CFP: Just Code: Power, Inequality, and the Global Political Economy of IT

May 8-9, 2020, Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, USA

Just Code is a one and a half day CBI symposium/workshop on how code—construed broadly, from software routines to bodies of law and policy—structures and reinforces power relations. It will explore the often invisible ways that individuals and institutions use software, algorithms, and computerized systems to establish, legitimize, and reinforce widespread
social, material, commercial, and cultural inequalities and power imbalances. The event will also examine how individuals, unions, political organizations, and other institutions use code to fight for equality and justice. Other major themes include the (pre-)history of code/algorithmic thinking; code as means of concealment or secret communications; codes of
conduct in business, governance, and culture related to IT and its institutions (local and global exploitation through imperialism, human rights violations, and environmental degradation); and codes of ethics in information technology. The papers will draw from across the humanities and qualitative social sciences, including disciplines such as anthropology,
sociology, science and technology studies, geography, and communications.

We anticipate that papers (collectively) will examine a wide range of themes in the global business, cultural, social, legal, and environmental history of the political economy of information technology. Papers will be pre-circulated (among presenters) and we have plans to publish revised papers (after editorial and peer review) as an edited volume in the
Springer History of Computing Book Series.

Call for papers

Proposals should include a two-page curriculum vitae and a 300 to 450 word abstract (as a single PDF) that highlights the key argument(s), connection of the paper to the symposium’s topic/themes, and a description of core methods/sources. This should be sent to cbi@umn.edu (please have your last name in the file name and use the subject line “Just Code Symposium Proposal”).

Deadline for Paper Proposals is Oct. 15, 2019 (notifications will be made within 30 days)

Deadline for Submission of Papers (for those offered and accepting a place on the program) is March 31, 2020 (papers will only be pre-circulated to fellow presenters/panelists on the program, not to all registrants).

Those offered and accepting a spot on the program will have to commit to participating in the entire workshop, revising their work based on feedback from peers at the event and the organizers/editors, and submitting it for consideration to the planned edited volume.

For those offered and accepting a place on the symposium’s program (presenters/panelists), CBI will cover the cost of 2 nights lodging at a nearby hotel (walking distance to CBI), lunch, and an event dinner. Early career presenters on the program (graduate students, postdocs, and junior faculty) can apply for CBI travel grants of $300 to partially offset their travel costs (done as a reimbursement/partial reimbursement). Please indicate if you would like to be considered for one of these travel grants at the bottom of your abstract. The program will commence at 8:30 AM on Friday and conclude at 12:30 PM on Saturday. Registration is automatic for everyone on the program.

For those wanting to attend who are not presenting, the symposium’s registration is free and open to CBI Friends (and those who become CBI Friends), and to students, academic staff, and faculty of the Univ. of Minnesota. Lunch is provided for all who register. The event dinner is only for those on the program. Information on becoming a CBI Friend is here.

Registration form for those attending but not presenting. The size will be capped, so we encourage registering far in advance.

The event will be at CBI–Andersen Library at the University of Minnesota.

Deadline: October 15, 2019

Posted: May 19, 2019