Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: Aug. 8, 2022, 7:57 a.m. Humanist 36.122 - pubs & cfp: Technology & Language

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 36, No. 122.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
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        Date: 2022-08-07 19:40:32+00:00
        From: Alfred Nordmann <alfrednordmann@GMX.DE>
        Subject: Call for Contributions - Mythologies (Technology and Language)

Technology and Language 7:
Instructing Technology, Technological Instruction

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)
Guest editors: Coreen McGuire and Natalia Nikiforova)

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. 

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 August 15): 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? 

-- 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 or to Daria Bylieva ( and Alfred
Nordmann (

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