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Message posted on 12/01/2022

Call for Contributions: Mimesis and Composition - Anthropological Perspectives on Technology and Art

The fifth issue of Technology and Language has now appeared, and with it a new call for contributions that appeals especially to philosophical anthropology, cultural studies, and the philosophy of technology. Individual papers and the whole issue are freely available:

Guest-edited by Alexander Nesterov and Anna Denima, "Technology as Language – Understanding Action in a Technical Condition" discusses how technology provides hermeneutic access and affords understanding for example of biocitizenship through genetic technology and language. Discussions include the grammar of behavior, Günther Anders' conception of promethean shame, and our understanding of language for human and machine neural networks. (Among the contributed papers, one concerns Derrida and the politics of usernames, another discusses the languages of mechanical engineering.)

New Call for Contributions:

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)

Beyond this special topic, /Technology and Language/ invites interdisciplinary explorations at the interface of technology and language - contributed papers in English or Russian are welcome at any time. Other open calls:

Robot Constructions (expressions of interest until January 31, 2022): The word "robot" is a Czech invention. As the word traveled to English speaking areas and from there to other languages and cultures, did the robot on this journey become something else? For robots and AI, more generally, we want to explore how they are imagined, defined, described, comprehended, constructed or even misunderstoodbefore and after they become a technological reality – how they are constituted in language, how cosmopolitan or intercultural they are. We are hoping for contributions from linguistics, philosophy, cultural and gender studies, history of technology, STS, and literature. (Guest editor: CHENG Lin)

Instructions (Deadline April 4, 2022): Do technical processes unfold as instructed in that they execute a program or in that their parts perform prescribed motions? But what is a program anyhow, be it a computer program or the program of a musical concert or a wedding - or is the notion of ‚instruction‘ too narrow here? Can the blueprint for a device be compared to the notation of a choreography? Inversely, do technologies instruct the behavior of users in that they establish a script which users need to follow? - And what is instruction in the first place: Does the case, for example, of language instruction follow a technical paradigm as well? (Guest editors: Jens Geisse and Marcel Siegler)

Technologies in a Multilingual World (Deadline July 5, 2022): 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. (Editors: Larissa Aronin, Daria Bylieva, and Alfred Nordmann)

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

-- Alfred Nordmann

  • Professor am Institut für Philosophie, TU Darmstadt Karolinenplatz 5, 64289 Darmstadt, Germany (mailing address) Glockenbau im Schloss S3|15 201 (physical address)
  • Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, University of South Carolina, USA
  • Guest Professor Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University
  • Book series
  • Journal Technology and Language
  • Yearbook Jahrbuch Technikphilosophie
  • IANUS-Verein für friedensorientierte Technikgestaltung
  • Homepage

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