CFP: Humanities and Technology Association 2019: Technologies of the Everyday

Submission deadline: August 30, 2019

Conference date(s):
November 7, 2019 - November 9, 2019

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Conference Venue:

Missouri University of Science and Technology
Rolla, United States


We are happy to announce the call for papers for the 2019 annual Humanities and Technology Association Conference. The main theme for this year’s conference is Technologies of the Everyday.

We are, at this point, used to being told that we live in a “technological age,” and that it is crucial to reckon with the impact of this age on all aspects of our lives. But what is it that makes our age a technological one? 30 years ago, one might have thought of the emerging prevalence of computers for business and government, and 50 years ago the crowning achievement of the Atomic Age, the possibility of manned space travel, or the increasing range of nuclear technologies. Going back further one might have appealed to the infancy of telecommunications, or the rise of industrial machines. Indeed, technology has been part of every form of life, and every age has been “technological” in its way.

Arguably, what is distinctive about the present is the pervasiveness of technology in daily life. How much more do we communicate through the day through social media, and how much of the fabric of our digital lives is digital? How much of our employment is mediated by machines, in every sector? How much of our physical existence is maintained by complicated infrastructure and how much of what we do is under technological surveillance? At this year’s meeting, we want to explore further these modes of the “everydayness” of technology, and others beside.

We welcome papers that explore the relationship of technology and everyday life from perspectives across the humanities. Topics could include: the technological design of everyday life; the works of thinkers like Lewis Mumford and Langdon Winner on the way technologies shape our forms of life in democratic or authoritarian ways; the rise of surveillance capitalism, such as detailed in the recent work of Shoshana Zuboff; the concept and role of “maintenance” in science and technology; the digital transformation of communication; algorithms in everyday life; the social, ethical, or existential significance of “smart” devices, houses, cities, ubiquitous computing and ambient intelligence; the ramifications of artificial intelligence for human work, and the prospect of a “jobless future.” This list is, of course, not exhaustive.

Beyond the main conference theme, however, and to allow for as broad of a range of scholars as possible at the conference, papers and panel suggestions are also accepted that examine other vital issue areas at the juncture of technology and society, such as politics and social life, representations of technology, artificial intelligence, and technology and education. The Humanities and Technology Association is an interdisciplinary scholarly society that explores the impact of technology on human life from a broad range of perspectives. We welcome papers that investigate the cultural interaction of the humanities, science, engineering, and technology.

Special Call for Graduate and Undergraduate Research

The HTA also invites paper and panel proposals on relevant topics from graduate and undergraduate students. To encourage student research on issues at the intersection of the humanities and technology, the conference will feature a session dedicated to outstanding undergraduate scholarship. In addition to submitting a 500-word abstract, we ask that students indicate their undergraduate status and the name of a faculty sponsor who has overseen and approved their research. Panels of two or three students are especially encouraged.

Submission Information:

Please submit the following to by August 30,  2019:

  1. An anonymous abstract (of approximately 500 words).
  2. A brief cover page indicating the title, your name, and basic biographical information such as your affiliated institution, your position at this institution, and your contact information.

Graduate and undergraduate student submissions are welcome. Undergraduates are asked to list their faculty sponsor (as indicated above). Panel proposals of two or three presenters are also welcome. When submitting your abstract, panelists are asked to indicate the theme of their panel and their fellow panelist(s). Two person sessions will run 60 minutes and three person sessions will run 90 minutes. Presenters should therefore aim for 20-minute presentations that allow time for discussion afterwards.

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