Global Freedom of Expression


Call for Papers: Women in the Digital World

Women in the Digital World
April 16-17, 2020
Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs, New York

In recent years, awareness has grown about the place of women in the digital world. While social media has created spaces for women to find each other and unite against harassment and gender-based violence, it is also a contested site, with women often the victim of trolling and bullying. These topics merit further study and so the Technology, Media and Communications specialization at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (New York, US) and the Audencia Business School (Nantes-Paris, France) are pleased to announce a call for papers for a conference focusing on the relationship between women and digital media. We aim to bring together scholars and practitioners working on these subjects and hope to include cross-disciplinary panels and showcase research and case studies from around the world.

Possible topics might include but are not limited to:

  • Diversity online: gender differences in the use of digital media by women, differences and characteristics of online participation as well as how women are empowered or disempowered by the use of digital tools and social media;
  • The role of journalists within online and offline media outlets covering the situation of women
  • Discrimination online: e.g. how women are treated online, particular traits associated with the treatment of women online, the role of trolling, misogyny and threats of violence;
  • The lived experience of being a woman and/or person of color on social media platforms;
  • The role of international and national organizations, NGOs in fighting gender inequality;
  • Research on intimate partner relationships and how platforms are or are not protecting women from abuse and stalking online (e.g. cyber bullying, uncivil behavior as well as more extreme cases (suicides));
  • Ethics and the use of photography and images online;
  • Policies that can be implemented by government, platforms and users to improve the situation of women online.

We welcome proposals from journalists as well as academics from broad fields (journalism, media studies, communication, political science, psychology but also economics, behavioral economics, anthropology, sociology). We are also interested in case studies and the experiences of women online.

Anya Schiffrin, Director of the Technology, Media, and Communications specialization, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, US
Karolina Koc-Michalska, Associated Professor, Audencia Business School, France

Important information
Conference dates: April 16-17, 2020
Place: SIPA, Columbia University, New York
Deadline to submit abstract: December 1, 2019
Requirements: 500-word abstract and a short CV sent to
Information on accepted proposals: (around) January 15, 2020



Anya Schiffrin

Lecturer in Global Media, Innovation and Human Rights, Columbia University, USA
Director, Technology, Media, and Communications at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs