CFP: Dialectic of Digital Culture

David Arditi's picture
Call for Papers
January 1, 2018 to March 1, 2018
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, Communication, Digital Humanities, Humanities, American History / Studies

Dialectic of Digital Culture


Deadline for abstracts: March 1, 2018

Editors: David Arditi and Jennifer Miller

Idealist thinking marked the development of the Internet and digital technologies, especially in the 1990s. Writers, both academic and popular, imagined a more democratic world where information would be unrestricted, communication would erase space, and technologies would free our time. In many ways, rhetoric about the Internet and other digital technologies parallel the uncritical hope many found in the technological inventions of the scientific revolution and philosophical edicts of the Enlightenment. In Dialectic of Enlightenment, Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer demonstrate that the exact developments in science and technology heralded by enlightenment thinkers as elevating freedom actually resulted in greater oppression of the masses.

Utopian (and dystopian) visions of technology surround us, but they tend to obscure more than they reveal. Nuanced accounts of existing digital phenomenon are necessary to identify the operations of power and complex cultural logics embedded in seemingly novel cultural texts and practices.

This edited collection aims to explore the contradictions of digital culture to provide the critical work necessary to understand the role of digital technology in contemporary society.

We seek theoretical engagements with the digital dialectic as well as case studies that explore the contradictions inherent in digital phenomena. Several contributors have been confirmed. Areas of scholarship currently underrepresented include (but are not limited to):

  • Net neutrality
  • Platforms – Amazon, Google, Apple, Spotify, etc.
  • Professionalization/Commodification of “amateur” culture (fanfiction, crafts, ext.)
  • Social Media
  • Political Organizing
  • Environmental Issues/Sustainability
  • Dark Web – Tor
  • Journalism (alternative facts; changes in print media)
  • Disability Cultures

Please submit a 300-500-word abstract and 200-word author bio by March 1, 2018 to Drafts of accepted chapters will be due August 1, 2018.