Monday, February 10, 2014

International Conference @ Centre for Gender, Culture and Social Processes, St Stephen's College, University of Delhi

Concept Note and Call for papers for the Annual International Conference. This year's theme is Texts and Technology, to be held on 28-29 March 2014 and organized by the Department of English and the Centre for Gender, Culture and Social Processes, St Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, india

This broad-based inter-disciplinary conference is envisaged as a forum for discussion and debate on the interface between texts—material, literary, visual, performative, et al.—and technology, particularly. These are some questions which lie at the heart of this conference and will anchor the sessions as well. Is it with Gutenberg that the interaction between ‘texts’ and technology took off or was it with Classical drama’s use of the ‘deus ex machina’? Is it the voyages of Odysseus or Jonathan Swift’s techno-travels in the Land of Laputa or Mary Shelley’s humanoid ‘creature’ that pioneered and established the exploration of human ‘limits’? And what do we make of the new modes of the ancient practice of reading, now carried on through hand-held mechanical devices, negotiated through ‘touch’ and ‘click’, downloaded, heard via miniature plugs speaking into our heads? What of the most writerly texts of them all, the cybertext, that displaces the authoritative author in favour of the masterly choices available to the reader and what of the reader’s prominent ‘presence’ and ‘trace’ in the blogs? No longer are the disciplines of humanities and science the proverbial east and west, the twain have long met in digital humanities; the fields of applied linguistics and translation too have made this leap, integrating and using technological approaches in several areas. The experience of reading and seeing has also been revolutionized, so that text and digitized image present a harmonious whole in graphic novels, allows fans to reinvent their favourite works or ‘slash’ them. Finally, how does it all affect the ‘human’, is this the advent of emancipation of the individual from ascribed identities of caste, class, gender towards a liberating anonymity or is this the approach of the new apocalypse populated by alienated subjects and fragmented subjectivities?

We hope that this conference will reflect some of these issues and perhaps grey the areas between some of these binaries.

Possible Panels

1. Body, Technology, Performance
2. Digitally-mediated Subjectivities: Social Media and Technology
3. Reinventing the Body/Human: Disability, Cyborgs, Transhumanism
4. Text, Adaptation and Technology
5. Beyond the ‘Book’: Revolutionizing the Reading Culture, Cybertexts, Blogs, E-books, Reading Devices
6. Visualizing the Literary Text: The Case of Graphic Novels, Anime, Manga, Fan Fiction, Slash Fiction
7. New Linguistics and Digital Humanities
8. Science and Technology in Literary Representations: Dystopic and Utopic Visions; Science Fiction
9. Technology and Visual Cultures

Call for Papers

Some suggested themes are listed below. Papers need not be limited to these themes:

• Interface between humans and machines in various arena such a medicine, space technology, military, etc.
• Social media and subjectivity
• New forms of reading and change in the form of the text and the book as an artifact; cybertexts; the book in technology, blogs
• Science fiction and exploration of the human-machine interface; dystopian literature
• Applied Linguistics, computational and digital humanities
• Digitally-mediated subjectivity; cyborgs, transhumans, video games, ‘selfies’
• Body and technology in performance
• Visual texts; art, text and technology
• Use of new media in literature; forms such as graphic novels, anime, fan fiction/slash fiction
• The representation of technology in literature

An abstract of 300 words should be sent no later than 24th February 2014. In the same document, please include the following information:
a) Your institutional affiliation
b) Email id and phone number
The full text of the selected papers should be sent on or before 5th March 2014 at

Both documents should be in Word format, in Times New Roman font and 12 point size.
In case of any queries, please write to:

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