CFP – Beyond measure, ephemera journal

Generative Artwork Forkbomb, by Alex McLean, glitched

This looks interesting…

Beyond measure

submission deadline 1 March 2018

PDF icon CfP Beyond measure.pdf

Issue editors: Nick Butler, Helen Delaney, Emilie Hesselbo and Sverre Spoelstra

Measurement is a central task of capitalist organization. From the days of the industrial factory, when labour first came to be measured in hours, through to the time-motion studies under Taylorist regimes, measurement has involved the optimization of surplus value extraction from labour. During the 20th century, these techniques of measurement were complemented by more intrusive forms of quantification such as the use of psychological testing in the human relations school.

The will to quantify continues today with balanced scorecards and activity-based costing (Power, 2004), the discourse of employability (Chertkovskaya, et al., 2013), the monitoring of work in the service economy (Dowling, 2007), and the performativity of economics (Callon, 1998). At the same time, others point to the impossibility of measuring affective work and immaterial labour (Hardt and Negri, 2000). More generally, ‘trust in numbers’ (Porter, 1995) – based on a longstanding infatuation with the ideal of objectivity (Stengers, 2000) – is becoming characteristic of a totally quantified society in which we keep track of our diet, fitness, sleeping habits, and menstrual cycles via digital tracking technologies (Charitsis, 2016).

Quantification also lies at the heart of knowledge production in the business school (Zyphur et al., 2016). Ever since the early influence of Paul Lazarsfeld (1993) in the post-war years, management science has been preoccupied with the measurement of ‘objects’, ranging from things that are straightforwardly measurable (e.g. the height of employees in leadership positions) to things that are difficult, if not impossible, to quantify (e.g. charisma, authenticity, ethics). Despite a half-century of criticism directed at the positivist tradition in the social sciences, management science still holds to the McNamara fallacy: ‘If it can’t be measured, it doesn’t exist’. The politics of measurement in management theory and practice – and its link to the logic of capitalist exploitation – therefore deserve sustained critical scrutiny.

For this ephemera special issue, we invite papers that explore the stakes of measuring organizations and their members – especially in contested zones of quantification. For instance, what happens when employees are measured not just in terms of productivity but also their health and well-being (Cederström and Spicer, 2015)? What happens when leaders are measured not just in terms of bottom-line performance but also their authenticity or spirituality (Ford and Harding, 2011)? Closer to home, what happens when academics are measured not just in terms of the quality of their scholarship but also their citation rate and H-index (Nkomo, 2009)?

But we are also interested in what is beyond measure – that is, the relation between organizing and the immeasurable. Here, religion and spirituality come into view. One may think of themes such as the call for a ‘higher purpose’ in work, the role of faith and spirituality in business, and the presence of organizational figures who defy measurement (idols, spirits, ghosts, monsters, etc.). Deleuze (1995: 181) famously said that the idea that organizations have a soul is ‘the most terrifying news in the world’. For us, this is no longer news but perhaps all the more terrifying for it.

Efforts to quantify aspects of our organizational lives give rise to new and complex ethical questions around work, identity and politics. We therefore invite submissions that may include, but are not limited to, the following themes:

  • Measuring organizations, management and leadership
  • The excessive, the limitless and the infinite
  • Big data and algorithmic management
  • The quantified self and digital measurement technologies
  • The turn to ‘objectivity’ in the social sciences
  • Zero and nothingness
  • The performativity of measures
  • Value theory and the immeasurability of labour
  • The reevaluation of values
  • Faith and spirituality in business
  • Time-motion studies and their contemporary equivalents
  • Death and ‘the great beyond’ in organization
  • The use of psychometric instruments in management theory and practice
  • Commensuration and incommensurability in organizational theory and practice
  • The politics of performance audits
  • Measuring the immeasurable

Deadline and further information

The deadline for submissions is 1st March 2018. All submissions should be sent to one of the special issue editors: Nick Butler (nick.butler@sbs.su.se), Helen Delaney (h.delaney@auckland.ac.nz), Emilie Hesselbo (emilie.hesselbo@fek.lu.se) or Sverre Spoelstra (sverre.spoelstra@fek.lu.se)ephemeraencourages contributions in a variety of formats including articles, notes, interviews, book reviews, photo essays and other experimental modes of representation. The submissions will undergo a double-blind review process. All submissions should follow ephemera’s submission guidelines, which are available at: http://www.ephemerajournal.org/how-submit (see ‘Abc of formatting’ guide). For further information, please contact one of the special issue editors.

A reminder: CFP > New Geographies of Automation? RGS-IBG 2018, Cardiff

Still from the video for All is Love by Bjork

A friendly reminder and invitation to submit ideas for the below proposed session for the RGS-IBG annual conference in late August in Cardiff.

My aim with this session is to convene a conversation about as wide a range of tropes about automation as possible. Papers needn’t be empirical per se or about actually existing automation, they could equally be about the rationales, promises or visions for automation. Likewise, automation has been about for a while, so historical geographies of automation, in agriculture for example, or policies for automation that have been tried and failed would be also welcome.

There all sorts of ways that ‘automation’ has been packaged in other rubrics, such as ‘smart’ things, cities and so on, or perhaps become a ‘fig leaf’ or ‘red herring’ to cover for unscrupulous activities, such as iniquitous labour practices.

I guess what I’m driving at is – I welcome any and all ideas relevant to the broad theme!

New Geographies of Automation?

Please send submissions (titles, abstracts (250 words) and author details) to me by 31st January 2018.

This session invites papers that respond to the variously promoted or forewarned explosion of automation and the apparent transformations of culture, economy, labour and workplace we are told will ensue. Papers are sought from any and all branches of geography to investigate what contemporary geographies of automation may or should look like, how we are/could/should be doing them and to perhaps question the grandiose rhetoric of alarmism/boosterism of current debates.

Automation has been the recent focus of hyperbolic commentary in print and online. We are warned by some of the ‘rise of the robots’ (Ford 2015) sweeping away whole sectors of employment or by others exhorted to strive towards ‘fully automated luxury communism’ (Srnicek & Williams 2015). Beyond the hyperbole it is possible to trace longer lineages of geographies of automation. Studies of the industrialisation of agriculture (Goodman & Watts 1997); Fordist/post-Fordist systems of production (Harvey 1989); shifts to globalisation (Dicken 1986) and (some) post-industrial societies (Clement & Myles 1994) stand testament to the range of work that has addressed the theme of automation in geography. Indeed, in the last decade geographers have begun to draw out specific geographical contributions to debates surrounding ‘digital’ automation. From a closer attention to labour and workplaces (Bissell & Del Casino 2017) to the interrogation of automation in governance and surveillance across a range of scales (Amoore 2013, Kitchin & Dodge 2011) – the processes and experiences of automation have (again) become a significant concern for geographical research.

The invitation of this session is for papers that consider contemporary discussions, movements and propositions of automation from a geographical perspective (in the broadest sense).

Examples of topics might include (but are certainly not limited to):

  • Promises of ‘smart’ and ‘intelligent environments
  • Identity, difference and machines
  • ‘Algorithmic’ places/spaces
  • Activism for/against automation
  • Autonomous weapons systems
  • Robotics and the everyday
  • Techno-bodily relations of automation
  • Working with robots
  • AI, machine learning and cognitive work
  • Automation and bias
  • Sovereignty, law-making and automated systems
  • Automated governance and policing
  • Boosterism and tales of automation
  • The economics of automation
  • Material cultures of robots
  • Mobilities and materialities of ‘driver-less’ vehicles

Cartoon about automation by Drew Sheneman

Reblog> Call for papers: “Human-technology relations: postphenomenology and philosophy of technology”

Via Peter-Paul Verbeek.

Call for papers: “Human-technology relations: postphenomenology and philosophy of technology”

The international conference “Human-Technology Relations: Postphenomenology and Philosophy of Technology” will take place on July 11-13, 2018 at the University of Twente, the Netherlands. The conference intends to bring together philosophers, scholars, artists, designers, and engineers in order to foster dialogue and creative collaborations around the interactions between humans, technologies, and society. As has been emphasized by several authors (e.g. Ihde, Haraway, Feenberg, Vallor, Latour, Verbeek), we cannot uphold strict distinctions between humans and technologies. As human beings, we are always interwoven with technologies in our daily practices. This conference aims to reflect on the consequences of this idea in philosophy, ethics, science, sociology, design, art, politics, anthropology, engineering, etc.

We welcome abstract submissions for posters, papers, panels, and workshops:

* Papers – abstract 250 words, and up to three keywords [20 minutes talk, 10 minutes for discussion].

* Panel proposals – can consist of up to 4 abstracts (see above), should include a general description (200 words) and the CV of participants and organiser.

* Posters – abstract 250 words, and up to three keywords. (Master students only, there will be a poster competition) .

* Workshops – description of 250 words, specific requirements.

Abstracts, along with a short CV, should be sent to phtr2018@gmail.com.

For an extended call for papers and description of the conference, please, visit https://www.utwente.nl/en/phtr/Call%20for%20Papers/

The conference is organized and financially supported by The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) Project Theorizing Technological Mediation.

Reblog> Good Data: Call for Proposals for Theory on Demand edited book

My Cayla Doll

From the Institute of Network Cultures:

Good Data: Call for Proposals for an INC Theory on Demand edited book

Editors: Angela Daly (Queensland University of Technology), Kate Devitt (Queensland University of Technology) & Monique Mann (Queensland University of Technology).

In recent years, there has been an exponential increase in the collection, aggregation and automated analysis of information by government and private actors, and in response to this there has been a significant critique regarding what could be termed ‘bad’ data practices in the globalised digital economy. These include the mass gathering of data about individuals, in opaque, unethical and at times illegal ways, and the increased use of that data in unaccountable and potentially discriminatory forms of algorithmic decision-making by both state agencies and private companies. Issues of data ethics and data justice are only likely to increase in importance given the totalizing datafication of society and the introduction of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and automation.

In order to paint an alternative, more optimistic but still pragmatic picture of the datafied future, this open access edited collection will examine and propose what could be termed ‘good’ and ‘ethical’ data practices, underpinned by values and principles such as (but not limited to):

  • privacy/regulation/information security by design
  • due process rights
  • procedural legitimacy
  • the protection of individual and collective autonomy
  • digital sovereignty
  • digital anti-discrimination
  • data and intersectionality
  • ethical labour practices
  • environmental sustainability.

Chapters should be short contributions (2500-5000 words) which can take differing forms, for example:

  • Manifestos for Good Data
  • Position papers
  • Traditional academic chapters

Chapters can be theoretical takes or provocations on what Good Data is or should be, or can be case studies of particular Good Data projects and initiatives e.g. Indigenous data sovereignty initiatives, data cooperatives etc. Chapters can also be critiques of initiatives/movements which claim to be ethical but in fact fall short. All chapters, including academic ones, should be written in an accessible way and avoid the excessive use of jargon, etc. Academic chapters will be peer-reviewed. Other contributions will be editor-reviewed.

We encourage contributions from throughout the world and from different disciplinary perspectives: philosophy, media and communications, cultural studies, STS, law, criminology, information systems, computer science etc.

Proposals for chapters (up to 250 words) should be sent to Kayleigh Hodgkinson Murphy (kayleigh.murphy@qut.edu.au) by Friday 15 December 2017. Please include a brief biography (academic/practitioner) and signal what kind of chapter you are proposing (manifesto/academic chapter, etc).

If you have an idea for a chapter and want to discuss it before submitting a proposal, please contact Angela Daly (angela.daly@qut.edu.au) as soon as possible. We may be able to pair, for example, practitioners with academic authors on request.

Decisions on proposals will be made by mid-January 2017, with a first full draft of chapters to be submitted by 31 March 2018. We anticipate the book will be finalized and launched in late 2018, as part of the Institute of Network Cultures’ Theory on Demand series.

CFP: RGS-IBG 2018 – New geographies of automation?

Still from the video for All is Love by Bjork

New Geographies of Automation?
Please send submissions (titles, abstracts (250 words) and author details) to me by 31st January 2018.

This session invites papers that respond to the variously promoted or forewarned explosion of automation and the apparent transformations of culture, economy, labour and workplace we are told will ensue. Papers are sought from any and all branches of geography to investigate what contemporary geographies of automation may or should look like, how we are/could/should be doing them and to perhaps question the grandiose rhetoric of alarmism/boosterism of current debates.

Automation has been the recent focus of hyperbolic commentary in print and online. We are warned by some of the ‘rise of the robots’ (Ford 2015) sweeping away whole sectors of employment or by others exhorted to strive towards ‘fully automated luxury communism’ (Srnicek & Williams 2015). Beyond the hyperbole it is possible to trace longer lineages of geographies of automation. Studies of the industrialisation of agriculture (Goodman & Watts 1997); Fordist/post-Fordist systems of production (Harvey 1989); shifts to globalisation (Dicken 1986) and (some) post-industrial societies (Clement & Myles 1994) stand testament to the range of work that has addressed the theme of automation in geography. Indeed, in the last decade geographers have begun to draw out specific geographical contributions to debates surrounding ‘digital’ automation. From a closer attention to labour and workplaces (Bissell & Del Casino 2017) to the interrogation of automation in governance and surveillance across a range of scales (Amoore 2013, Kitchin & Dodge 2011) – the processes and experiences of automation have (again) become a significant concern for geographical research.

The invitation of this session is for papers that consider contemporary discussions, movements and propositions of automation from a geographical perspective (in the broadest sense).

Examples of topics might include (but are certainly not limited to):

  • AI, machine learning and cognitive work
  • Automation and bias
  • Autonomy, agency and law-making
  • Automated governance
  • Boosterism and tales of automation
  • The economics of automation
  • Material cultures of robots
  • Mobilities and materialities of ‘driver-less’ vehicles
  • Robotics and the everyday
  • Techno-bodily relations of automation
  • Working with robots

Cartoon about automation by Drew Sheneman

CFP: Workshop on Trustworthy Algorithmic Decision-Making

Not sure where I found this, but it may be of interest…

Workshop on Trustworthy Algorithmic Decision-Making
Call for Whitepapers

We seek participants for a National Science Foundation sponsored workshop on December 4-5, 2017 to work together to better understand algorithms that are currently being used to make decisions for and about people, and how those algorithms and decisions can be made more trustworthy. We invite interested scholars to submit whitepapers of no more than 2 pages (excluding references); attendees will be invited based on whitepaper submissions. Meals and travel expenses will be provided.

Online algorithms, often based on data-driven machine-learning approaches, are increasingly being used to make decisions for and about people in society. One very prominent example is the Facebook News Feed algorithm that ranks posts and stories for each person, and effectively prioritizes what news and information that person sees. Police are using “predictive policing” algorithms to choose where to patrol, and courts are using algorithms that predict the likelihood of repeat offending in sentencing. Face recognition algorithms are being implemented in airports in lieu of ID checks. Both Uber and Amazon use algorithms to set and adjust prices. Waymo/Google’s self-driving cars are using Google maps not just as a suggestion, but to actually make route choices.

As these algorithms become more integrated into people’s lives, they have the potential to have increasingly large impacts. However, if these algorithms cannot be trusted to perform fairly and without undue influences, then there may be some very bad unintentional effects. For example, some computer vision algorithms have mis-labeled African Americans as “gorillas”, and some likelihood of repeat offending algorithms have been shown to be racially biased. Many organizations employ “search engine optimization” techniques to alter the outcomes of search algorithms, and “social media optimization” to improve the ranking of their content on social media.

Researching and improving the trustworthiness of algorithmic decision-making will require a diverse set of skills and approaches. We look to involve participants from multiple sectors (academia, industry, government, popular scholarship) and from multiple intellectual and methodological approaches (computational, quantitative, qualitative, legal, social, critical, ethical, humanistic).

Whitepapers

To help get the conversation started and to get new ideas into the workshop, we solicit whitepapers of no more than two pages in length that describe an important aspect of trustworthy algorithmic decision-making. These whitepapers can motivate specific questions that need more research; they can describe an approach to part of the problem that is particularly interesting or likely to help make progress; or they can describe a case study of a specific instance in the world of algorithmic decision-making and the issues or challenges that case brings up.

Some questions that these whitepapers can address include (but are not limited to):

  • What does it mean for an algorithm to be trustworthy?
  • What outcomes, goals, or metrics should be applied to algorithms and algorithm-made decisions (beyond classic machine-learning accuracy metrics)?
  • What does it mean for an algorithm to be fair? Are there multiple perspectives on this?
  • What threat models are appropriate for studying algorithms? For algorithm-made decisions?
  • What are ways we can study data-driven algorithms when researchers don’t always have access to the algorithms or to the data, and when the data is constantly changing?
  • Should algorithms that make recommendations be held to different standards than algorithms that make decisions? Should filtering algorithms have different standards than ranking or prioritization algorithms?
  • When systems use algorithms to make decisions, are there ways to institute checks and balances on those decisions? Should we automate those?
  • Does transparency really achieve trustworthiness? What are alternative approaches to trusting algorithms and algorithm-made decisions?

Please submit white papers along with a CV or current webpage by October 9, 2017 via email to trustworthy-algorithms@bitlab.cas.msu.edu. We plan to post whitepapers publicly on the workshop website (with authors’ permission) to facilitate conversation ahead of, at, and after the workshop. More information about the workshop can be found at http://trustworthy-algorithms.org.

We have limited funding for PhD students interested in these topics to attend the workshop. Interested students should also submit a whitepaper with a brief description of their research interests and thoughts on these topics, and indicate in their email that they are PhD students.

Reblog> CFP: Alternative urbanisms

My colleagues Clive Barnett and Jon Cinnamon have a great CFP out, take a look:

Alternative Urbanisms: Call for papers

Do please circulate the Call for Papers below for a session at the Annual Meeting of the AAG next April, in New Orlean, on the theme of Alternative Urbanisms to anyone who might be interested:

Call for Papers

Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers,

New Orleans, 10th-14th April, 2018.

ALTERNATIVE URBANISMS

Organizers: Clive Barnett and Jon Cinnamon (University of Exeter)

Cities are increasingly characterized as important sites of political, economic, cultural and environmental transformation, yet the proliferating attention to ‘the urban’ from policymakers threatens a narrowing of the boundaries of urban imaginaries around certain favored models. This session thus seeks to bring together papers that address one or more aspects of a growing contemporary concern with developing ‘alternative urbanisms’ in theory, policy and practice (e.g. Derickson 2015, Buckley and Strauss 2016, Parnell and Robinson 2012). We conceive of ‘alternative urbanisms’ along three dimensions. Firstly, alternative urbanisms might describe a focus on counter-hegemonic forms of urban living and practice that are alternative in relation to mainstream models and trends. Secondly, it can refer to a focus on how urban spaces are configured as experimental fields for the development of new practices in response to imperatives to restructure and reconfigure economic, social and technological infrastructures. Thirdly, alternative urbanisms might refer to a concern to broaden the scope of intellectual reference points through which urban practices can be conceptualised and investigated methodologically. Across these dimensions, it is agreed that more effort is needed to extend the canon of contemporary urban studies, urban and regional science, planning, and human geography to include insights from the humanities, natural sciences, or engineering, and also to draw on empirical and theoretical resources from beyond the Global North.

We welcome theoretical and empirical papers that push up against the boundaries of urban thought, policy and practice – papers that aim to critique the urban mainstream as well identify new possibilities for understanding and acting on urban challenges. The following is a sample of questions germane to this session, although we welcome papers on all topics that fit the broad scope.

â–ª What marginalized or emerging theoretical and methodological traditions demand the attention of urban scholars?

â–ª Why do ‘mainstream’ urban ideas and policies not take root in certain jurisdictions? What localisms prevent the successful uptake of mainstream, globally circulating urbanisms?

â–ª What epistemological or political work can alternative urbanisms do?

â–ª What are the temporalities and spatialities of alternative urban thought and practice, and how is this reflected in or distinct from local and global political, economic or cultural hegemonies?

Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words by 13th October to: Clive Barnett (c.barnett@exeter.ac.uk) and Jon Cinnamon (j.cinnamon@exeter.ac.uk).

References

Barnett, C. and Bridge, G. (2016) The situations of urban inquiry: thinking problematically about the city. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 40, 1186-1204.

Buckley, M. & Strauss, K. (2016) With, against and beyond Lefebvre: Planetary urbanization and epistemic plurality. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 34, 617-636.

Derickson, K. D. (2015) Urban geography I: Locating urban theory in the ‘urban age’. Progress in Human Geography, 39, 647-657.

Parnell, S. & Robinson, J. (2012) (Re)theorizing Cities from the Global South: Looking Beyond Neoliberalism. Urban Geography, 33, 593-617.

Reblog> Thresholds – A pop-up symposium

Via Thresholds. Looks like an interesting event…

Thresholds – A Pop-Up Symposium

We are holding an event as part of our ‘Thresholds’ project on the 22nd of September 2017:

This event platforms scholars working across the humanities and social sciences around the theme of ‘thresholds’. It explores perspectives on the liminal edges of everyday, organisational and social life. What and who reside beyond or within different types of thresholds? Who has to cross thresholds? What prevents people or things crossing? How does power operate through different thresholds? How do thresholds articulate with limits, extremes, dangers and tipping points? These are just some of the questions explored in this one day symposium.

Thresholds is intended to bring together diverse disciplines including sociology, politics, history, anthropology, women’s studies, critical management, human geography, social policy. The format will be a short papers (10mins) followed discussion.

Further details, bookings and call for papers are available here.

Reblog> So what about Politics?–Call for contributions (iMAL Brussels, Nov. 3/4, 2017)

south african students protest with hashtag banners

From INC.

So what about Politics?–Call for contributions (iMAL Brussels, Nov. 3/4, 2017)

“If the past 10 years have been about discovering post-institutional social models on the Web, then the next 10 years will be about applying them to the real world.” Chris Anderson, 2010, www.wired.com)

So, what about politics? (November 3/4 2017 @  iMAL, Brussels)  looks at initiatives that could be seen as the avant-garde of a new political era. In a critical period of crisis in our political systems, we welcome artists, activists, academics, and everyone using innovative technological tools to reclaim political processes or to shape new forms of organisation, from local collectives to global movements.

As  Rebecca Solnit says, “It’s equally true that democracy is flourishing in bold new ways in grassroots movements globally”, and “There is far more politics than the mainstream of elections and governments, more in the margins where hope is most at home.” How does this apply to the margins of our technological imagination? Which tools and practices are being dreamed of, tested and explored?

What is the impact of today’s Internet-inspired post-institutional thinking on the practice of political action? For this we focus on tactics, tools and visions of grassroots initiatives, as well as on changing government policies and strategies.

iMAL wants to invite its guests to look beyond the often-perceived neutrality of technology and unveil underlying narratives. The symposium revolves around questions such as: What are the politics of a P2P society? How can we perceive a network as a real “distributed agora”? What can we learn from artist- or activist-led experiments focusing on collectivity and political agency? And most important: What are the concrete tools and initiatives today that really try to facilitate and use new forms of agency such as liquid democracy, e-governance, civic intelligence, platform cooperativism and autonomous self-organisation?

OPEN CALL: Digital culture and technology. But what about politics?

This is an open call for contributions by artists, activists, technologists, designers, researchers, citizen initiatives, collectives or groups to the symposium ‘So, what about politics?’. The event will be held on November 3-4, 2017 in Brussels at iMAL, the Brussels-based center for digital cultures and technology.

Send your proposal to SoWhatAboutPolitics@imal.org
Deadline: September 1st, 2017

This Open Call is not restricted to specific kinds of contributions. You can send us proposals for a lecture, workshop, performance, installation”¦ Day 1 of the symposium will be focusing on lectures and presentations. Day 2 is reserved for participatory activities such as Open Assembly Lab or Workshops.Proposals will be selected according to their relevance and feasibility (logistics, budget).

The symposium is curated by Bram Crevits in collaboration with Yves Bernard (iMAL.org). This event is organised by iMAL (Brussels center for Digital Cultures and Technology) in collaboration with the Institute of Network Cultures (Amsterdam), Medialab Prado (Madrid) and KASK/School of Arts (Ghent).

After the symposium Blockchain.Fact.Fiction.Future in 2016, So what about Politics? continues our exploration of how society can be improved with the digital world. So what about Politics? is supported by Saison des Cultures Numériques 2017, Ministery of Culture (Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles).