Love and Digitization: Knowledge, Techniques, and Practices (NeMLA 2020, Boston)

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
NeMLA 2020

51st Northeast Modern Language Association Convention

March 5-8, 2020

This panel welcomes interdisciplinary work at the intersection of romantic love and digital technology in order to reflect about current cultural practices and knowledge production about love, intimacy, and relationships. Living in the “datafication of everything,” the current articulations of love and technology revolve around a concern for human communication, big data and dating apps, and the capitalization of intimacy and relationships both online and offline. This has prompted a return to love in recent scholarship (Gratske & Malinowska 2018, Mackinnon et al. 2018) that calls for a rethinking of the implications of these technologies regarding sociality and individual experiences of love.

Thus, the panel invites explorations of this reshaping of subjectivities when the “spaces, places, languages, and cultures” of and about love today have largely relocated to the online world. We suggest two main lines departing from the two more general approaches to love: 1) love as a philosophical concept, where we encourage reflections about ontological definitions of love in digital technology, its ethics, and aesthetics; and 2), love as a social and political practice, where we expect to think about how love practices emerge, transform, and circulate in neoliberal societies and algorithmic governance. Ultimately, the panel hopes to enrich ongoing critical concerns about love’s role in neoliberalism through datafication as well as to envision resilient practices of love and relationships within the conditions of being-with technology in our contemporary contexts.

Possible topics include:

· Critical paradigms of love and digitization

· Historicity and genealogies of love and technology

· Feminist, queer, anti-racist, disability approaches to love

· Love’s extended lexicon: intimacy, desire, romance, polyamory, affection, the erotic, sex

· Representations of love and digital technologies in popular culture, literature, and art

· Love and machines, robots, automation, AI

· Love as technology: sexuality, exploitation, labor, fantasy, vulnerability, objectification

· Digital love phenomena: swiping, matching, ghosting, orbiting


Please submit 300-word abstracts through NeMLA's direct link Create or log into your free NeMLA account to apply.

More info about NeMLA:

Please direct questions to Sandra Moyano at