Roanoke, Virginia. April 25-27, 2019

Proposal Deadline: November 1, 2018

Submit to:

Gender, Bodies, & Technology (GBT) is an initiative within Women’s and Gender Studies at Virginia Tech that aims to explore the multiple, proliferating, and gendered dimensions of technologized bodies and embodied technologies. Through our initiative and interdisciplinary conference, we foreground research, theories, and performances that highlight the discursive and material nodes around which gender, bodies, and technologies both cohere and fracture. We invite scholars, activists, and artists from the humanities, social and natural sciences, visual and performing arts, life sciences, disability studies, STEM fields, and queer and feminist science studies to submit papers, panels, workshops, new media, art, film, and performance pieces that explore the intersections of gender, bodies & technology in contexts ranging from political protests and citizen science labs to electoral hacking and the #MeToo movement. How, we ask, might topics such as gene editing technologies, facial recognition software, Big Data, environmental crises, or Black superheroes produce new lines of inquiry when filtered through a GBT perspective?

Much has occurred since we last convened in 2016, including widespread and well documented election meddling, a global rise of authoritarian populism, corporate deregulation alongside a concerted attack on environmental science and protections, and an unprecedented blurring of the lines between fact, fiction, and “fake news.” TechnoLogics: Power and Resistance homes in on these technologically-enabled crises, asking how analyses of gender, race, disability, and/or queerness can structure our immediate and ongoing responses. To that end, TechnoLogics explicitly invokes figures of resistance–such as newly elected transgender member of the Virginia House of Delegates Danica Roem, water protectors at Standing Rock and pipeline protesters across Appalachia, and speculative fiction writer NK Jemisin, the first Black author to win the Best Novel Hugo award–whose individual practices can inspire our collective imaginaries. Such figures, via their engagements with electoral, environmental, and truth-telling politics, remind us that resistance is central to power’s proliferation, that it transcends the immediate political moment, and that contradictions inhere in technologically-mediated problems and solutions. What does Roem’s victory signify in the context of an increasingly transphobic presidential administration? How might we interpret the use of military-derived drone technologies to document the actions of and police responses to pipeline protests? What is the relationship between speculative fiction and “alternative facts,” and what role do either play in imagining feminist, queer, disabled, and racially just futures? TechnoLogics aims to capture the breadth and dynamism of resistance movements, practices, and figures that have emerged in the wake of–and that transcend–the 2016 US presidential election. We also seek to explore and complicate what these and other movements can teach us about power, and about how technology is invoked, deployed, manipulated, exploited, and imagined in order to harness and reimagine that power.


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