Call for Papers: Annual Meeting “Theorising Aging in a Digital World”, 28.-29.09.2023, Utrecht, Deadline: 17.03.2023

Theorising Ageing in a Digital World

The Socio-gerontechnology Network together with the Open University of The Netherlands invites proposals for papers, posters and sessions to be submitted by 17 March 2023 (details below).

The Socio-gerontechnology Network

Demographic ageing and technological change – including new digital technologies – are two trends that are increasingly interrelated. This interrelation has become a pertinent driver of societal change. Technological research, innovation and policy are increasingly devised to solve some of the challenges that allegedly come with population ageing, so that technological innovation and innovation policy have become important arenas for negotiation of later life identities, social relations and lifestyles. At the same time, it also is increasingly clear that digital devices and infrastructures already permeate the lives of many older people, which has required us to rethink empirical approaches to ageing and ponder the place of new technologies and digital infrastructures in theories of ageing.

Since its inaugural meeting in 2017, the Socio-gerontechnology Network has provided a forum for interdisciplinary scholarship — initiated by a dialogue between Science and Technology Studies (STS) and Age Studies — that explores the complex and co-constitutive relationship between ageing, technology, and society from various social sciences and humanities perspectives. The network embraces both early and more established academic scholars.

2023 Annual Meeting: Theorising Ageing in a Digital World

During the 2023 Annual Meeting, we want to focus on the cross-pollinations that become relevant at various conceptual, methodological or empirical junctions in the field of Socio-gerontechnology. These junctions may include, but are not limited to, cross-disciplinary encounters between, for instance, social and cultural gerontology, Science and Technology Studies (STS), age studies, sociology, anthropology, human-computer interactions (HCI), media studies, education or critical design studies. The aim is to explore theoretical and methodological innovations that push the limits of existing approaches in Socio-gerontechnology and put in sharp relief the terrain that becomes visible when we intersect empirical work and concepts that think ageing and technology together.

To this end, we welcome contributions from researchers at all career stages that employ a broad range of qualitative and quantitative methods to highlight underexplored aspects of ageing-technology encounters across various life and design worlds. You can think here about the full range of, for instance, ethnographic field work into the programming of algorithms in dementia care to critical engagements with theories of capitalism in the context of ageing populations. More specifically, topics for submissions may include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Datafication and the constitution of later life
  • (Intersectional) life course approaches in increasingly digitalized societies
  • New forms of digital ageism in the light of algorithmic decision making
  • Mediated practices and forms of ageing-and-place
  • Design justice and digital innovation
  • Rethinking the digital inclusion/exclusion and the digital divide
  • Theorizing intergenerational relations or imaginaries of later life through and with technologies
  • Digital capitalism and the Silver Economy
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to care in a more-than-human perspective
  • Ageing technofutures and new generations of older people
  • Ageing and technology in the global south
  • Critically reflecting on practices of theorizing in Socio-gerontechnology

The Call

We invite submissions for papers, posters and thematic sessions:

  1. A paper includes the presentation by one of the authors as part of the conference programme. Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words and a title and the name(s) and e-mail address(es) of author(s).
  2. A poster includes the exhibit of a poster during dedicated poster sessions and throughout the conference. Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words, including a title and the name(s) and e-mail address(es) of author(s).
  3. A session is a dedicated 1,5 hour slot at the conference, which may include a set of paper presentations around a particular theme, but also alternative formats like a panel discussion, an interactive workshop, an open space, or any other form. Please submit a description of the planned session of no more than 300 words, including contributors to the session. If you suggest a themed paper session, for instance, please already include the titles of individual presentations and the names of contributors.

Please submit your paper, poster or session proposal via e-mail to by 17 March 2023. Please make clear who the corresponding author is, including their contact details and affiliation.

Authors will be notified about acceptance/rejection by 3 April 2023. Registration for the conference opens on 3 April 2023. Conference participation is free for members of the Socio-gerontechnology Network. Participation fee for non-members is 40 EUR (20 EUR reduced fee).


17 March – Call for proposals closes
3 April – Acceptance/Rejection Letters & Registration Opens (planned)
1 May– Announce Programme (planned)
28/29 September – Conference

The Venue

The Utrecht Campus of the Open Universiteit is located in 5 min walking distance from the historical city centre of Utrecht. It is in walking distance from Utrecht Central Station, which is the main railway hub of The Netherlands. Trains from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport take about 30 minutes and ride 4 times an hour. There are also many direct train connections from Germany and Utrecht Central is easily reachable by train from many other European countries.


More information can be found here.