Women in the Digital World
April 7-8, 2022
Columbia University, New York

Women in the digital world is a conference organized jointly by:

  • The Technology, Media and Communications specialization at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in New York and 
  • Audencia Business School in Nantes-Paris

The aim of the conference is to bring together a diversified public of scholars and practitioners interested in the relationship between women and digital media. 

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 being the victims of trolling and bullying.

We invite submissions covering (but not limited to) these topics:

  • 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 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. 

Download Call for papers

Keynote Speaker

Emily Bell

Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia Journalism School

Emily Bell is founding director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism and a leading thinker, commentator and strategist on digital journalism. Established in 2010, the Tow Center has rapidly built an international reputation for research into the intersection of technology and journalism. The majority of Bell’s professional career was spent at Guardian News and Media in London working as an award winning writer and editor both in print and online. As editor-in-chief across Guardian websites and director of digital content for Guardian News and Media, Bell led the web team in pioneering live blogging, podcasting, multimedia formats, data and social media, making the Guardian an internationally awarded beacon of digital transformation. Emily continues to write a regular column for the Guardian and Columbia Journalism Review, and is a contributor to the New York Times, CNN, the BBC, and numerous other outlets. She lives in New York City with her husband and three sons.  

Keynote Speaker

Rana Foroohar

Rana Foroohar is Global Business Columnist and an Associate Editor at the Financial Times, based in New York. She is also CNN’s global economic analyst. Her book, “Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business” (Crown), about why the capital markets no longer support business, was shortlisted for the Financial Times McKinsey Book of the Year award in 2016. Her new book, “Don’t Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles – And All of Us,” about the 20 year rise of platform technology and how it has reshaped economics, politics, and society, is out November 5th, 2019.

Prior to joining the FT and CNN, Foroohar spent 6 years at TIME, as an assistant managing editor and economic columnist. She previously spent 13 years at Newsweek, as an economic and foreign affairs editor and a foreign correspondent covering Europe and the Middle East. During that time, she was awarded the German Marshall Fund’s Peter Weitz Prize for transatlantic reporting. She has also received awards and fellowships from institutions such as the Johns Hopkins School of International Affairs and the East West Center.  She is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations. 

Foroohar graduated in 1992 from Barnard College, Columbia University.  She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, the author John Sedgwick, and her two children. 

Karolina Koc-Michalska is a Professor at the Department of Communication & Culture at Audencia Business School (France) and Associate Researcher at Sciences-Po Paris.

She manages a large comparative studies in the UK, US and France concentrating on societal changes in the digitally advanced societies. She also ran longitudinal multi-panel studies in France (2009-2017). Prof Koc-Michalska runs comparative research projects in three languages: English, French and Polish. Her research concentrates on political participation, digital inequalities, and mobilization effects. She is involved in a study on political communication in 28 EU countries during the European Parliament elections (2009-2014-2019).

She is working on a large set of trace data from Facebook concentrating on communicational populism employed by political parties. She has published her research in peer-reviewed journal and edited several special issues dedicated to political engagement and communication (New Media and Society, Political Communication, Social Science Computer Review and Journal of Information Technology and Politics).

Anya Schiffrin is the director of the Technology, Media, and Communications specialization at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Her research includes investigative journalism in the Global South, African reporting on oil and mining, business sustainability for media startups in the Global South, and media trust and online disinformation. Schiffrin spent 10 years working overseas as a journalist in Europe and Asia and was a Knight-Bagehot Fellow at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 1999–2000. Schiffrin is on the Global Board of the Open Society Foundations and the advistory board of the Natural Resource Governance Institute and the American Assembly. Her most recent books are African Muckraking: 75 Years of African Investigative Journalism (Jacana 2017) and Global Muckraking: 100 Years of Investigative Reporting from Around the World (New Press, 2014).

Rachel Gibson, Professor Manchester University

Farai Chideya, Ford Foundation, Creativity and Free Expression team

Bruce Bimber, Professor, University California Santa Barbara

Efrat Nechushtai, Journalism School Columbia University

The participants are required to send a 500-word abstract and a short CV to womendigitalworld@gmail.com 

Important dates:

Deadline to submit abstract: December 1, 2019 

Information on accepted proposals: (around) January 15, 2020

Registration: 15th February


April 7-8, 2022. 

Travel grant:

One travel grant is offered to the Junior European Scholar for the submission of research within the European context