A selection of my recent and past work is available here. My work is primarily in technology and development, specifically in the role of technology in greater accessibility for people with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries. I am currently also working on the role of social media in reshaping the political discourse in India.
Accessibility and ICTD
Accessibility and access to technology for people with disabilities has been an area of relatively less attention in the ICTD world, where marginality has typically been constructed around issues of professional profile, gender, and locational elements. My work on accessibility focuses on building individual narratives of people with disabilities, primarily vision impairments, to better understand the impacts that design decisions have on peoples’ lives. In my work, I argue that assistive technologies and accessibility inordinately impact the lives of women with disabilities, given gendered elements of restrictions on the economic and social opportunities for women with disabilities. From an ICTD perspective, my work explores the ways in which assistive technologies live up to their promise, given the social contexts they operate in.
- Pal, J., Viswanathan, A., Chandra, P., Nazareth, A. Kameshwaran, V., Subramonyam, H., Johri, A., Ackerman, M., O’Modhrain, S. (2017) “Agency in assistive technology adoption: Visual impairment and smartphone use in Bangalore” In Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM.
- Pal, J., Viswanathan, A., Johri, A. (2017) “Mediating Access: How Visually-Impaired Users Leverage Collaborative Learning to Keep Up with Mobile Phone Innovations” In Proceedings of the 2017 CSCL Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning. ACM.
- Pal, J., Chandra, P., O’Neill, T., Youngman, M., Jones, J., Song, J.H., Strayer, W. and Ferrari, L., (2016) “An Accessibility Infrastructure for the Global South.” In Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (p. 24). ACM.
- Pal, J., Viswanathan, A., and Song, J. (2016) “Smartphone adoption drivers and challenges in urban living: Cases from Seoul and Bangalore.” Proceedings of the 8th Indian Conference on Human Computer Interaction. ACM
- Pal, J., Huaita Alfaro, A., Ammari, T., Chhabra, S., Lakshmanan, M. (2015) “Representation, Access and Contestation: Facebook and Vision Impairment in Jordan, India, and Peru
.” Disability and the Global South, Vol.2, No. 3, 794-815
- Pal J., Youngman, M., O’Neill, T., Chandra, P., Semushi, C. (2015) “Gender and Accessibility in Rwanda and Malawi“, Proceedings of the Seventh Conference on Information and Communications Technology and Development, (ICTD 2015) Singapore, ACM
- Pal, J, Lakshmanan, M. (2014) “Mobile devices and weak ties: a study of vision impairments and workplace access in Bangalore” Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 1:9
- Pal, J., Alfaro, A. M. H., Ammari, T. W., & Chatterjee, S. (2015) ” A Capabilities View of Accessibility in Policy and Practice in Jordan and Peru” Review of Disability Studies, 10(3, 4)
Social Media and Politics in India
Social media is reframing elements of political discourse in India, with Narendra Modi now the second most followed elected official in the world, we are seeing a reframing of the ways in which political actors are branded in popular media. I am interested in the recreation of Narendra Modi’s popular image as a development leader, on the nature and spread of his online networks, and the composition of his Twitter messages.
- Pal, J., Chandra, P., & Vydiswaran, V. V. (2016) “Twitter and the Rebranding of Narendra Modi” Economic & Political Weekly, 51(8), 53.
- Pal, J., Gonawela, A. (2016) “Political Social Media in the Global South” In: Dwivedi Y. et al. (eds) Social Media: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. I3E 2016. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 9844.
- Pal, J. (2015) “Banalities Turned Viral: Narendra Modi and the Political Tweet” Television & New Media 1–10
- Pal, J. (2015) “@NarendraModi, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the brand” Kafila
Aspiration and ICTD
I am interested in the role of aspiration in individual and institutional interest around technology as a pathway to development. I have argued that technology and computing have come to be part of the aspirational frame of people in low- and middle-income countries because of a dominant media discourse of technology as being a means of bettering both the individual and the collective. We find this in India, where, for instance for several years there has been a popular expectation that the technology sector will a collective leapfrog for the regional aggregate, through examples such as the tech boom cities. On the individual level, we find a popular discourse of globe-trotting software engineer as an object of social aspiration, which permeates down from the upper to middle- and lower-middle classes.
- Pal, J., (2017) Chi4Good or Good4CHI (Alt-CHI) In Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM.
- Mudliar, P. Pal, J. (2015) ICTD in the Popular Press: Media Discourse Around Aakash, the “World’s Cheapest Tablet” ITID, Vol 11 (1)
- Pal, J. Ammari, T., Huaita Alfaro, A., Lakshmanan, M., Mahalingam, R. “Marginality, Aspiration and Accessibility in ICTD” ICTD2013, Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Information and Communications Technology and Development
- Pal, J. (2012). “The machine to aspire to: The computer in rural south India.” First Monday 17(2-6).
I am the researcher for the feature documentary “For the Love of a Man” which explores fandom related to the Tamil film star Rajnikanth. My interest in Tamil cinema extends to the ways in which the idea of foreignness and global aspiration are projected on screen. I am interested in on the ways technology – both computing artifacts and people who work in technology such as software engineers, and more specifically gendered aspects of technology work such as the depiction of female software engineers on screen. I am also interested in the way disability in portrayed in Indian cinema.
- Mudliar, P. Pal, J. (2015) “Watching from an Arm’s Length: The Foreign Hand in Tamil Cinema” Culture, Communication, and Critique, Vol 9. 3
- Pal, J. (2013). Physical Disability and Indian Cinema. Different Bodies: Essays on Disability in Film and Television, 109.
- Pal, Joyojeet. (2012) “Rajnikant’s Laptop: Computers and Development in Popular Indian Cinema.” Information Technologies & International Development 6(2) (2010): pp-39.
Other selected publications
- Hentschel, J. and Pal, J., 2015, May. Sada Vehra: a framework for crowdsourcing Punjabi language content. In Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (p. 41). ACM.
- Chirumamilla, P., Pal, J. “Play and power: a ludic design proposal for ICTD” ICTD2013, Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Information and Communications Technology and Development
- Mudliar, P., Pal, J. “Aakash: The Anatomy of a Computer” ICTD2013, Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Information and Communications Technology and Development
- Johri, A., & Pal, J. (2012). “Capable and convivial design (CCD): a framework for designing information and communication technologies for human development“.Information Technology for Development, 18(1), 61-75.
- Pal, J. and Lakshmanan, M. (2012) “The Culture of Workplace Visibility for People with Vision Impairments in Bangalore” ICIC ’12: Fourth International Conference on Intercultural Collaboration, May 23-24, 2012, Bangalore, India
- Pal, J., “Of mouse and men: Computers and geeks as cinematic icons in the age of ICTD“, iConference 2010, February 16, 2010 Urbana Champaign, Conference Proceedings
- Pal, J., Lakshmanan, M., Toyama, K. ‘My Child Will be Respected’: Parental Perspectives on Computers in Rural India” Information Society Frontiers, Vol 11 (2), March 2009
- Pal, J., Patra, R., Nedevschi, S., Pawar, U. “The Case of the Occasionally Cheap Computer: Low-cost Devices and Classrooms in the Developing World” ITID: Information Technology and International Development, MIT Press, April 2009
- Pawar, U. S., Pal, J., Gupta, R., & Toyama, K. (2007) “Multiple mice for retention tasks in disadvantaged schools” In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 1581-1590). ACM
- Pal, J., Pawar, U.S., Brewer, E., & Toyama, K (2006) “The case for multi-user design for computer aided learning in developing regions” In Proceedings of the 15th international conference on World Wide Web (pp. 781-789). ACM.
- Brewer, E, Demmer, M., Ho, M., Honicky, R., Pal, J., Plauche, M., Surana, S., “The challenges of technology research for developing regions.” (2006) Pervasive Computing, IEEE 5, no. 2: 15-23.
Brewer, E, Demmer, M., Du,B., Ho, M., Kam, M., Nedevschi, S., Pal, J., Patra, R., Surana, S., Fall, K., “The case for technology in developing regions.” (2005) Computer 38, no. 6: 25-38.
- Pal, Joyojeet “The Developmental Promise of Information and Communications Technology in India” Contemporary South Asia, Vol. 12(1) / March 2003, pp 103 – 119
- Pal, J. (2015) “Access Technologies and Accessibility for Inclusion” The International Encyclopedia of Digital Communication and Society, Mansell, R. and Ang, P. (eds). Wiley
- Pal, J (2013) “Assistive Technology for people with vision impairments: Engineering and workplace accommodation challenges for low-resource environments” in Heymann, J., M.A. Stein and G. Moreno (Eds.). Disability and Equity at Work (New York: Oxford University Press)
- Pal, J., Lakshmanan, M. (2013) “Mobiles as Primary AT in India” Symposium on Disability, Technology and Rehabilitation in Low and Middle Income Countries,
- McCarthy, E., Pal, J., Cutrell, E., (2013) “The “voice” has it: screen reader adoption and switching behavior among vision impaired persons in India” Assistive Technology, Vol 25, Issue 4
- Pal, J (2013) “Access Technologies and Accessibility in Low- and Middle-Income Countries” in Robin Mansell and Peng Hwa Ang (eds.) (2013) International Encyclopedia of Digital Communication and Society (Wiley-Blackwell)
- Chatterjee, S., Pal, J. (2013) CRPD Implementation and the outlook for accessibility and technology: A Study of India, Peru, Jordan, and the Philippines
- Pal, J. (2012). “The machine to aspire to: The computer in rural south India.” First Monday 17(2-6).
- Pal, J., Pradhan, M., Shah, M., & Babu, R. (2011) “Assistive Technology for vision-impairments: An agenda for the ICT4D community“, In Proceedings of the 20th international conference companion on World wide web (pp. 513-522). ACM.
Area Studies / Latin America
- Kumar, Priya, Maura Youngman, Sanjay Fernandes, Joyojeet Pal (2014) Cultura en un Mundo Conectado: Explorando el Trabajo de Observatorios Digitales, Report for the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Ministry of Information Technology (MinTIC), Government of Colombia. University of Michigan Ann Arbor. English version (Culture in a Connected World: Exploring the Work of Digital Observatories)
- Ludmila Ferrari, Edgar Nunez, Ingrid Sanchez Tapia, Joyojeet Pal (2013) Cultura Digital en Colombia, Report for the POETA program, Organization of American States (OAS). University of Michigan Ann Arbor
- Sydenham, K., Chatterjee, S., Pal, J. (2012) “Analyzing CRPD Implementations Across Industrialized and Developing Regions: An Examination of Argentina, Australia, El Salvador, Peru, Sweden and Tunisia” G3ict Report, May 2012
- Pal, J., Freistadt, J., Frix, M., & Neff, P. (2009). Technology for employability in Latin America: Research with at-risk youth and people with disabilities. Seattle: Technology & Social Change Group, University of Washington
- Frix, M., Freistadt, J., Neff, P., & Pal, J. (2009). New institutions and transformations: Computers and youth in low-income urban Guatemala and Brazil. 8th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children. Como, Italy, June 2009
- Freistadt, J., Pal, J., & Alves da Silva, R. (2009). ICT centers and the access gap to formal higher education for the poor in Brazil. Paper presented at the Community Informatics Conference 2009: Empowering communities: learning from community informatics practice. Prato, Italy, October 2009
- Pal, J., Young, M.(2013) “Middle class as a matter of values: Women’s Jobs in Popular Hindi TV & Cinema” ICA2013
- Mudliar, P., Pal, (2013) “Watching from an arm’s length: The “foreign” in Tamil cinema” ICA2013
- Pal, J (2012) “Laptop Ladies v/s Blackberry Babes: Women and technology in Nigerian and Tamil popular films” NorthQuad Lectures