#Priyank Chandra

Who I Am:

I am a doctoral candidate in the School of Information at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. I hold a MS in Economics and a BE in Electronics Engineering with prior experience in education research and data analytics. I work at the intersection of development studies and technology and am advised by Prof. Joyojeet Pal. I am also currently on the job market.

Amongst other stuff, I love the following in no specific order - science, computer games, Doctor Who, mythology, cataloguing music, Carl Sagan, evolution, technology, dragons, Wong Kar-Wai, football, and Douglas Adams.

What Do I Do:

As an HCI/UX/ICTD researcher, my research critically analyzes the entry of digital technologies in the Global South, how they are integrated into everyday life, and their impact on local communities. My research is interdisciplinary, influenced by theories and concepts from development studies, STS, sociology, and institutional analysis, and existing socio-technical research drawn from HCI and information studies.

In my dissertation thesis, I examine traditional semi-formal marketplaces and the high-profile entry of online marketplaces (or e-commerce companies such as Amazon), along with digitization initiatives by local governments. My research captures these marketplaces in flux as local communities respond to the entry of new digital services and formal alternatives to traditional ways of shopping.

My broader research aims to bring attention to the importance of informality and its strength in creating resilient practices and communities. ‘Informality’ or the ‘informal economy’ makes up a significant proportion of economic life in the Global South. In recent times, the Global North has also seen a wave of informalization driven by the liberalization of labor markets and the digital revolution (for example, the unregulated sharing economy).

I work with a wide range of research methods. In my dissertation thesis, I selected a qualitative approach because unearthing hidden informal practices requires a sustained period in the field. In other research, I have engaged with mixed methods, such as an assessment of the social and economic impact of technology adoption with respect to people with disabilities, social media use by the politicians, and studying the impact of new digital technologies on local vendors in India.

Peer-reviewed Publications

  1. Chandra, P. & Chen J. (2019). Taming the Amazon: The Domestication of Online Shopping in India. In Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development. ACM.
  2. Gonawela, A., Pal, J., Thawani, U., Vlugt, V.V., Out, W., & Chandra, P. (2018) Attack or Insult: Populist Style and Antagonistic Messaging on Twitter of Donald Trump, Narendra Modi, Nigel Farage, and Geert Wilders. In Proceedings of the European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (ECSCW) (2018). Springer. link
  3. Chakraborty, S., Pal, J., Chandra, P., & Romero, D. (2018). Political Tweets and Mainstream News Impact in India: A Mixed Methods Investigation into Political Outreach. 1st ACM SIGCAS Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies (COMPASS 2018). link
  4. Pal, J., Chandra, P., et al. (2018). Digital payment and its discontents: Street shops and the Indian government’s push for cashless transactions, In Proceedings of the 2018 SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems. link
  5. Pal, J., Chandra, P., et al. (2017). Innuendo as Outreach: @narendramodi and the Use of Political Irony on Twitter. International Journal of Communication, 11, 22. Chicago. link
  6. Chandra, P. (2017). Informality and Invisibility – Traditional Technologies as Tools for Collaboration in an Informal Market, In Proceedings of the 2017 SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems (pp. 4765-4775). link
  7. Chandra, P., Ahmed, S.I., Pal, J. (2017). Market Practices and the Bazaar: Technology Consumption in Urban ICT Markets in the Global South, In Proceedings of the 2017 SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems (pp. 4741-4752). link
  8. Pal, J., Viswanathan, A., Chandra, P., et al. (2017). Choosing to adapt: Agency in technology adoption for mobile smartphone users in Bangalore, India, In Proceedings of the 2017 SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems (pp. 5929-5940). link
  9. Pal, J., Chandra, P., et al. (2016) An Accessibility Infrastructure for the Global South, in Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development. link
  10. Chandra, P. (2016). Order in the Warez, Scene: Explaining an Underground Virtual Community with the CPR Framework. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 372-383). ACM. link
  11. Pal, J., Chandra, P., & Vydiswaran, V. V. (2016). Twitter and the Rebranding of Narendra Modi. Economic & Political Weekly, 51(8), 53. link
  12. Pal, J., Youngman, M., O’Neill, T., Chandra, P., & Semushi, C. (2015). Gender and accessibility in Rwanda and Malawi. In Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (p. 5). ACM. link

Peer-reviewed Notes and Workshops

  1. Kameswarana, V., Marathe, M., & Chandra, P. (2018). Redefining the Landmark - Designing Navigation Tools for the Visually Impaired, at HCIxB, CHI 2018, Canada
  2. You, S. and Chandra, P. (2018). Integrating Autonomous Vehicles into Everyday Life : From Theory to Practice, at the Conference on Autonomous vehicles in society: Building a research agenda, USA
  3. Kameswarana, V., Marathe, M., Chandra, P., et al. (2017). Usability in the field: Reflections from an HCI4D project in rural West Bengal, at HCIxB, CHI 2017, USA
  4. Marathe, M., Chandra, P., et al. (2016) In search of missing pieces: A re-examination of trends in ICTD research, at ICTD 2016, Ann Arbor. link
  5. Chandra, P. (2016). Across the Borders of Legality: Leveraging Pirate Infrastructures, at HCI4D Across Borders, CHI 2016, USA
  6. Chandra, P., & Jones, J. (2015). Assistive technologies and autonomy in a cyborg world. In Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (p. 31). ACM. link

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