Writing the Internet: Internet Lore in Asia
Date : 08 Mar 2018 - 09 Mar 2018
Venue : Asia Research Institute, Seminar Room
AS8 #04-04
10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260

Organised by Asia Research Institute, supported by the Humanities and Social Sciences Seed Fund, National University of Singapore.

This workshop brings together scholars studying the Internet in Asia and globally to critique what it means to write the Internet. This could be interpreted in at least the following ways:

  1. What forms of writing make up the “front end” of the internet? How do different internet communities write themselves and their own histories, mythologies, and lore? How are stories remediated and reinvented online and what new forms of writing emerge through this process?
  2. What forms of writing make up the “back end” of the internet? How do programming languages, algorithms, technological infrastructure, protocols, and so on, shape internet communities?
  3. What does it mean for us, as scholars, to write the internet? What (new) methodologies are needed to do scholarship online and about the Internet? How should we communicate this scholarship to others given new methods of hosting and sharing information?

We take “digital folklore” and “Internet lore” to be key analytical terms in answering these questions. The term “lore”, in the digital realm, is used to refer to a (quasi-) fantastical background created by a user(s) (often syncretic and compiled from extant or re-purposed legend) or the attempt to create a ‘real’ history (Krzywinska, 2008). Internet lore is often more traceable than other forms of lore, in that records and caches of origin stories may still exist on the web. At the same time, it may be explicitly acknowledged to be artificial and recently invented, and even embraced as such.

The workshop proposes to challenge three assumptions about Internet lore:

  1. That there is a single, global, monolingual (English) Internet that acts as a homogenizing technology, always, or mostly, eradicating difference;
  2. That written work on the Internet merely transposes or digitizes offline genres rather than recreating written forms and creating new genres of writing; and
  3. That the connections between writing and the Internet end at the user interface. That they do not extend, for example, into the languages underpinning websites or complex competitive algorithms and automated systems.


Participation in the closed-door workshop is limited and with pre-registration.
If you are interested in attending this workshop, please write to Dr Eric Kerr at arietk@nus.edu.sg by 1 February.  


Workshop Convenors

Dr Eric Kerr, Asia Research Institute, and Tembusu College, NUS
Dr Connor Graham, Asia Research Institute, and Tembusu College, NUS


Co-curator | Dr Eric Kerr, Asia Research Institute, and Tembusu College, NUS
Co-curator and Dramaturge | Dr Nancy Mauro-Flude, Department of Communications and New Media, NUS