Reading the World Computer: Assessing Meaning Making and the Tell-Tale Gender of Artificial Intelligence

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
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Any philosophical consideration of the current zeitgeist requires an assessment of the quasi-object ( Latour 1993) constellation of Artificial Intelligence and its affordances without giving in to either knee-jerk optimism or unchanneled pessimism. For if doomsday was indeed near (as social media discourses want us to believe), and human labour progressively redundant to the machinations of human-made artificial intelligence, what is the limit case scenario, which makes such a provocation real, tangible and material beyond fatalistic projections of obsolescence? How does that reconfigure the idea of the Human as both the object and subject of cybernetic capital? Further building on Franco Berardi’s concept of the “semio-capital”, what are the projected signs and recombinant fractal logic necessary for the dissolution of an imagined quasi-collective body into the logic of neoliberal capital? What are, then, the different modes of extraction embedded in this continuous replication? What are the immanent possibilities emerging from such continuous iteration? If gender is a sociocultural translation of signs and objects with intended meaning-making possibilities, how do we read or mark the gender of Artificial Intelligence and its affordances without perpetuating a heteronormative view of the world? How can contemporary literary articulations produced in this context destabilize/resist the extractivist logic of neoliberal capital, which promotes the global North as the de facto head of the world? What is the place of emotionality and affect in AI and its affordances? Towards this end, this speculative panel welcomes propositions that think through the multiple possibilities, challenges and constellations afforded by AI through and with literature and visual culture.


Taking to heart Jameson’s clarion call to “Always Historicize!” this seminar is an invitation to retroactively historicize our arrival at the present moment. This seminar primarily thinks of the Computer and AI both as the subject and object of storytelling and is further invested in thinking about the technosocial aspects of the same from the point of view of human-non-human entanglements. Specifically interested in the idea of the human and general intellect, this panel is interested in thinking about possible reconfigurations in the present zeitgeist. I am further interested in the meaning-making possibilities afforded by literary and cinematic representations of Anthropocene time in the historical present, which is at once “now” and prescient of historical futurity. What are the gendered abstractions and material realizations of such an endeavour? This panel invites 350-500 words abstracts dealing with such questions, theories, and thought experiments across all genres, specifically focusing on global south literary production. 

Please contact Amrita De ( if you have any questions.