[spsp-members] Call for Contributions - Mythologies (Technology and Language)

Alfred Nordmann nordmann at phil.tu-darmstadt.de
Thu Aug 4 21:37:54 UTC 2022

The seventh issue of "Technology and Language" has now appeared, and with it a new call for contributions that appeals primarily to philosophy and cultural studies, history and philosophy of technology, literary scholars and art historians.


Guest-edited by Jens Geisse and Marcel Siegler, the current issue considers various dimensions of “Instruction” – ranging from Reiner Hähnle’s distinction between program and code in software engineering to Danka Radjenovic’s Wittgensteinian distinction between “instructing in” an “instructing to.” There are close observations of YouTube instructional videos (Grom and Bytsan), of different notations for recording theatre and dance (Danil Vyrypanov), of Bruno Latour’s visualization practice (ZHU Yingyu), and of terminological dimensions (Irina Belyaeva). The collection is rounded off by Regina Wuzella’s analysis of robotic grasping and the challenge to instruct the machine to employ tacit knowledge. Submitted papers include a contribution by Mark Coeckelbergh on the grammars of AI and a hermeneutics of digital technologies, as well as a discussion of local-global relations in a hyperconnected world (Irina Saltanovich).

New Call for Contributions:
„Mythologies. The Spirit of Technology in its Cultural Context“ (Deadline March 5, 2023): This special issue is concerned with technological developments in relation to state sponsorship and how these implicate myths of progress. Simultaneously, we wish to explore how scholars have explored technological determinism and critiqued techno-cultural imaginaries of national destiny. By republishing Nichola Berdyaev’s 1933 essay “Humanity and the Machine” alongside new critical discussions, we hope to stimulate significant analysis of the modern myths of technology and transformations of humanity, treating technology in its broadest sense as including material, digital, medical devices and systems. Following on from Benjamin and Barthes, we would like to explore how myths of immortality, renewal, heroism and community coalesce around toys, plastics, and advertisements for the amenities of modern life. The different use of technologies in response to Covid 19 has amplified the difference of national attitudes in national contexts, raising anew “The Question concerning Technology” in Europe, Russia, China, or the United States. (Guest editors: Coreen McGuire and Natalia Nikiforova)

Beyond the special topic, any submitted paper and interdisciplinary exploration is welcome in English or Russian at the interface of technology and language. Other ongoing calls for forthcoming issues:

-- „Technologies in a Multilingual World“ (short-term expressions of interest until July 31): Technological creativity has been described as active adaptation to the world. What if this world is a multilingual world - an environment in which we are surrounded by a multiplicity of languages and codes, more than anyone can produce or understand but which have to be navigated nonetheless? Aside from all the „natural languages“ such as the many variants of spoken, written, or signed English and all the pidgins and local dialects, these include the language of the ticketing-machine as well as the language of powerpoint, the language of traffic signs as well as technologically enhanced communication means known as augmentative and alternative communication. 

-- „Mimesis and Composition - Anthropological Perspectives on Technology and Art“ (Deadline September 12, 2022): The making of a humanly built world involves many ways of weaving and drawing things together, of joining and splitting, molding and fitting. These invite perspectives from archaeology, cultural  and cognitive anthropology, history and philosophy of technology, art theory, media studies, and STS. Mimesis and composition are two, perhaps complementary principles of artful production in technology and the arts. Mimesis seeks patterns for imitation and repetition, creating affective routines somewhat as rituals or games do. Composition refers to a grammar of things. In painting and poetry, music and photography, in mechanical and software engineering composition appears inventive and “natural” at once as one finds the right way of putting things together. This complementarity can be discerned in processes or making and building but also in patterns of use and the linguistic production of representations. And when it is said that we became human by virtue of technology, what are the pertinent modes of production, what kinds of thinking and social practice is implicated in mimetic and compositional tinkering, making and building, speaking, signing and writing? (Guest editors: Natascha Adamowsky and Fabio Grigenti

-- The first issue of 2023 (Deadline January 5, 2023) will be an open issue and invites papers that expand the scope of topics to include issues of science and fiction, technologies of writing and printing, the literary and artistic treatment of technological catastrophes. Always invited are papers that explore the expressive qualities of technical design: how do prototypes as well as archaeological artefacts speak to us.

Queries, suggestions, and submissions can be addressed to soctech at spbstu.ru or to Daria Bylieva (bylieva_ds at spbstu.ru) and Alfred Nordmann (nordmann at phil.tu-darmstadt.de).

Alfred Nordmann
Institut für Philosophie, Technische Universität Darmstadt
for Technology & Language see also www.philosophie.tu-darmstadt.de/institut_phil/mitarbeiter_innen_phil/professoren/a_nordmann/forschung/technology_a
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