Call for Contributions: Otherwise Practices with/in Computing

“she wouldn’t tell us anything until we stopped knowing. stopped thinking that we knew, which came at the long edge of a lot of time spent acting like we knew.”

— Memory Drive, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, M Archive: After the End of the World , 2018, p. 189.

How can we unlearn and resist computational rationality that heralds optimization, extraction and profit generation as the main goal? The use of algorithmic models and biased datasets continues to oppress and deny voices of less heard people. Due to the work of much radical, critical and otherwise practices this is now slowly starting to change as their existence emerges in technological todays and tomorrows. The time to reflect on the kinds of possibilities and re-oppressions conveniently labeled ‘best practices’, ‘style guides’, ‘fair algorithms’ and ‘balanced datasets advance is now. How do we position computing as a critical science and acknowledge the interventions that happen against the background of tension between assimilation and dissimilation? How do we rebuild (or decide to burn down) computing as a primary support of emancipatory futures?

In this call for contributions, we want to know the cusps, potentials, tunings, and boundary-making practices that critically push the extractive and the exclusionary, the connective and the networking, and the potential-inclined practices of computing. We maintain a commitment to critically evaluating computing and do not believe it to be neutral. We are therefore interested in the ways socio-technical systems re-inscribe (re-materialize, shift and solidify, co-construct) or do not re-inscribe the boundaries of the “normal”. We are interested in already existing practices that explore constant process rather than constant normalization.

We are open to diverse modes of contributions and disciplinary perspectives that discuss the otherwise computational practices in your work. Contributions will be published as a series of blog posts, on the research blog Engines of Difference that explores critical practices with questions and reflections that push computing towards less measurement, categorization, extraction and optimization and more tolerant and sustainable worlds.

The Engines of Difference research blog is an online publication space for inter + intra disciplinary encounters and coalitions that connect communities of research and practice. We are open but not limited to gender and diversity studies, computer science, arts, critical theory, and (feminist) science and technology studies communities. We are excited about the convergences between practices and knowledges and seek contributions connected to one or more of the following:

Computing +
Colonialism and Racism (in contemporary and historical perspectives) | Ethics | Participation (or otherwise) | Black Feminist Theory | Emancipation | Accessibility | Crip Theory | Speculation | Critical Pedagogy | Critical Theory | Political Education | Materialisms | Critical Race Theory …

If you are unsure where your contribution sits in the list please send us an email.

Send us your 300 word abstract to editor [at] enginesofdifference [dot] org until Friday, 30 October 2020. We will respond by 4 November with further submission details. Kindly contact us if due to Covid-19 you may not meet our timeline. We are happy to offer our support in which ever ways you might need.

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