Gender Through Technology

deadline for submissions: 
September 25, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Variations - The Literary Journal at the University of Zurich
contact email: 

The interplay between technology, gender and culture has attracted increasing interest over the past years. It has been the subject of intermedial approaches, ranging from gender-specific explorations of literary discourses on technology to film and cultural analyses.

The continuing technologization and digitalization not only influences relationships of power and gender, as the sociologist Judy Wacjman explains; instead, there is a reciprocal relationship between technology and gender, wherein the former is both source and consequence of gender relations.¹On the one hand, entirely new types of jobs were created in the early 20th century based on technological advancements, such as the shorthand typist, the secretary, and the switchboard operator; these jobs were gendered as they were usually filled by women. On the other hand, there is a gendering of technological artifacts, as when digital operating systems such as “Siri” or “Alexa” speak with female voices.

Gender is thus not bodied or original, but, following Michel Foucault and Teresa de Lauretis, both product and process of social technologies.²

The special issue “Gender through Technology” of the comparative journal variations focuses on the relevance of gender identity and stereotypes in the discourse of technology; film and literary analyses as well as cultural analyses are welcome. Abstracts (300-400 words) in English, German and French must be sent in by September 15th, 2021. The finished contributions of 10 - 15 pages are expected in a second step by the beginning of 2022.

Topics include, but are not restricted to:

  • Cyberfeminism, Glitch Feminism

  • Visions of the future in literature and film (dystopian and utopian technologies), science fiction, video installations, etc.

  • Language and voice (e.g., virtual assistants)

  • Virtual bodies/body models

  • Intersectionality: gender, race, and technology

  • Space/architecture

Abstracts: September 25th, 2021


Peer review: All contributions are assessed using a double-blind peer review

Publisher:   Winter Verlag (Heidelberg)


¹ Judy Wajcman: TechnoFeminism. Polity Press: Cambridge 2004, S. 7.
² Teresa de Lauretis: Die Technologie des Geschlechts. In: Medien & Gender Reader. Hrsg.: Kathrin Peters, Andrea Seier, diaphanes: Zürich-Berlin 2016, p. 453 - 473.