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May 18th, 2017

CFP: Contours of the Future: Technology and Innovation in Cultural Context, 1-3 November 2017, St Petersburg, Russia

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1 – 3 November 2017
Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Peter the Great Saint-Petersburg Polytechnic University

For postindustrial societies the future has turned into a space of risk and construction of expectations. The future exists in the present as a discourse and rhetoric, as a competition of visions and agendas that shape the potential of future innovations. Scenarios of the future are transformative since they direct scientific practices, influence political and economical decisions, and focus stakeholders’ interests.

The conference will highlight processes of knowledge production about technologies of the future as a central sociocultural aspect of technological development. The participants are invited to consider the concept of sociotechnical imaginaries (Sheila Jasanoff) as a set of cultural practices applied by communities in order to construct shared meanings of desired futures – and to reflect on the role of technology in them. These practices involve not only experts such as scientists and engineers, but also politicians, public intellectuals, writers, journalists, artists. Success of innovations and the design of particular technologies depend on the cultural legacy shared by these people, as well as detailed consideration of social, legal, ethical and aesthetic aspects. This perspective emphasizes the ways through which technologies and societies are co-constructed, and how cultural meanings and power relations are embedded in science and technology.

To discuss these questions we invite theorists and practitioners whose work touches upon sociocultural aspects of technological change, including the fields of media and arts, foresight and policy, philosophy and cultural studies, history and sociology, linguistics and communication.

The conference welcomes papers that address the following topics:

Publication: Conference materials (short papers and extended abstracts) will be published prior to the conference.

Working languages of the conference are English and Russian.

Participation in the conference is free of charge.

Organizer: Peter the Great Saint-Petersburg Polytechnic University http://english.spbstu.ru/university/
Co-organizer: Society for the History of Technology http://www.historyoftechnology.org/

To apply:

Contact information:
Address: Politechnicheskaya street, 29, Saint-Petersburg, Russia, 195251
Telephone: +78126037347
E-mail: futurecontour@gmail.com

Coordinator: Natalia Nikiforova, Assistant Professor of the School of Social Sciences, Peter the Great Saint-Petersburg Polytechnic University