Technology as marker of in/ex/seclusion

Call for submissions: Resisting a “Smartness” That Is All Over the Place: Technology as a Marker of In/Ex/Seclusion

Editor(s): Karin Hannes (KU Leuven) and Fred Truyen (KU Leuven)

Submission of Abstracts: 1-15 September 2022
Submission of Full Papers: 1-15 December 2022
Publication of the Issue: July 2023

We live in a societal realm where robotics and artificial intelligence are strongly reshaping our futures. The boundaries between (wo)mankind and machine are becoming increasingly blurred. Our phones are an extension of our hand, our computers have become the gatekeepers to significant others. Robots we are not—perhaps not yet. Desires, expectations and visions differ. Where would a detailed cartography of the individual and social impact of becoming (or already partly being or aspiring to be) a machine lead us? How do we imagine a future with, without or as part of the materiality that currently surrounds us? Who imagines what and how do the implicit world views as presented in fiction, fantasy and progressive research shape our future image?

We tremble, we hesitate, we struggle to make sense of belonging to the cloud and the tangibility of our private spaces. Perhaps we all fear the idea of the machines taking over, but the impact of this would be (and already is) unequally distributed in workspaces, schools and life more generally. The idea recasts our vision on what it means to be present as a human in a fast, increasingly digital environment, leaving some but not necessarily all behind. It reshapes our notion of what an identity is, or how particular identities embody themselves in their relation to others, humans and non-humans.

New complexities and assemblages challenge our thinking and actions. Who is in? Who is out? When does technology become a marker of inclusivity or exclusivity? Can it be both at the same time? Who is rewriting the discourse on inclusive societies? A new generation of digital natives sits on the forefront of decision-making. We adopt and adapt in the absence of clear alternatives. At the same time, we try to imagine what a playful fusion with technology would look like. Is a symbiotic relationship with non-humans possible? If so, how can we build an affirmative, pleasure-prone relationship with them for all?

We invite the scholarly community to help us think through the multiple challenges this rapid change will bring. Technological progress creates new possibilities. Alternatively, it might perhaps pose a danger to liberal democracy or reinstall undesirable exclusion mechanisms. Bring your stories about how humans materialize differently as a result of the discursive-material socio-technical realities they are part of. Increase our insight in how machines think, act, sympathize and socialize with privileged as well as non-privileged populations. Think techno-embodiment, self-design, artification, digi-bodiment, smart cities that empower rather than belittle humans. All humans. But equally, bring your evidence for when and how to resist a technological smartness that is all over the place, particularly when leaving some but not all behind.

Instructions for Authors:

Authors interested in submitting a paper for this issue are asked to consult the journal’s instructions for authors and submit their abstracts (maximum of 250 words, with a tentative title) through the abstracts system (here). When submitting their abstracts, authors are also asked to confirm that they are aware that Social Inclusion is an open access journal with a publishing fee if the article is accepted for publication after peer-review (corresponding authors affiliated with our institutional members do not incur this fee).

Open Access:

The journal has an article publication fee to cover its costs and guarantee that the article can be accessed free of charge by any reader, anywhere in the world, regardless of affiliation. We defend that authors should not have to personally pay this fee and advise them to check with their institutions if funds are available to cover open access publication fees. Institutions can also join Cogitatio’s Membership Program at a very affordable rate and enable all affiliated authors to publish without incurring any fees. Further information about the journal’s open access charges and institutional members can be found here.

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