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Message posted on 15/01/2023

Call for Contributions - Metaphors of the Mind (Technology and Language)

The ninth issue of "Technology and Language" has appeared, and with it a new call for contributions that appeals primarily to the study of computer metaphors, philosophy of mind, histories of cognitive science and technology, modelling practices.

The current issue “Mimesis and Composition” presents a collection of papers associated with the Padova Summer School on Philosophy and Cultural Studies of Technology (Natascha Adamowsky and Fabio Grigenti, guest editors). It includes several explorations of the relation of technology and magic e.g. in regard to charismatic research programs (Mareike Smolka), on the mythical aura of the digital (Benedetta Milani), on New Phenomenology, sound, and atmospheric art and technology (Irina Oznobikhina). Natascha Adamowsky contributes a paper on play as a mode of experimentally exploring the world, others are dedicated to Santa Claus, Walter Benjamin, urban smellwalks, and the technical performance of magic. The issue concludes with a pair of papers on biomimesis and principles of composition, biorobots and gardenworks (Astrid Schwarz and Marco Tamborini).

New Call for Contributions:

“Computational Models and Metaphors of the Mind” (Deadline: September 5, 2023) Is the meaning of a text accessible to machine learning? Questions like these have become ever more puzzling. Mind, behavior, and machine are configured differently at different times, in different research programs. This concerns questions of intelligence, technology, and language: What is consciousness, is it possible to artificially reproduce it? What is a language in terms of information theory and data models? Can a language be expressive without ontology or semantics? How significant are shared features of brains and computers – e.g. neural networks, and how significant are the differences between human and machine intelligence – e.g. conceptual vs. statistical thinking? (guest editor: Pavel Baryshnikov)

Other open calls: „Mythologies. The Spirit of Technology in its Cultural Context“ (Deadline March 15, 2023): This special issue is concerned with technological developments in relation to state sponsorship and how these implicate myths of progress. Simultaneously, we wish to explore how scholars have explored technological determinism and critiqued techno-cultural imaginaries of national destiny. By republishing Nichola Berdyaev’s 1933 essay “Humanity and the Machine” alongside new critical discussions, we hope to stimulate significant analysis of the modern myths of technology and transformations of humanity, treating technology in its broadest sense as including material, digital, medical devices and systems. Following on from Benjamin and Barthes, we would like to explore how myths of immortality, renewal, heroism and community coalesce around toys, plastics, and advertisements for the amenities of modern life. The different use of technologies in response to Covid 19 has amplified the difference of national attitudes in national contexts, raising anew “The Question concerning Technology” in Europe, Russia, China, or the United States. (Guest editors: Coreen McGuire and Natalia Nikiforova)

”Future Writing“ (Deadline: June 5, 2023): Starting from a Derridean grammatological review of the act of writing today, this special issue invites us to consider writing-the-future along with the future-of-writing. While most science fiction and utopian texts typically query the future, some also develop symbols and codes, technologies of writing, a whole new language. The question is framed by our contemporary experience: Writing and the memory of the hand are becoming obsolete by way of typing and other technical proxies. At the same time, Chinese, Arabic, Roman typographies assume a new visuality and transformative power that veers toward the asemic, reminding us of enactment and embodiment in the digital world. Emancipated from the demand for readability, they re-claim the value of an a-synchronized togetherness – a technical as well as aesthetic value. (Guest editors: Dajuin Yao and Nikita Lin, originating from an intermedia investigative project by Dajuin Yao and the Open Media Lab at the School of Intermedia Art, China Academy of Art)

Beyond the special topic, any submitted paper and interdisciplinary exploration at the interface of technology and language is always welcome. The next deadline for submitted papers in English or Russian is Feb 1, 2023 - these may include issues of science and fiction, the literary and artistic treatment of technological catastrophes, the languages of tastes and smells. Always welcome are contributions that explore the expressive qualities of technical design: how do prototypes as well as archaeological artefacts speak to us?

Queries, suggestions, and submissions can be addressed to or to Daria Bylieva ( and Alfred Nordmann (

-- Alfred Nordmann Professor em. Institut für Philosophie, TU Darmstadt Homepage

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