[Msa-discuss] CFP: Histories of Digital Labor, Past and Present (edited collection)

Shawna Ross shawnaross1 at gmail.com
Sun Sep 4 14:12:03 EDT 2016


CFP: Histories of Digital Labor, Past and Present (edited collection)

250-300 word abstracts due January 31, 2017

6,000-word essays due June 30, 2017

Full CFP here: https://oncomouse.github.io/digital-labor-cfp/

Recent attempts to rewrite dominant accounts of technological progress,
including the annual Ada Lovelace Day and Hidden Figures—the upcoming film
about African-American women’s achievements in NASA—have drawn attention to
the unknown histories lurking behind our digital present. This edited
collection will not only continue to uncover such occluded histories, but
also will interrogate our definitions of and assumptions about labor,
effort, merit, and reward structures as they relate to new digital
conditions of work. Who does the labor, what kind of labor is it, and what
were the conditions of that labor? How was that labor attributed (or not),
compensated (or not), rewarded (or not), and remembered (or not)?

Mythic visions of STEM history in the digital tend to reinscribe the great
men narrative models of the past, but how do we imagine histories of the
digital that tell stories closer to the actual work of making these myths?
As McKenzie Wark asks in Molecular Red, “[W]hat in these times is labor?
Can a concept of labor include scientific labor, reproductive labor,
affective labor, precarious labor, even non-labor?” (120). As technological
apparatuses come to constitute more and more of the scene of labor, how has
this transition influenced our accounts of labor (and for better or worse)?

Submissions may draw from any historical period as long as a persuasive
link is made to the specifically digital technologies we use today.
Reconfiguring these narratives may involve exploring one of many sites of
technological labor: the laboratory, the factory, the office, the library,
the makerspace, the classroom, the personal computer, the living room, the
garage. We welcome a variety of methods (such as oral history, close
reading, archival work, quantitative analysis, ethnography, or
material/visual cultural analysis) and disciplinary approaches from the
humanities and social sciences. Papers whose style and content reaches
across disciplines and audiences—rather than attempt to make very specific
disciplinary interventions—are especially desirable.

What matters most is that each submission reconstructs a compelling
narrative of occluded labor and allows that narrative to generate a new
definition or approach to work in the digital age. We have already begun
communicating with a prominent publisher and anticipate moving swiftly once
full drafts are received.

For inquiries, please email both Andrew Pilsch (apilsch at tamu.edu) and
Shawna Ross  (shawnaross at tamu.edu) or tweet (@oncomouse
<https://twitter.com/oncomouse> and @ShawnaRoss
<https://twitter.com/ShawnaRoss>).

Submit 250-300 word abstracts, short bio, and contact information via
GoogleForms <http://atp1.us/digital-labor-cfp> by January 31, 2017. Authors
can expect to hear back from the editors by the end of February 2017.
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