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Humanist Archives: Jan. 16, 2023, 7:16 a.m. Humanist 36.342 - pubs & cfp: models and metaphors, technology & language

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 36, No. 342.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
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        Date: 2023-01-16 06:55:45+00:00
        From: Alfred Nordmann <alfrednordmann@GMX.DE>
        Subject: Calls for Contribution - Metaphors of the Mind and other calls (Technology and Language)

The ninth issue of "Technology and Language" has appeared, and with it a
new call for contributions that appeals primarily to the study of
computer metaphors, philosophy of mind, histories of cognitive science
and technology, modelling practices.

The current issue “Mimesis and Composition” presents a collection of
papers associated with the Padova Summer School on Philosophy and
Cultural Studies of Technology (Natascha Adamowsky and Fabio Grigenti,
guest editors). It includes several explorations of the relation of
technology and magic e.g. in regard to charismatic research programs
(Mareike Smolka), on the mythical aura of the digital (Benedetta
Milani), on New Phenomenology, sound, and atmospheric art and technology
(Irina Oznobikhina). Natascha Adamowsky contributes a paper on play as a
mode of experimentally exploring the world, others are dedicated to
Santa Claus, Walter Benjamin, urban smellwalks, and the technical
performance of magic. The issue concludes with a pair of papers on
biomimesis and principles of composition, biorobots and gardenworks
(Astrid Schwarz and Marco Tamborini).

New Call for Contributions:

“Computational Models and Metaphors of the Mind” (Deadline: September 5,
2023) Is the meaning of a text accessible to machine learning? Questions
like these have become ever more puzzling. Mind, behavior, and machine
are configured differently at different times, in different research
programs. This concerns questions of intelligence, technology, and
language: What is consciousness, is it possible to artificially
reproduce it? What is a language in terms of information theory and data
models? Can a language be expressive without ontology or semantics? How
significant are shared features of brains and computers – e.g. neural
networks, and how significant are the differences between human and
machine intelligence – e.g. conceptual vs. statistical thinking? (guest
editor: Pavel Baryshnikov)

Other open calls: „Mythologies. The Spirit of Technology in its Cultural
Context“ (Deadline March 15, 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

”Future Writing“ (Deadline: June 5, 2023): Starting from a Derridean
grammatological review of the act of writing today, this special issue
invites us to consider writing-the-future along with the
future-of-writing. While most science fiction and utopian texts
typically query the future, some also develop symbols and codes,
technologies of writing, a whole new language. The question is framed by
our contemporary experience: Writing and the memory of the hand are
becoming obsolete by way of typing and other technical proxies. At the
same time, Chinese, Arabic, Roman typographies assume a new visuality
and transformative power that veers toward the asemic, reminding us of
enactment and embodiment in the digital world. Emancipated from the
demand for readability, they re-claim the value of an a-synchronized
togetherness – a technical as well as aesthetic value. (Guest editors:
Dajuin Yao and Nikita Lin, originating from an intermedia investigative
project by Dajuin Yao and the Open Media Lab at the School of Intermedia
Art, China Academy of Art)

Beyond the special topic, any submitted paper and interdisciplinary
exploration at the interface of technology and language is always
welcome. The next deadline for submitted papers in English or Russian is
Feb 1, 2023 - these may include issues of science and fiction, the
literary and artistic treatment of technological catastrophes, the
languages of tastes and smells. Always welcome are contributions 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 (

Alfred Nordmann
Professor em. Institut für Philosophie, TU Darmstadt

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