Diasporas on the Web: e-Diasporas Atlas Project

Date: Thursday 13th December

Time: 6-8 p.m.

Place: British Academy, Reading Room, 10 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y5AH

What kinds of diasporas are formed by connected migrants? Do the online networks woven by migrants scattered throughout the world, and the traces they leave on the Web, reveal traditional or novel functions of diasporas? Do these ’e-diasporas’ merely mirror physical diasporas, are they an extension to these diasporas, or do they generate new forms of communities? From a more general perspective, can they be considered as an echo-chamber of globalization – of a society which is itself a diaspora in the making? And how do digital methods help us to adopt a more reflexive stance on this phenomenon?

On this occasion, an event will be held at the British Academy in London, involving contributors as well as invited speakers, from 6 to 8 p.m on Thursday 13th December 2012. A cocktail reception will follow at 8 p.m. Researchers working on migrations and/or web studies and digital humanities will be welcome.

An overview of the e-Diasporas Atlas project will be given by its director, *Dana Diminescu*, and her research team. The Atlas is the first of its kind, introducing digital methods into diaspora and migration studies. Over 80 people worldwide were involved, including computer scientists and social science researchers from disciplines such as sociology, geography, anthropology, history. Some 8,000 websites were mapped, analysed and archived. Three articles included in this special issue of *Social Science
Information* will be presented by their authors, on topics ranging from cyber-Hindutva to transnational Tamil networks and networks of French colonial repatriates.

A discussion will then be chaired by *Myria Georgiou* (Dept. of Media and Communications, LSE). We are happy to announce the participation of *Robin Cohen* (author of Global Diasporas and former Director of the International Migration Institute, University of Oxford) and *Noortje Marres* (Senior lecturer in Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London), who will provide their invaluable expertise on these topics.

In addition, the next issue of *Social Science Information* will be devoted to “Diasporas on the Web”. The journal will publish a collection of articles presenting the main results of the *e-Diasporas Atlas* research project (www.e-diasporas.fr), developed within the ICT Migrations program (*Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme *and Telecom ParisTech, Paris).