Message posted on 04/08/2022

Call for Contributions - Mythologies (Technology and Language)

                The seventh issue of "Technology and Language" has now appeared, and with it a
new call for contributions that appeals primarily to philosophy and cultural
studies, history and philosophy of technology, literary scholars and art

Guest-edited by Jens Geisse and Marcel Siegler, the current issue considers
various dimensions of “Instruction” – ranging from Reiner Hähnle’s
distinction between program and code in software engineering to Danka
Radjenovic’s Wittgensteinian distinction between “instructing in” an
“instructing to.” There are close observations of YouTube instructional
videos (Grom and Bytsan), of different notations for recording theatre and
dance (Danil Vyrypanov), of Bruno Latour’s visualization practice (ZHU
Yingyu), and of terminological dimensions (Irina Belyaeva). The collection is
rounded off by Regina Wuzella’s analysis of robotic grasping and the
challenge to instruct the machine to employ tacit knowledge. Submitted papers
include a contribution by Mark Coeckelbergh on the grammars of AI and a
hermeneutics of digital technologies, as well as a discussion of local-global
relations in a hyperconnected world (Irina Saltanovich).

New Call for Contributions:

„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)

Beyond the special topic, any submitted paper and interdisciplinary
exploration is welcome in English or Russian at the interface of technology
and language. Other ongoing calls for forthcoming issues:

-- „Technologies in a Multilingual World“ (short-term expressions of
interest until July 31): 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, making and building, speaking, signing
and writing? (Guest editors: Natascha Adamowsky and Fabio Grigenti)

-- 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?

Queries, suggestions, and submissions can be addressed to or
to Daria Bylieva ( and Alfred Nordmann

Alfred Nordmann
Institut für Philosophie, Technische Universität Darmstadt
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