Gender, Bodies, and Technology Conference - May 1-3, 2014 -The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center - Blacksburg, Virginia

Call for Proposals

Proposals are invited for the third biannual interdisciplinary conference:
"Gender, Bodies & Technology: Performing the Human," May 1-3, 2014
The Inn at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia
Sponsored by the Women's and Gender Studies Program at Virginia Tech

Gender, Bodies & Technology is an initiative within Women’s and Gender Studies at Virginia Tech that aims to creatively and intellectually explore the multiple, proliferating, and gendered dimensions of technologized bodies and embodied technologies. Through our initiative and biannual conference, we seek to demonstrate, theorize, and perform the discursive and material nodes around which gender, bodies, and technology both cohere and fracture: how, for example, do the specter and reality of transvaginal ultrasounds index a historically specific female body? What is the relationship between expanded combat roles for female soldiers and the U.S. military’s escalating use of "unmanned" drone warcraft? How should we interpret airport body scanners and restroom architecture that threaten and displace transgender persons?

We invite proposals from scholars in the humanities, social and natural sciences, feminist science studies, visual and performing arts, life sciences, and STEM fields for papers, panels, workshops, new media, art, and performance pieces that explore the intersections of gender, bodies & technology in contexts ranging from classrooms to the military, and from health care to the media.

Our confirmed keynote speakers include:

  • Jennifer Robertson, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan
  • Micha Cardenas, performance artist and media theorist based at the University of Southern California
  • Shaowen Bardzell, Assistant Professor of Informatics at Indiana University

We invite papers, workshops, and panel proposals that address the Gender/Bodies/Technology interface. Though not limited to the following, topics and themes might include:

  • Gender and the technologies of institutions; the reconfiguration of public and private spheres
  • Disability and technologies of expression/representation; enabling and constricting roles of technology
  • The intersectional dimensions of online and digital space; visibility and invisibility issues
  • Feminist appropriations of technology; technology as liberating vs. reifying social force
  • GLBT and queer media
  • Technology and evolution – post- and trans-humanism; bio-cultural change and the gendered dimensions of human plasticity
  • Gender, bodies, and artificial intelligence
  • Gendered technologies of the self; bodies and gender as objects of technological intervention
  • Technological aspects of reproduction and personhood; maternal capacity; neo-eugenics
  • Social and other new media and their relationship to gendered bodies; social media and sexual violence
  • Genetic and other biological imaginaries made available by biotechnology; gender and nanotechnology
  • The GBT configuration in popular media
  • Avatars, augmented and virtual realities, and the promise of genderless bodies
  • Gender as code; gender, bodies, and computation
  • New feminist materialisms; the technological materiality of gender
  • Technological failures; technophobia and gender
  • The (bio)technology of transgender, intersex, and other forms of gender variance
  • Race, ability, class and the politics of visibility in virtual bodies
  • Gender and digital literacy; the gendered natures of technicity, technophilia, and expertise
  • Neuroscience, genomics, and the production of sexual difference
  • Performance, new media and other creative expressions: engaging/enacting/destabilizing conventions of embodiment and technology
  • Gendered innovations in technological design: gendered objects and design
  • Technological production and control of classed, racialized, aged, disabled and gendered bodies
  • New media, digital representation and virtual gendered environments
  • How technology links (embodied) individuals and enacts (gendered) worlds
  • Technologically-mediated warfare, gender, and combat
  • Gender and the “non-human”; robots, animals and environmental expressions of gendered worlds
  • Technologies of development and sustainability; eco- and environmental feminism
  • Activism, participatory decision-making and issues of technological citizenship

Our conference theme, “Performing the Human,” is an invitation for embodied creative and intellectual effort. We are committed to complementing traditional paper presentations from the social sciences, STEM, and humanities fields with scholarship and performance from the creative arts. We encourage innovative uses of technology and creative session formats and we welcome early contact by email if space and/or technology requirements might present logistical challenges.

Proposals will be reviewed and notification of the outcome will be made by December 9, 2013.

For more information or questions please contact:
Christine Labuski/GBT Coordinator and Conference Co-Director
Women's and Gender Studies Program
Department of Sociology
Virginia Tech
McBryde Hall (0137)
Blacksburg, VA, 24061 USA
chrislab@vt.edu

The deadline for submitting proposals has passed.


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