A Special Issue of Interacting with Computers

Special Issue Editors

    Shaowen Bardzell (Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing)

    Elizabeth F. Churchill (Yahoo! Research)


Call for Papers

Portrayals of feminism, in politics, the media, and even in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) conferences, suggest that this household word is not always well understood. Academically, feminism is a subdomain of critical theory that integrates a collection of theories, analytical and interpretative methodologies, ethical values, and political positions, which have evolved over the past two centuries.

In recent years, HCI as a research discipline has expanded beyond preoccupations with how efficiently a system performs or how 'easy' it is to use; HCI researchers and practitioners are increasingly concerned with culture, society, and the experiential qualities of computing.

HCI as a discipline stands to benefit from a deeper engagement with feminist perspectives on the design, promotion, adoption and adaptation of interactive, computer-based technologies. Feminist theories and concepts offer reflective considerations of dominant and alternative epistemologies; offer ways to understand the constitution of gender and the self in everyday life; give us perspectives through which to investigate the indirect effects of design; consider emotional landscapes in design, including pleasure, desire, attraction, sentiment, anger, fear and resistance; address issues of power and agency in how technologies are adopted by us or imposed upon us, including engagement with issues such as
privacy, surveillance and gaze; study the adoption and adaptation of technologies in leisure activities such as crafts; consider issues in designing for homes, critically addressing the notion of "home" itself; and address broader issues such as embodiment, memory and performance.

The “Feminism and HCI: New Perspectives” Special Issue seeks to provide a forum for scholarly contributions and applications of feminism to the discipline of HCI. Though the topic of feminism has many inputs and applications, we confine our focus to the interaction design implications of this problem space. Specifically, we are concerned with the design and evaluation of interactive systems that are imbued with sensitivity to the central commitments of feminism—agency, fulfillment, identity and the self, equity, empowerment, diversity, and social justice. We also seek to improve our understanding of how gender identities and relations shape both the use of interactive technologies and their design. Additionally, feminist HCI entails critical perspectives that could help reveal unspoken values within HCI’s dominant research and design paradigms, and underpin the development of new approaches, methods and design variations.

We see the contribution of feminist theories and methods to HCI in the following ways and encourage submissions that address the following types of issues:

·      Fundamental and theoretical: how feminism critiques core operational concepts, assumptions, and epistemologies of the field, and what opportunities this critique opens up for the future

·      Methodological considerations: how feminism interacts with user research, iterative design, evaluation methodologies

·      User considerations: updating the notion of “the user” to reflect gender in a way that noticeably and directly affects design

·      Artifact considerations: critically examining how designs configure users’ femininity and masculinity—and what implications they bear for future design work

·      Your experiences: To what extent do you perceive feminist perspectives already informing your work in HCI? Do you sense that feminist perspectives are informing others’ work in the field? What current issues in HCI might benefit from the application of feminist perspectives?

All submissions need to be based on original research and will be subject to the full review process of Interacting with Computers.

Instructions for Authors

Authors are encouraged to submit a short abstract (300-500 words) and a tentative title prior to the full paper submission, by February 28, 2010, to Shaowen Bardzell (selu (at) indiana (dot) edu) and Elizabeth Churchill (churchill (at) acm (dot) org). Please feel free to send an inquiry prior to writing the abstract. Please put "IwC Feminism SI" in your email subject line. 

The deadline for the final full-paper submission is June 1, 2010. Manuscripts should be 5000-7500 words, prepared according to the IwC’s guide for authors and should be submitted online. Illustrations must be provided in separate .jpg or.gif files, and APA Publication Manual (not ACM or IEEE) style is used. Color is discouraged. The guide for authors and online submission are available at http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/525445/authorinstructions

If you are a first-time user of the journal's online submission tool, you will have to register yourself as an author on the system at http://ees.elsevier.com/iwc/

Potential authors should contact Shaowen Bardzell (selu (at) indiana (dot) edu) and Elizabeth Churchill (churchill (at) acm (dot) org) with any questions about the special issue. Please put "IwC Feminism SI" in your email subject line.

For information on Interacting with Computers, please see http://ees.elsevier.com/iwc/default.asp

Detailed timeline

  • Abstract submission (300-500 words) deadline: February 28, 2010
  • Full paper submission deadline: June 1, 2010
  • First-round reviews to authors: late August/early September, 2010
  • Revised papers due for final review and comments to authors: November 2010
  • Final papers due: Dec 15, 2010
  • Special issue publication: March, 2011