What is Technology?

deadline for submissions: 
December 21, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
University of Oregon
contact email: 

Value • Velocity • Vortex
April 11-13, 2019

What is Technology? (2019) will examine the vortices of interaction among practical arts and tools, techniques and processes, moral knowledge and imagination to navigate our everchanging media/life/universe. In a broad sense, technology can be understood as methods of intelligent inquiry and problem-solving in all domains of human life. The conference-experience will enact a collaborative network of transdisciplinary research by cultivating communication as the heart of science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics, and environments.

The ninth annual What is…? will bring together natural and social scientists, scholars, government officials, industry professionals, artists and designers, as well as alumni, students, community organizations, and the public. We invite proposals for scholarly papers, panels, and installations on a wide variety of issues and topics. Please see whatis.uoregon.edu for additional details.

Proposals may address the following questions (as well as others):
• How are technologies and values related? What are velocities of technology (e.g., acceleration studies)?
• What are the forces of technology? Is there only one form of technology or different kinds?
• What are current approaches to the study of technologies? How is technology interpreted through various lenses (e.g. critical theory, cultural studies, eco-phenomenology, feminism, globalization, intersectionality, journalism, media studies, metamodernism, new materialism, political economy, posthumanism, rhetoric, semiotics, etc.)?
• What are philosophies of technology? Where do technology and ethics interface/interact?
• What is Science and Technology Studies (STS)? What are the Digital Humanities (DH)? What is the relationship between Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM), and communication/media/film studies, or other disciplines in the humanities (e.g. anthropology, archaeology, comparative literature, curatorial studies, library studies, psychology, sociology)? What is STEM+C (Computing), E-STEM (Environmental), or STEMM (Medicine)?
• How does technology relate to—or converge—music, art, design, architecture, and/or craft, e.g. STEAM (Arts)?
• How do technologies’ scale, pace, and pattern transform/limit their impact? What are techné and/or technics?
• What are immersive technologies (e.g. apps, Augmented/Virtual/Mixed Realities, IoT, gamification, etc.)?
• What are the implications of emerging technologies (e.g. AGI, creative coding, holography, information literacy, nano-bio-info-cogno, predictive analytics, regenerative medicine, risk analysis, robotics, 3D bio-printing, etc.)?
• How are the natural sciences and technology coming together (e.g. artificial biology, bioinspired design, biomimicry, data science, ecological system analysis, environmental analysis, etc.)? Is biology itself technology?
• How do technologies obscure and/or highlight issues of gender, race, class, and/or indigeneity? What are indigenous knowledge and technologies? What is emerging research on equity, access, and learning?
• What are the positive/negative consequences of media technologies for the public interest?
• What relationships are there between technology and warfare, innovation and defense, etc.? What are emerging discourses of cyberinfrastructure, cyberlearning, cybertraining, or cybersecurity, etc.?
• How is technology related to disability studies, accessibility/alter-abled education, accessible/assistive technologies, and mobility? How does technology relate to birth/life/aging/death, and/or contemplation/well-being?
• What are technological determinism, technological realism, and technological humanism? technophilia versus technophobia, technological utopianism versus dystopianism, and/or technological singularity versus multiplicity?
• How is collective intelligence, and/or collective wisdom, engaging and/or changing our lives?
• How might technologies contribute to socio-technical community resilience and/or thriving communities?

Send 150–200 word abstracts for papers, panels, or installations by DECEMBER 21, 2018, to:
Janet Wasko • jwasko@uoregon.edu
University of Oregon • Eugene, Oregon • 97403-1275 • USA