The first annual Summer Institute for Digital Empowerment

July 8-9, 2004, Syracuse, NY, USA
Deadline for paper abstracts: June 1, 2004

The Center for Digital Literacy (CDL) at Syracuse University is sponsoring its first annual Summer Institute for Digital Empowerment.

Deadline for paper abstracts (250 words maximum), presentation summaries, or panel proposals (using a submission form we will forward upon request) is Tuesday, June 1, 2004.

Please submit abstracts, summaries or proposals via e-mail to

The theme of this first Summer Institute for Digital Empowerment will be "The Internet and Democracy." It represents a continuation of the Media & American Democracy Institutes initiated in 2002 at Harvard, and continued as "The Media and Democracy in a Time of War" at Syracuse University.

The purpose of the Institute is to bring theory into close contact with practice concerning the use of the Internet for political engagement. Keynoters and presenters will be a mix of researchers and activists, scholars and grassroots organizers. Case studies will coexist with quantitative and qualitative studies. The goal is to arrive at a "toolkit" of useful, proven, and theoretically sound strategies for using the Internet for political engagement. And, of course, there will be ample networking with like-minded people from all over.

Local attendance will be limited to 150 community and political activists, teachers and students, academics, scholars, and other interested parties. Other attendees will join via Web links from Norway, Germany, and Ghana.

Papers, practice-based presentations, and panel proposals are sought with these basic themes:

  • Theme #1: The Phenomenon - The Internet, its growth, and its usefulness as a tool for social and political engagement
  • Theme #2: The Issues - The digital divide, digital literacy, Internet security, universal access and political engagement
  • Theme #3: Political Effects - The 'Net and political engagement
  • Theme #4: The Challenges - The 'Net and political institutions