Deadline Extended: Call for Papers — Blackboxed Futures: Multiple Temporalities of Algorithmic Technologies (Online Symposium)

deadline for submissions: 
February 25, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Higher School of Economics, Moscow

Algorithmic technologies are nowadays proliferating in various sectors of the economy and, more generally, in society. Yet, while their widespread development already occupies several areas of contemporary life, their material configuration often remains opaque and difficult to comprehend, especially when it comes to how algorithms shape the futures of people and societies at large. Often, algorithms and AI technologies are conceived by their users and creators as “magic” that is beyond comprehension — an understanding that has a range of political and cultural implications for society (Campolo & Crawford, 2020) and has been consequently recognized in the theorizations of economy and politics (Pignarre & Stengers, 2012). Questions of vital scholarly and political importance emerge – what future(s) do algorithmic technologies offer for society, who is included in them and left out, how they can be scrutinized and resisted? Do we witness a “temporal stasis in an age of automated media” (Andrejevic, Dencik & Trere, 2020) or a “speculative time-complex” (Avanessian & Malik, 2016)? 

In this symposium, we invite scholars from critical media, cultural, science and technology studies, as well as adjacent fields, to further reflect upon the imagined futures of algorithmic technologies and multiple temporalities enrolled in their continuous enactment. We suggest focusing on algorithmic temporalities by thinking of them both in terms of related discursive practices and issues of algorithmic design. Addressing both theoretical and empirical matters of algorithmic temporalities, this symposium aims to shed light on how our thinking about time vis-a-vis algorithmic technologies spreads — or meets resistance — in different social and political contexts. 

The symposium will take place online on March 19.  We invite papers that reflect (but are by no means limited) upon the following themes:

– discussions of multiple temporalities related to algorithmic technologies and the governance regimes of which they are a part of 

– grassroots and top-down imaginaries of futures as they pertain to the (mis)use of algorithms

– historical accounts exploring interconnections between time and algorithmic technologies

– political-economic accounts of temporal regimes associated with algorithmic technologies

– decolonial computation and decolonization of algorithms

– creative and speculative approaches seeking to address the issues of algorithmic futures

Please, send your abstracts (250-500 words) and a short bio to the following email: no later than February 25. The results of the selection process will be published on March 1.