media usage in different parts of the culturally Chinese world, e.g. mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, or overseas diasporic communities,
  • Internet politics and policies in the culturally Chinese world, including e-governance and cyber-security,
  • Digitally-enabled political activism and its limits,
  • Everyday use of networked technologies such as smartphones, tablets, Fitbits and other Geo-mobile devices in different social contexts,
  • The interaction between work and leisure on the Internet, as well as issues related to digital commerce and commercialization (e.g. when play and labour fuse into ‘playbour’),
  • China’s changing media environment in the face of microblogging and social chat (e.g. weibo and weixin),
  • Media convergence of different digital media technologies, formats, and genres on digital platforms,
  • Gaming and digital play,
  • Digital discourse and communication power in Chinese network society,
  • Media theory and digital methods in the Chinese context.

Proposals should be written in English. Abstracts for individual or co-authored papers should not exceed 400 words; while Panel proposals are limited to 1,000 words.


Proposals should be submitted by 1 February 2019 by email to:

The Organizing Committee will inform applicants of its decision by April 2019. Full versions of the accepted papers are to be submitted by 1 June 2019. Papers should not exceed 8,000 words, including notes and references, and should be sent to the organising committee via email.

Additional Information (preliminary):

Organising Committee:

Assoc Prof Zhang Weiyu (NUS)

Dr Tania Lim (Murdoch University, Singapore)

Assoc Prof Terence Lee (Murdoch University, Australia)


Location: TBD, Singapore

  • No registration fee for the conference will be required.
  • Participants will register in advance for the conference dinner [Price TBA].
  • The language of the conference will be English.
  • Open to the public, without fees, subject to registration in advance
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  1. Does the Conference still have session for best student paper award?

  2. Hello Qingyan, yes, best student paper award will be offered in 2019.

  3. Such marketing competitions are helpful in business development. There days in the luxury services industry competition is growing very strongly and even women oriented services like have sprung up in the interest of women empowerment and leisure.

    The coming days will see greater growth and gender equality.

  4. Will the accepted papers be published in the conference proceedings (with ISSN number) or any journal ?

  5. We expect a least one major journal special issue to emerge from the CIRC 2019 conference. Stay tuned for announcements!

  6. Hello Terence: May I ask when the conference will notify us about the accpetance of paper proposals?

    Many thanks !

  7. I believe that the notification will take place quite soon, likely within the next few weeks. My understanding is that a lot of work has been done in recent weeks, so stay tuned! 🙂

  8. Have the notifications be released?

  9. Hello TERENCE:

    May I ask how I could apply for the invitation letter? I need to make a off request from the school.

    Thank you ! Pey

  10. Hello PEY, May I invite you to write in to directly? Thank you!

  11. Many thanks for providing me the invitation letter.
    May I ask where TBD Singapore exactly is ?

  12. Sorry, I meant, is the technical programme released? I would like to make sure the exact location is for booking hotels.

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