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[Commlist] CFP: Figurations: Persons In/Out of Data
Tue May 14 12:48:11 GMT 2019
*CFP: Figurations: Persons In/Out of Data Conference*
*16-17 December, 2019 *
*Goldsmiths, University of London*
*Abstract deadline:**July 1^st , 2019*.
Professor Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Simon Fraser University
Professor John Frow, The University of Sydney
Professor Susanne Kuechler, University College London
Professor AbdouMaliq Simone, The University of Sheffield
We’re drowning in an ocean of data, or so the saying goes. Data’s “big”:
there’s not only lots of it, but its volume has allowed for the
development of new, large-scale processing techniques. Our relationship
with governments, medical organisations, technology companies, the
education sector, and so on are increasingly informed by the data we
overtly or inadvertently provide when we use particular services. The
proverbial data deluge is large-scale—but it’s also personal.
Data increasingly characterises what it means to be a person in the
present. Data promises to personalise services to better meet our
individual needs. Data is often construed as a threat to our person(s).
Not every person predicated by data is predicted the same. The
intersection between data and person isn’t fixed: it has to be figured.
The aim of this conference is to bring together an interdisciplinary
group of researchers to explore how the person—or persons, plural—are
figured in/out of data. The figuration of a person might encompass any
or all of processes of representation, calculation, analogisation,
prediction, and conceptualisation. It cuts across multiple scales,
epistemological modes, and disciplinary areas of enquiry. It tackles
problems that cross into disparate disciplines. Our proposition is that
the conceptual language of ‘the figure’ and its variations—figuration,
figuring, to figure, and so on—can help us to apprehend what the person
is and how it is processed in the present.
We invite proposals for *20-minute presentations*that take up or respond
to the question of how the person is figured in/out of data. We are
interested in presentations that address the conceptual, methodological,
analytical and/or empirical challenge of figuring the person in the
present. Conversely, we are also interested in papers that take up the
concept of the figure—broadly construed—as an heuristic for producing
knowledge about the constitution of person(s) in the present.
Our proposition is deliberately interdisciplinary. We encourage
proposals from researchers working in disciplines for whom the figure is
central. These might include, but are not limited to: the social
sciences, art history, media studies, the medical humanities, literary
studies, philosophy, science and technology studies, urban studies, or
The themes that papers might address could include:
-The figuration of person or persons in/out of data;
-Techniques of personalisation and the figuration of the person or persons;
-Approaches that address the interrelation of visual, numerical,
statistical, metaphorical, and/or philosophical modes of figuring the
person or persons in the present;
-Conceptual languages for apprehending persons in relation to data—e.g.
the subject, identity, user, data double, individual, dividual, etc.;
-The relationship between collective categories and/or category
production—like persons, population, distributed reproduction,
homophily, etc.—and techniques of figuration;
-Figure as a concept for thinking gender in, e.g., science and
-The art-historical/psychological/media-theoretical concept of
“figure/ground” and persons/data;
-The relationship between visual and numerical modes of figuring and the
constitution of persons;
-Literary/linguistic uses of figuration in e.g. metaphor, analogy,
simile, the icon, etc. in relation to the person or persons and data;
-Figuration as a means of thinking the relationship between
image/text/number or media and code;
-Related concepts—like the diagram or pattern—as complements to or
substitutes for the figure;
-Conceptualising figuration in relation to resemblance, similarity,
seriality, difference, etc.
Please submit abstracts of *300 words*, including your institutional
affiliation(s) and a short biography (a line or two is fine) by
following this link and filling out the online form:
The deadline for abstract submissions is *July 1^st , 2019*.
If you have any enquiries, please direct them to *Scott Wark*at
(S.Wark /at/ Warwick.ac.uk) <mailto:(S.Wark /at/ Warwick.ac.uk)>.
/Figurations/is organised by the People Like You: Contemporary Figures
of Personalisation <https://peoplelikeyou.ac.uk/>project. People Like
You is a group of scientists, sociologists, anthropologists, and artists
who explore how personalisation actually works. We research
personalisation in four areas: personalised medicine and care; data
science; digital cultures; and interactive arts practices.
People Like You is funded by a Collaborative Award in the Medical
Humanities and Social Sciences from The Wellcome Trust, 2018-2022. It
involves researchers located at Goldsmiths College, University of
London; Imperial College London; and The University of Warwick.
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