Call for Contributions: Technology in National Contexts - Future and Past of Writing

The eighth issue of "Technology and Language" has appeared, and with it calls for contributions that appeal to cultural studies and the history and philosophy of technology.

The current issue is dedicated to Technologies in a Multilingual World. It begins with two perspectives on the multilingual condition - linguistics meets philosophy of technology. It includes papers about industrial sounds and the music of machines as well as  the languages of mathematics.

Calls for Contributions (deadlines March 5 and June 5, 2023):
„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)

”Future Writing“ (Deadline June 5, 2023) This special issue began with an intermedia investigative project by Dajuin Yao and the Open Media Lab, at the School of Intermedia Art, China Academy of Art. Starting from a Derridean grammatological review of the act of writing today, it 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 or 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, Nikita Lin)
Beyond the special topic, any submitted paper and interdisciplinary exploration at the interface of technology and language is 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 Alfred Nordmann, Department of Philosophy, Technical University of Darmstadt.