Fictional Technologies and Technologies of Fiction

Fictional Technologies and Technologies of Fiction

Łódź, Poland, 16.-17. June 2015



Hosted by the University of Łódź (Poland)
Organized by the University of Łódź and the University of Social Sciences and Humanities SWPS in Warsaw

Call for papers

This workshop will broach topics in technology and the so-called humanities, looking at the reciprocal and catalytic relationship between these two fields. We are interested in the speculative imaginings critical to the development of new machines and material processes. Yet we feel fiction, too, has its techniques, its technologies, and its modes of production, distribution and translation. So as we look at the design of objects, devices, vehicles or structures that have never existed, we seek to think about how this very act of thinking the unreal is an act with its own genealogy of techniques for pioneering the possible.

We hope to bring together scholars of media and film, but also those working on more general histories, philosophies and cultural studies. Our focus on the intersection between fiction and technology comes from the aspiration to see media production as both a creative and a technical vocation. By viewing the imaginary worlds created within media as dependent upon material and abstract machines, we can contextualize innovative attempts to move past technical or cultural limitations and towards more extensive forms of expression. By viewing technologies and technical development from the perspective of media research, however, we can also show how the preservation and proliferation of innovations is frequently dependent upon speculation, fantasy or narration.

We solicit papers addressing the workshop theme, including those that consider, combine or supplement any of the following suggested (rather than prescribed) topics:

Technology in utopian and dystopian fiction
The creative process as it applies to technology and the arts
Reflections on positivism and the nature of 'science' in science fiction
Anachronistic or outsider histories of media technology
Haunted media – the intersections of technology and spirit
Political metaphors in media theory, including the notion of ‘apparatus’
Abstract machines and technocratic institutions
Archival technologies for the storage, preservation of fiction
The cyclic reinvention of fiction within novel mediatic forms
Cartographies, taxonomies and surveys of imaginary futures
The body and technological fiction: posthuman machines and cyborgs
Alternate and altered realities, including technologies for producing subjectivity
Paranoid and prophetic predictions of social change resulting from technology

Please address abstracts (max. 200 words) along with institutional affiliation and a short bio (max. 150 words) to:

Deadline for submission: 31.01.2015. Notification will follow shortly thereafter.

The workshop language is English.

University of Łódź will not provide refunds: participants will cover their own travel and accommodation expenses. Workshop attendance is free, but valid NECS-membership is required to participate, see:

Organizers: Alex Casper Cline (Anglia Ruskin University) and Karol Jóźwiak (University of Łódź)

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