Disruption and Its Discontents: Ethics, Politics, and Epistemology of Disruptive Technology (Academic Writing Lab Annual Symposium 2022)
New Delhi, India
Event: Academic Writing Lab Annual Symposium 2022
The internet, social media, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, have all been labeled as
disruptive technologies. By using computer systems to perform tasks that usually require human
understanding, these technologies disrupt our ways of being and functioning in the world, the ways
we interact with it, and come to know it and form beliefs. On one hand these technologies come
with the promise of emancipation due to its potential economic impact, on the other it comes with
new and unexpected challenges due to its capacity to disrupt. As our life comes to be organized
around technology, it is not surprising that whenever new technology enters our lives, it effects the
social arrangements around which we build our lives. This necessitates a critical inquiry into
digitalization and the kind of reorientation in the social world it brings with it. Technological
development is a social process, which is not always autonomous, but rather dependent upon the
interplay of socio-political forces and institutions in society. Disruptive technologies do not operate
in a vacuum, they occur and re-occurs in a social setting, and certain elements of technological
change can be more or less disruptive.
Discontent is a common response to disruption and is generated by the same processes that generate
disruption. Sometimes it is transitional when social norms and the social order adjusts to the pace of
technology. But often it is more fundamental when it not only raises ethical and moral questions
based on value alignment, but also epistemic questions about how we come to know and understand
the world. Similarly, discontent is expressed over distributive questions such as control over
resources and distribution of burden and benefits of disruption. Discontent is expressed sometimes
as a form of disrupting the progress of technology, but at times it is expressed as dissent that is
critical of its consequences, and at times as disagreement that challenges the orientation of the
technology in the world.
This CFP addresses some of the intellectual prerequisites for critical engagement with digital
disruptions and the spaces of discontents within its ambit. It looks into themes such as social media
platforms response to its democratic discontents, the pedagogical implications of algorithmic
knowledge and the virtual self, ethics of digital identities, as well as the impact of digitalization on
academic professions, but is not limited to them. Instead, we encourage authors to tease out the
philosophical underpinning of the digital space embracing its nuanced interplay with discontent,
insulting a deeply involved exploration of the epistemologies of disruptive technology.
In this conference, we will explore the ethics, politics, and the epistemology of disruptive
technology. Potential contributions can focus on the disruption, or the discontent caused by
technology. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Communication technologies toward freedom and democracy
• Epistemology of disruptive technology
• Artificial Intelligence as a challenge to ethics of work culture
• Idea of revolution in the digital age
• Discontent and the digital
• Digital and the question of Power
• Algorithmic knowledge and art of prediction
• Ethics of Digital identities
• Ethics of Digital Dissent
• Digital and the idea of the public
Submission to the colloquium can be made either as a panel or as individual papers.
A panel proposal will ideally include 3 papers (for a two-hour slot) with a 500-word summary of
the panel and 750–1000-word abstracts for each proposed paper in the panel. This should be sent as a single PDF file.
An individual paper proposal should include an extended abstract of 500 words for a 30-minute slot (20 minutes presentation and 10 minutes discussion)
Graduate Student Workshop Session
This session shall focus on critical discussions around the topics, panels, and ideas presented in the symposium. The aim is to inculcate dialogues and conversations based on interesting and
relevant concepts, which require more exploration. We invite students, scholars, and professionals
across all fields of life to apply if they are interested in in-depth critical discussions on the theme.
Selected participants will get a chance to interact with the invited speakers and are expected to
produce a short report which will be published with due credit on the AWL blog. Please note, that the minimum educational qualification to apply is a post-graduate degree. To apply, please send a 150 words statement of intent indicating why you are a suitable candidate for the workshop session as a single PDF file attachment.
The current theme of the symposium builds upon the inaugural symposium on “Crisis of Truth: The digital era and the future of knowledge” held on 27- 28 August 2021. We insist on continuing our discussions along these lines, integrating newer threads of theories and concepts on the framework of digital technologies and society. Selected papers from the symposium will then be invited to submit their final papers for consideration for publication in a major journal or with a reputed publisher.
The symposium will be held at the Department of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH),
Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi (IIIT-Delhi), India. Given the
circumstances, most likely we will host it in the hybrid model.
Please send your panel/paper/workshop session proposal as an attachment prepared for blind
review to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Academic Writing Lab