5 de mayo de 2022

Call for Contributions - Technology and Language

The sixth issue of "Technology and Language" has now appeared, and withit a new call for contributions that appeals generally to philosophy and history of technology, linguistics and engineering education, literary scholars and art historians.


Guest-edited by CHENG Lin, "The Construction of the Robot in Language Culture" explores the history of a term that was introduced a little over 100 years ago by Czech author Karel Capek. Several papers analyze the pre-history and reception of the term that was simply translated as "worker" in Soviet Russia but became a new kind of thing, namelly a "robot" in many other languages. Two interviews with Japanese robotics engineer Hiroshi Ishiguro and with German philosopher Markus Gabriel follow up on a previous encounter of theirs. Mark Coeckelbergh's 2011 paper "You, robot: on the linguistic construction of artificial others” has prompted six responses and a reply to his critics by Mark Coeckelbergh.

Call for Contributions:

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? Any interdisciplinary exploration in English or Russian at the interface of technology and language is welcome. Other ongoing calls for forthcoming editions:
-- Instructions: Do technical processes unfold as instructed in that they execute a program or in that their parts perform prescribed motions? But what is a program anyhow, be it a computer program or the program of a musical concert or a wedding - or is the notion of ‚instruction‘ too narrow here? Can the blueprint for a device be compared to the notation of a choreography? Inversely, do technologies instruct the behavior of users in that they establish a script which users need to follow? - And what is instruction in the first place: Does the case, for example, of language instruction follow a technical paradigm as well? (Guest editors: Jens Geisse and Marcel Siegler)

-- Republication and critical discussion of Nicholas Berdyaev's 1933 essay "Humanity and the Machine" and related texts: Throughout the years and also most recently, the question of Russian vs. European thought has been at issue: How real or imagined, and how deep is this antagonism as it regards the development of technology? With Berdyaev, the Biocosmists, and others, this also concerns the philosophy of technology in ways that need to be understood.

-- Technologies in a Multilingual World: 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, makingand building, speaking, signing and writing? (Guest editors: Natascha Adamowsky and Fabio Grigenti)

Queries, suggestions, and submissions can be addressed to soctech@spbstu.ru or to Daria Bylieva and Alfred Nordmann.