Centre for Postdigital Cultures 2022 Conference
Technology Justice: The Theories and Practices of Freedom
June 16 and 17, Coventry University
The Centre for Postdigital Cultures (CPC) invites you to their annual conference, this year on the theme of ‘Technology Justice: The Theories and Practices of Freedom’. This event will take place at Coventry University over the course of two days, with keynote speakers, panel sessions, research showcases, and networking events. There will be limited remote and hybrid access for those who want to attend virtually, although we anticipate all panels and keynotes to be held in person.
While the concept of liberation technology has often been defined by the opportunities for democracy enabled by Web 2.0 content creation, cyber utopias, social media and mobile tech, we are interested in thinking through liberation as both theory and practice, to open up a platform for interrogating, imagining, and doing together in a way that both resists injustice, but also calls forward new questions such as:
- Which are/remain/will be the technologies of liberation?
- What is/continues to be or will be freedom after and beyond 2020?
- How could freedom or liberation be practiced and regenerated by the technical selves and collectives of the future?
While both liberation and, more importantly, freedom hold a philosophical framework based in the Eurocentric Enlightenment project, we are interested in discovering what lies beyond. In other words, and in the words of SA Smythe, “how do we think about technologies as various techniques, tools, or modalities for collective liberation?” We take “technology” here to mean far more than the tools of electronic and digital life; technology is culture itself and rooted in the different matrices of knowledge humans develop about themselves, or what Michel Foucault identified as the technologies of production, signs, power, and the self. Indeed, we are indebted to the genealogies of liberation espoused by Franz Fanon, Paolo Freire, Angela Davis and more, that neither begin nor end with the digital, but also consider more broadly the connections between racism; sexism, heterosexism, and cissexism; classism; ableism; capitalism, and other forms of injustice through which technology becomes the instrument of both oppression and resistance. At the same time, we are inspired to what Ashon Crawley calls “otherwise possibility,” and the need to interrogate the determinisms that suggest technology is either entirely to blame, OR our last and best hope.
We welcome contributions that address both the possibilities and pitfalls of a postdigital justice paradigm, where the technologies of gender, race, care, surveillance, abolition and containment, humanitarianism, and community intersect and inform one another. Potential topics might include (but are not limited to):
- polarization (of education/labour/healthcare)
- acceleration of data-based capitalism and governance
- technology and geopolitics
- climate justice and just energetic transition
- algorithmic bias and hegemony as barrier to justice
- digital work and safety (ie. see https://hackinghustling.org/)
- design justice, as a theory and practice that “centers engagement of communities in the design and development of technologies that impact them”
- alternative platforms and networks
- data sovereignty
- technology and (de)militarization
Submissions are welcomed both from individuals and for composed panels. Individual proposals will be curated into panels early on, in the hopes that panelists might begin to connect and discuss their respective contributions before the conference. We are interested in how the conference might bring together theorists and practitioners and especially welcome proposals from graduate students, artists, community workers, designers, activists, and academics of all kinds.
Please submit a 300 word abstract, artist statement, or portfolio, along with a 150 word bio to email@example.com by April 30, 2022.
 “Technologies of Black Freedoms.”
 “Movement Strategy, Response & Resistance. Technologies for Liberation: Toward Abolitionist Futures. Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. 2020. https://www.astraeafoundation.org/FundAbolitionTech/movement/)