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[Commlist] CFP: ECREA Midterm Conference - Mediatization and Philosophy of Communication Sections
Tue Mar 19 18:45:51 GMT 2019
CFP: ECREA Midterm Conference - Mediatization and Philosophy of
*Call for Papers
ECREA Midterm Conference*
Organized by the ECREA Mediatization and Philosophy of Communication
“Datafication, Mediatization, and the Machine Age”
*University of Bonn, Germany*
*(Department of Media Studies)*
*November 1st – 2nd, 2019*
The rapid development of technologies in the last decades has undeniable
impacts on the social, cultural and political processes in contemporary
societies and on the everyday lives of their members. Digital platforms
became the new spaces of social action, and data has turned into a value
system of its own. These transformations, which in the framework of
mediatization theory have been described as a ‘metaprocess’ of social
change, may promise the increase of efficiency of human performance, but
they might as well mean a loss of control or a new landscape for work,
privacy or democracy, just to name some of the man contexts involved. No
doubt, these processes are in need of critical reflections on the
changing relationships between humans and technology.
Particularly two developments currently seem to characterize
mediatization processes: /Datafication/ and the introduction of
‘/digital machines/’ into everyday life.
Datafication understood as the process of translating information about
the social practices of individuals (such as everyday and private
communication or consumption) and institutional actors and organisations
(such as in politics, the world of work, commerce or the health system)
into digital data, refers to the comprehensive collection, storage,
archiving and use of digital data in all areas of society (micro, meso
and macro levels). As one of the central consequences of digitization,
the relevance of data archiving is therefore increasing in all areas and
poses major challenges, especially to democratically constituted,
liberal societies. Digitization and data archiving mark both a
technological and cultural change in society as a whole, the effects of
which will have a decisive influence not only on the future of democracy
but also on it. In the public discourse, contemporary diagnoses and, in
particular, prognoses for the future of democratic society usually
oscillate between optimistic-utopian perspectives on the one hand and
pessimistic-dystopian scenarios on the other.
As one of the most visible consequences of datafication, the role of the
‘machine’ has come into focus recently. It is not only the ubiquity of
algorithms and AI, it is as well the explosion of usage contexts for
robots, which far exceeds the long-known industrial robots. Even
considering that people's relationships to technology and to 'machines'
has always been ambivalent, the current development touches on new
limitations - machines stand for progress and threat alike. In the
course of human history, emotional charging, mythical exaggeration or
demonisation and the political interpretation of machines have almost
always accompanied the relationship to technological innovations. With
new machines like social robots or autonomous weapons, ethical conflicts
These often conflicting relationships between (wo)man and machines mark
leaps in the development of social change, since these conflicts
illustrate how people reorganize themselves around technology.
In view of the described massive technological changes, it becomes clear
that machines can no longer be reduced to a physical object, but can
also be program codes, algorithms or artificial intelligence. These
processes of change point to the necessity to detach the concept of the
machine from its materiality.
Such “invasion” of the machines at the very heart of the social invites
media scholars and philosophers to rethink and reconceptualize the core
elements the traditional social thought.
Hence, we invite papers to the following themes.
* Is the technologically permeated society qualitatively different
from its earlier forms?
* What are the principles of human-machine interaction?
* What is the nature of agency, is there any sense of applying this
concept to the functions performed by machines?
* Historical and recent perspectives on machines
* Datafication as mediatization
* Ethical and political perspectives on machines
* New understanding of the machine concept and artificial
intelligence, machine ethics, robot ethics,
* Politics, technology and equality, e.g. models of ‘digital feudalism’
* Images of machines in journalistic (mass) media
* Changes in society due to datafication
* The meaning of being human in the technologized society
Please note that we invite contributions in various formats, e.g.
workshops, panels and individual presentations.
* Proposals should consist of an abstract max. 500 words, not
* Please submit an abstract outlining the state of the study or
project, as well as the research question(s) or hypotheses, findings
* We also encourage submitting theoretical papers, work in progress,
e.g. new theoretical, methodological or didactic ideas.
* Presentations can be either short pitch/poster sessions or
traditional presentations (feel free to be creative).
* Panelsconsist of various presentations addressing a common topic
from different perspectives. Panels are scheduled for one hour,
including discussions. Panel proposals should include a description
of the topic and an overall panel goal, addressing the relevance of
the topic to the conference theme (400 words). The proposal should
also suggesta chair to serve as moderator and should include a short
abstract of each of the presentations (max. 200 words each).
Deadline for submissions: Saturday, June 15th, 2019
Official Website: www.ecrea-bonn2019.uni-bonn.de
Please include your author information (name, institution, contact) in
the accompanying e-mail.
Accepted presenters will be informed by 1st of August, 2019.
Please submit abstracts as anonymized word or pdf-documents to:
Prof. Dr. Caja Thimm
(thimm /at/ uni-bonn.de) <mailto:(thimm /at/ uni-bonn.de)> (thimm[at]uni-bonn.de)
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