Digital Cultures: Knowledge / Culture / Technology
Leuphana University of Lüneburg
19-22 September 2018, Lüneburg, Germany
The advent and ubiquity of digital media technologies precipitate a profound transformation of the spheres of knowledge and circuits of culture. Simultaneously, the background operation of digital systems in routines of daily life increasingly obscures the materiality and meaning of technologically induced change. Computational architectures of algorithmic governance prevail across a vast and differentiated range of institutional settings and organizational practices. Car assembly plants, warehousing, shipping ports, sensor cities, agriculture, government agencies, university campuses. These are just some of the infrastructural sites overseen by software operations designed to extract value, coordinate practices and manage populations in real-time. While Silicon Valley holds dominant sway over the design and production of the artefacts, practices and institutions that mark digital cultures, the architectures and infrastructures of its operations are continually rebuilt, hacked, broken and maintained within a proliferation of sites across the globe.
To analytically grasp the emerging transformations requires media and cultural studies to inquire into the epochal changes taking place with the proliferation of digital media technologies. While in many ways the digital turn has long been in process, its cultural features and effects are far from even or comprehensively known. Research needs to attend to the infrastructural and environmental registrations of the digital. Critical historiographies attend to the world-making capacities of digital cultures, situating the massive diversity of practices within specific technical systems, geocultural dynamics and geopolitical forces. At the same time the contemporaneity of digital cultures invites new methods that draw on digital media technologies as tools, and, more importantly, that engage the intersection between media technologies, cultural practices and institutional settings. New organizational forms in digital economies, new forms of association and sociality, and new subjectivizations generated from changing human-machine configurations are among the primary manifestations of the digital that challenge disciplinary capacities in terms of method. The empirics of the digital, in other words, signals a transversality at the level of disciplinarity, methods and knowledge production.
This conference brings together research concerned with studying digital cultures and the ways that digital media technologies transform contemporary culture, society and economy. The hosts specifically encourage approaches to digital cultures emerging from media and cultural theory, and transnational currents of communications, media and science and technology studies. We also explicitly invite researchers from digital humanities, digital anthropology, digital sociology, gender studies, postcolonial studies, urban studies, architecture, organization studies, environmental studies, geography and computer science to engage in this endeavor to develop a critical humanities and cultural studies alert to the operations, materialities and politics of digital cultures.
The conference will address and invites contributions to the following key themes which characterize the technological future-present:
Historiographies of Digital Cultures
Environmental Media, Media Ecologies and the Technosphere
Platforms, Commons and Organization
Biohacking, Quantification and Data Subjectivities
Digital Publics, Movements and Populisms
Contemporary Futures and Anticipatory Modelling
Submissions of individual contributions or plenaries (3-4 speakers/discussants) are invited addressing each or a cross-section of the themes, which will be complemented by a series of keynote speakers and three spotlight panels with invited speakers addressing key debates within and between these themes.
Deadline for submissions is 15 April 2018
See the conference site for submission details.