Technology Justice: The Theories and Practices of Freedom Conference CFP

Lindsay Balfour's picture
Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
April 1, 2022 to April 30, 2022
Location: 
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, Communication, Educational Technology, Social Sciences, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies

 Centre for Postdigital Cultures 2022 Conference

Technology Justice: The Theories and Practices of Freedom

June 16 and 17, Coventry University

 

The Centre for Postdigital Cultures (CPC) invites you to their annual conference, this year on the theme of ‘Technology Justice: The Theories and Practices of Freedom’. This event will take place at Coventry University over the course of two days, with keynote speakers, panel sessions, research showcases, and networking events. There will be limited remote and hybrid access for those who want to attend virtually, although we anticipate all panels and keynotes to be held in person.

Conference theme:

While the concept of liberation technology has often been defined by the opportunities for democracy enabled by Web 2.0 content creation, cyber utopias, social media and mobile tech, we are interested in thinking through liberation as both theory and practice, to open up a platform for interrogating, imagining, and doing together in a way that both resists injustice, but also calls forward new questions such as:

  • Which are/remain/will be the technologies of liberation?
  • What is/continues to be or will be freedom after and beyond 2020?
  • How could freedom or liberation be practiced and regenerated by the technical selves and collectives of the future?

 

While both liberation and, more importantly, freedom hold a philosophical framework based in the Eurocentric Enlightenment project, we are interested in discovering what lies beyond. In other words, and in the words of SA Smythe, “how do we think about technologies as various techniques, tools, or modalities for collective liberation?”[1] We take “technology” here to mean far more than the tools of electronic and digital life; technology is culture itself and rooted in the different matrices of knowledge humans develop about themselves, or what Michel Foucault identified as the technologies of production, signs, power, and the self.[2] Indeed, we are indebted to the genealogies of liberation espoused by Franz Fanon, Paolo Freire, Angela Davis and more, that neither begin nor end with the digital, but also consider more broadly the connections between racism; sexism, heterosexism, and cissexism; classism; ableism; capitalism, and other forms of injustice through which technology becomes the instrument of both oppression and resistance. At the same time, we are inspired to what Ashon Crawley calls “otherwise possibility,”[3] and the need to interrogate the determinisms that suggest technology is either entirely to blame, OR our last and best hope.

 

We welcome contributions that address both the possibilities and pitfalls of a postdigital justice paradigm, where the technologies of gender, race, care, surveillance, abolition and containment, humanitarianism, and community intersect and inform one another. Potential topics might include (but are not limited to):

  • polarization (of education/labour/healthcare)
  • acceleration of data-based capitalism and governance
  • technology and geopolitics
  • climate justice and just energetic transition
  • algorithmic bias and hegemony as barrier to justice
  • digital work and safety (ie. see https://hackinghustling.org/)
  • design justice, as a theory and practice that “centers engagement of communities in the design and development of technologies that impact them”[4]
  • alternative platforms and networks
  • data sovereignty
  • technology and (de)militarization

 

Submissions are welcomed both from individuals and for composed panels. Individual proposals will be curated into panels early on, in the hopes that panelists might begin to connect and discuss their respective contributions before the conference. We are interested in how the conference might bring together theorists and practitioners and especially welcome proposals from graduate students, artists, community workers, designers, activists, and academics of all kinds.

 

Please submit a 300 word abstract, artist statement, or portfolio, along with a 150 word bio to cpcconference@coventry.ac.uk by April 30, 2022.

 

For more information please contact cpcconference@coventry.ac.uk or visit our events and registration page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
[1]Technologies of Black Freedoms: Calling On Black Studies Scholars, with SA Smythe,” Beacons 15. (December 25, 2021). Available at: https://logicmag.io/beacons/technologies-of-black-freedoms-calling-on-black-studies-scholars-with-sa/

[2] Foucault, Michel. Technologies of the Self.” Lectures at University of Vermont Oct. 1982, in Technologies of the Self, 16-49. Univ. of Massachusets Press, 1988.

 [3]Technologies of Black Freedoms.”

[4] “Movement Strategy, Response & Resistance. Technologies for Liberation: Toward Abolitionist Futures. Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. 2020. https://www.astraeafoundation.org/FundAbolitionTech/movement/)

Contact Info: 

Lindsay Balfour