CFP: Intraconnectedness and World-making: Technologies, Bodies, Matters (Deadline 10 January 2022)

Paweł Piszczatowski Discussion

TRANSPOSITIONES. Journal for Transdisciplinary and Intermedial Culture Studies

Thematic focus of the 2nd issue: Intraconnectedness and World-making: Technologies, Bodies, Matters

In his 1978 book Nelson Goodman coined the term “worldmaking,” which was intended to highlight the fact that in the relationship of the “world” to its linguistic representations, for example in literature, more “worlds” are conceivable and “producible” than just the one known to us. For Goodman, such worldmaking is not just a question of the possible products of reality-forming imagination, but of performativity in the narrow sense, understood as the power of linguistic instruments of representation to actively shape the represented mode of being of things in the world. The new-materialistic approach to the potential for meaning of extra-human materiality and its multidimensional entanglements and the intraconnectedness of the categories of human and non-human, nature and culture, object and subject, passive and active, the measuring apparatus and what is to be measured, knowledge acquisition and knowledge production etc., shifts the concept of world-making into new perspectives of interpretation.

In the categories of Karen Barad’s “agential realism,” any intraconnection of the above-mentioned phenomena in the space of knowledge practices is a diffractive (re)configuration of the world: “[T]he point is not merely that know-ledge practices have material consequences but that practices of knowledge are specific material engagements that participate in (re)configuring the world. Which practices we enact matter – in both senses of the word. Making know-ledge is not simply about making facts but about making worlds […]” (Barad 2007). Thus, through their emphasis on the materiality of knowledge, Barad claims that world-making is akin to knowledge-making.

“World-making” gains a further specific expression in Donna Haraway’s concept of “worlding.” For example, in Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene from 2016 Haraway states: “It matters what matters we use to think other matters with; it matters what stories we tell to tell other stories with; it matters what knots knot knots, what thoughts think thoughts, what descriptions describe descriptions, what ties tie ties.” This is how she illustrates the intra-active entanglement of matter, substance, meaning, storytelling and thinking on the fundamental level of the polysemic linguistic tissue itself. The noun, which is simultaneously reflected in other parts of speech, opens up the semiotic space of “worlding,” a peculiar mixture of matter and meaning that dissolves the boundaries of familiar modes of being in space and time but also of being represented in language.

Based on the (posthumanist) models of “world-creation” outlined above, we invite contributions that address the following questions:

  • autoperformativity of knowledge production and its textual representations,
  • scientific knowledge models in the humanities,
  • anthropocentric and non-anthropocentric knowledge practices in the past and at present,
  • entanglement of the not-only-human world and technology,
  • animals and technologies / animals as technologies from a cultural-historical perspective,
  • literary utopias and dystopias,
  • technologization of the bodily,
  • material and (auto)poietic matter of body and gender,
  • body inscriptions and gender performances.

The editors would like to note that disciplinary and geographic-cultural diversity among contributors is among our priorities.

Proposals for contributions in German or English (max. 300 words) with title, abstract and short biographical details should be sent by January 10, 2022 to:

You will receive information about the acceptance or rejection of the proposal by January 15.

Deadline for submitting the completed manuscripts: March 31, 2022.

The issue is expected to be published in autumn 2022.

Publication languages: German and English.