"The digital subject: memory, hypermnesia" November 13-15, 2012

full name / name of organization: 
University of Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis

Call for paper (modified)

International symposium: "The digital subject: memory, hypermnesia"

University of Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis, November 13-15, 2012

CONTACT: hypermnesia@univ-paris8.fr

Organizers :

Pierre Cassou-Noguès (Department of philosophy, LLCP, SPHERE, EA 4008)
Claire Larsonneur (Department of anglophone studies, Le Texte Étranger,
Arnaud Regnauld (Department of anglophone studies, CRLC – Research Center
on Literature and Cognition, EA1569)

Plenary lectures:
B. Croisile (Lyon), K. Hayles (Duke Univ.), L. H. Liu (Columbia), S.
Rettberg (Bergen), J.-M. Salanskis (Paris 10) and B. Stiegler

Today's digital technologies of inscription and preservation have
enabled the creation of substantial electronic archives and complex
databases while ushering in new ways of archiving knowledge exemplified by
collaborative encyclopedias. Such technical developments have
foreshadowed a radical reconfiguration of human relations to the world and
knowledge at large, and delineate a probable mutation in our
understanding of the human subject.

Hypermnesia, a recurrent motif in science fiction narratives, was
already prefigured in H. G. Wells' (World Brain, 1937) or Borges' works
("Funes el memorioso," 1944). From then on, the notion has migrated into
other literary genres, be they published in traditional print or in a
digital medium. Similarly, the possible externalization and extension of
memory is one of the cornerstones of contemporary philosophical theories
(such as that of the "extended mind") on both sides of the border
separating the analytical and continental schools of philosophy.

Right after the Second World War, machine memory, the thematization of
subjective memory in reference to computer memory, the potential
alteration of the very nature of human memory due to the development of
machines were recurrent issues in discussions pertaining to cybernetics
and they are still vivid in the contemporary diagnosis of posthumanism.

Of particular interest is the scope and typology of works featuring the
theme of hypermnesia, from fantasies of omnipotence to rewritings of the
Babel myth, to political, cultural and economic policy blueprints. This
call for papers invites contributions from various fields and
disciplines (the history of science and technology, literature,
philosophy among others) which question the theme of hypermnesia and
memory through the prism of the ambiguous relationship between man and
machine, in a historical as well as in a more contemporary perspective.

At the crossroads of philosophy, literature and the history of science and
technology, this symposium is part of a broader long-term project focusing
on the digital subject, a subject whose status and attributes appear to
have been altered by the real or fictional development of digital
calculating machines from Babbage to Internet.

The working languages will be French and English.

An abstract (less than 1000 words) and short CV should be submitted before
july 1st to hypermnesia@univ-paris8.fr

We will study the proposals during the summer and answer before 15th

This symposium hasreceived the support of the LABEX Arts-H2H scientific

Comité scientifique / Scientific committee :

Yves Abrioux (Université Paris 8)
Noelle Batt (Université Paris 8)
Maarten Bullynck (Université Paris 8)
Pierre Cassou-Noguès (Université Paris 8)
Claire Larsonneur (Université Paris 8)
Hélène Machinal (Université de Brest)
Arnaud Regnauld (Université Paris 8)
Mathieu Triclot (Université de Technologie de Belfort-Montbéliard)