Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: April 7, 2021, 7:27 a.m. Humanist 34.316 - pubs: construction of the robot in language & other cfps

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 34, No. 316.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
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        Date: 2021-04-06 11:07:53+00:00
        From: Alfred Nordmann <nordmann@PHIL.TU-DARMSTADT.DE>
        Subject: Robot Constructions (Technology and Language Call for Contributions)

The second issue of Technology and Language has just appeared, and with
it a new call for contributions. Individual papers and the whole issue
are freely available:

"In the Beginning was the Word: The Word as a Technical Artefact"
features contributions from Irina Belyaeva, Chandrima Christiansen,
Christopher Coenen and Alexandra Kazakova, Thomas Froy, Tatiana
Kazarina, Ulrike Ramming, Walker Trimble, Viktoria Vorotnikova and
Sergey Karlin, and Joseph Wilson.

New Call for Contributions: The Construction of the Robot in Language
and Culture, guest editor: CHENG Lin (deadline: January 10, 2022)

The word "robot" is a Czech invention. As the word traveled to English
speaking areas and from there to other languages and cultures,  did the
robot on this journey become something else? Names and their etymology
inform the technological imagination and thus provide a cultural
framework for robotics research and development. Where did “robot” catch
on and how does it relate to other concepts of an automaton that
imitates humans, such as android, cyborg, Maschinenmensch, or "AI"? When
in the 1980s, it was found that the Chinese translation of “robot” was
not appropriate, this raises a question of right and wrong, of
understanding and misunderstanding robots. For robots and AI, more
generally, we want to explore how they are imagined, defined, described,
comprehended, constructed or even misunderstood  before and after they
become a technological reality – how they are constituted in language,
how cosmopolitan or intercultural they are. We are hoping for
contributions from linguistics, philosophy, cultural and gender studies,
history of technology, STS, and literature.

Technology and Language invites interdisciplinary explorations at the
interface of technology and language - contributed papers in English or
Russian are welcome at any time. Other calls:

Forensic Examinations - Terms and Techniques (expressions  of interest
until April 21st, 2021):

The topic of the special issue is forensic science which, historically,
is deeply associated with linguistic technologies. Forensics involves
the reading and interpretation of traces, and many early success-stories
of forensic expertise concern the identification of forgeries. In
today‘s forensic science, procedures and protocols establish the terms
of technical practice. Accordingly, innovations in forensic science can
be linguistic innovations, calling for the observation and analysis of
trends in the development of the language and practice of forensic
science. (Guest editors: Dmitriy Mokhorov and Anna Mokhorova)

Technology and the Media Environment of the Information Society
(Deadline: June 21st, 2021):

Social networks and communication systems, new modes of reading and
writing, the hybridization of symbolic codes stand for the disruptive
effects of digital and cyber-technologies on practices of communication
and expression not only in the internet but also in traditional media.
We invite contributions to interdisciplinary investigations of human and
social prospects, the past and future of language, in this technological
condition. Possible topics include 1) nudging, disinformation, and
technologies for the manipulation of behavior and consciousness in
digital environments, 2) the digital language of intelligent
environments, 3) information technologies in social engine eering
environments and technocracies, 4) cognitive technology and
sociolinguistic practice. (Guest editor: Olga Shipunova)

Technology as Language - Understanding Action in a Technical Condition
(Deadline: September 21st, 2021):

The philosophy of technology and language meets theories of action.
Actions are understood in reference to reasons and causes which are
formed in a social setting. The hermeneutics of action takes on a
further dimension, however, when technical agency and technological
activity are brought into play. Of particular interest are the symbols
and tools of labor as knowledge is translated into action. Another focus
is on technology and semiosis or the technical generation of the signs
and sign systems that structure and constrain action – especially
interesting and problematic in the age of self-learning technical
systems. (Guest editor: Alexander Nesterow)

Queries, suggestions, and submissions can be addressed to or to Daria Bylieva (  and
Alfred Nordmann (

Alfred Nordmann
Institut für Philosophie, Technische Universität Darmstadt

Daria Bylieva
Philosophy, Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University

Alfred Nordmann
* Professor am Institut für Philosophie, TU Darmstadt
Karolinenplatz 5, 64289 Darmstadt, Germany (mailing address)
Glockenbau im Schloss, S3|15 201 (physical address)
* Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, University of South Carolina, USA
* Book series

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