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Call for Participation: DGSKA: In/visible effects of rhizomatous digitalization in economic margins and state administrations

The conference (‚Worlds. Zones. Atmospheres.’) will be held from the 27 to 30 September 2021.

Please send your abstract via mail until February 15.

If you know someone who might be interested in the workshop please share the message!

In/visible effects of rhizomatous digitalization in economic margins and state administrations

When the Arabic numbers (actually Indian) reached Europe, a new system of management emerged. Double bookkeeping altered marketing, and together with statistics, it altered governance. A technology changed our way of living, of exchanging, thinking, interacting, finally contributing or enabling the rise of capitalism and colonialism, making then marginal countries such as the Netherlands a global power. The current digital transformation could be yet again such a key moment that reshapes our lives and global power balances. This digital change is pervasive and apperceived at our interfaces of digital devices, but includes also a rhizomatic change in the Deleuzian sense (1987) – relevant, sometimes unconscious, elusive and subsurfacely connected: Global networks of digital standards, shared program libraries, design languages, efficiency and process logics alter and streamline states’ governance and administrations, big commerce up to individuals’ relations, market participation and the sentiments that are shaped by and shaping these dynamics.

While old industrial nations present digitalisation as a key technology to maintain their economic power, it is also introduced as an optimal tool to integrate so-far „marginal” states and markets into the global economy – and is thus presented as a future in the making. In this panel, we neither assume this techno-optimism, nor do we lament lost opportunities and false promises. We are hoping for abstracts that critically engage the in/visible effects of digitalisation in view of changing hierarchies, blurred boundaries, the introduction of digital workflows, and the ways old categories continue digitally. We focus on the effects of digital lifeworlds both in economically powerful states’ administrations and in marginalized states and markets. We seek conversations about digitalizations of „efficient” administrations and economies in and outside the Global North. 

Andrea Behrends (Andrea.Behrends@uni-bayreuth.de), Thomas Götzelmann (thomas.goetzelmann@ethnologie.uni-halle.de), Timm Sureau (sureau@eth.mpg.de)

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