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Technologies of the other: digital, critical, political 
Claudia Aradau (King’s College London)
Tobias Blanke (Kings College London)
Annalisa Pelizza (University of Bologna and University of Aarhus)
Dieuwertje Luitse (University of Amsterdam)
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Tobias Blanke (Kings College London)
Dieuwertje Luitse (University of Amsterdam)
Annalisa Pelizza (University of Bologna and University of Aarhus)
Claudia Aradau (King’s College London)
Traditional Open Panel

Short Abstract:

How do digital technologies inscribe lines of difference, and enact figures of the other? How do those rendered as ‘others’ critique, appropriate, repair or resist these technologies? The panel invites contributions that explore the ambivalent connections between digital technology and otherness.

Long Abstract:

The politics of technology is strewn with figures of otherness, which delimit the human from the inhuman, subhuman, infrahuman or nonhuman. Digital technologies have been shown to intensify and solidify lines of difference and alterity. They enact others in new ways and remake normality permanently. They enable new means of identifying others as suspect, risky or dangerous. At the same time, digital technologies encounter practices of critique, as they are variously contested, appropriated, maintained or repaired. They can become tools of creating frictions and contesting distinctions, of enabling refusal and resistance.

This panel invites critical inquiries into the technopolitical production of otherness – human or other-than-human – and explorations of political engagement with technology by those enacted as ‘others’. From AI-inscribed biases to exclusionary welfare, from sensing to the securitized processing of citizens, we propose to map the technopolitics of otherness in the digital age. We aim to understand the ‘scripts of alterity’ that underpin digital technologies and data infrastructures, namely the assumptions about who others are, their capabilities and limitations (Pelizza and Van Rossem, 2023). These scripts have performative effects and can be met with resistance, dis-inscription or transformation.

We encourage contributions that attend to the continuities and discontinuities that digital technologies and data infrastructures bring about in the technopolitical enactment of otherness. What kinds of scripts of alterity do digital technologies and data infrastructures (re)produce and how do these scripts intersect, build on or diverge from broader governmental apparatuses to manage the conduct of others? We welcome contributions that critically address conceptual and methodological challenges, and open towards horizons of freedom and living otherwise with digital technologies. We are especially interested to hear from diverse global contexts that help us understand not just similarities and dissimilarities in the technopolitics of otherness, but also circulations of scripts and technologies.

Accepted papers:

Session 1
Session 2