International Conference. INTERFACES: Representing Human and Environmental Vulnerability in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

deadline for submissions: 
December 20, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Research Group GRACO: Studies in Literature, Criticism and Culture (HUM676) and funded by the European Union and the Andalusian Government under Research Project “INTERFACES” (P20_00008)
contact email: 

University of Granada, Spain, 9-10 June 2022

Since the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center somberly inaugurated the new millennium, critical discourses on trauma, grieving and vulnerability have gained relevance in the academic sphere. The global dimension of these events was however based on their mediatic repercussion worldwide, rather than on the actual physical impact that they had on the world population. Throughout the following two decades of the twenty-first century, intersecting environmental, economic and technological developments into globalization are revealing a heightened awareness of a similarly global vulnerability that visibilize embodied forms of ongoing trauma, public grieving and structural oppression of precarious life forms and environmental conditions. These stand against the backdrop of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4th IR), which is ambiguously put forward as either the origin or solution of this situation. The last two years of SARS-CoV-2 global pandemic have intensified the interdependence of virtual connection and social alienation/exclusion relating techno-digital hyperconnectedness and embodied forms of existence, giving a new sense to the concept of "risk society" developed at the turn of the century (Beck 1992; Giddens 1998).

In this conference, we aim to identify and critically explore the forms of human and environmental vulnerabilities that are generated in the context of the 4th IR, including vulnerable forms of human and non-human intersubjectivity as online embodied (onlife) interfaces or "inforgs" (Maynard 2015), precarious life and working conditions resulting from the global dimension of the 4th IR, environmental forms of vulnerability in the 4th IR, the role of the pandemic in raising awareness about global vulnerability, or the hierarchical naturecultures (Haraway 2003) emerging from transhumanist ethics. This conference will focus on literary and filmic discourses that represent human and environmental vulnerabilities as the object of aesthetic spectacularization (Garland-Thomson 1997, 2017) in an information-saturated trade market, with special incidence on forms of human vulnerability based on economic and environmental precariousness (Butler 2004; 2009; Butler et al. 2016; Butler 2020) as well as disability. It will also explore the instrumentalization as a narrative prosthesis (Mitchell and Snyder 2000) of human and ecological vulnerability as in the construction of the transhumanist ideologies underlying most of 4th IR from a posthumanist critical perspective.

Suggested topics for papers might include but are not restricted to:
• COVID19: Grieving through The Great Reset
• Onlife Vulnerable Economies and Vulnerable Embodiments
• Narrative and Digital Prosthesis
• Glitch as vulnerability in Digital Compositions
• Vulnerable Naturecultures
• Online Exposure and Spectacular Vulnerabilities
• Global Economies and Environmental Precarity
• Neoliberal Economies and Digital Precarity
• Online Transparency as a form of political and subjective vulnerability
• Liquidity and Vulnerability
• New Human and Environmental Ontologies (bioart, biotechnologies, bioethics)
• Consumerist ethics: global food and information markets
• Gendered Inforgs
• Singularity and Difference
• New risk societies: threats to democracy, threats to intimacy
• Animal vulnerability

There will be two different participation modalities:
• On-site participation at the university of Granada with a 20-minute paper plus 10-minute discussion.
• Online participation: delegates will record their presentations and upload them to the conference website, where they will be available during the celebration of the conference.

Scholars interested can submit their proposals to the email address, specifying in the email subject: Interfaces Conference. Proposals in pdf format must include the following information: 1) tentative title, 2) abstract (400-500 words including works cited), 3) the participation modality (onsite or online), and 4) a bionote (maximum 200 words, including contact details, institutional affiliation, research interests and most relevant/recent publications). This document must be entitled with the scholar's surname and name. Example: Beck_Ulrick.pdf

• Abstract Submission: Dec 20, 2021
• Notification of Acceptance: Jan 31, 2022
Registration fees:
• Onsite: 100€
• Online 75€

This conference is organized by the Research Group GRACO: Studies in Literature, Criticism and Culture (HUM676) and funded by the European Union and the Andalusian Government under Research Project "INTERFACES" (P20_00008)