CFP: Humanities and Technologies Association Annual Meeting (Nov 7 - 9, 2013)

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Humanities and Technology Association
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07 - 09 NOVEMBER 2013
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.

For the 2013 conference, proceedings or an edited volume with select papers will be published. In addition, it is planned that a special 2014 edition of the Humanities and Technology Review will deal with the topic of the premiere track for the conference, Humanism, Posthumanism, Transhumanism. We in particular encourage submissions to the conference that deal with this track.

HUMANISM, POSTHUMANISM, TRANSHUMANISM: Posthumanism is a disputed term. Some authors identify it with transhumanism (Francis Fukuyama). Others, leaning especially on Continental philosophers from Heidegger to Foucault to Deleuze, or biocentric movements related to Deep Ecology, view it as a quite contrary movement, one that radically relativizes the focus on the human subject and the role of human agency and human concerns (Cary Wolfe). Questions include whether in this latter guise it is a positive development that allows us to better deal with reality, whether, for example, it is just what is needed in light of our ecological crisis. Less positively, many wonder whether posthumanism of this form leads to the denigration of the human subject or the denial of the value of human agency. Relatedly, some question whether, in this guise, it parts ways with the Enlightenment project and in this way differentiates itself from transhumanism, which while embracing the technological enhancement of the human being, also continues the Enlightenment focus on science and many traditional Enlightenment values. Questions regarding transhumanism (or the transhumanist understanding of posthumanism) include what it implies about human nature, human dignity, human rights. Does it rest on a fundamentally flawed understanding of the self as disembodied (cp. Catherine Hayles)? Would future cyborgs be humans at all? Does respect for human dignity require that we not undertake such radical enhancements to human nature? If radical transhumanist enhancements do become possible, will there be rights to these? Who will have access to them? There are a plethora of further questions besides. Various humanists object to one or the other, or both, of these developments in some of the ways noted here. We especially encourage papers that examine the literature on posthumanism and transhumanism, and the humanist responses to these movements, or papers that examine the repercussions and possible applications of these forms of thought.

To allow for as broad of a range of scholars as possible, papers and panel suggestions that examine other issues in science and technology will also be arranged according to the following tracks:

PHILOSOPHICAL, POLITICAL, AND ETHICAL DIMENSIONS: topics will focus on how technology impacts the sense of being human; the environment; political participation and democratic governance; sustainability; power and global equality

TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIAL LIFE: topics will deal with questions such as: does technology enable new/destroy old forms of social life; advance/hinder gender equality; raise/diminish standards of living and economic well-being; suggest/force human adaptations to technological environments?

REPRESENTATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY: topic will treat the manifold interactions of art and technology; aesthetic and artistic accounts of and reactions to the destruction of old/creation of new technologies

TECHNOLOGY AND EDUCATION: topic will focus on the broader interface between technology and pedagogy; technology, education, and the classroom

Please submit an abstract (approximately 500 words) by 15 September 2013 to Evan Lampe ( or Darrell Arnold ( and state the track for which you are submitting your paper. Also, include basic biographical information such as your affiliated institution and your position at this institution. (Graduate students are welcome.)
You may also contact Darrell Arnold at 786 501-0840.