The Digital Subject: Questioning Hypermnesia

Event type: 
13.11.2012 to 15.11.2012
Universiy of Paris 8 -
2 rue de la Liberté
93200 Saint-Denis
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CFP: The Digital Subject: Questioning Hypermnesia
International and transdisciplinary symposium
Labex Arts-H2H project
University of Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis, November 13-15, 2012

New extended deadline for submissions: July 1st, 2012

Keynote speakers

- Bernard Croisile, Chair, Department of Neuropsychology, Neurological Hospital of Lyon

- N. Katherine Hayles, Professor, Duke University

- Lydia H. Liu, Professor, Columbia University

- Scott Rettberg, Professor, University of Bergen, Co-founder of Electronic Literature Organization and Project Head, ELMCIP 

- Jean-Michel Salanskis, Professor of Philosophy, University of Paris Ouest Nanterre

- Bernard Stiegler, Philosopher, President of Ars Industrialis, Head of Institut de Recherche et d’Innovation (Centre Georges Pompidou)

Pierre Cassou-Noguès (Department of philosophy, LLCP, SPHERE, EA 4008)
Claire Larsonneur (Department of anglophone studies, Le Texte Étranger, EA1569)
Arnaud Regnauld (Department of anglophone studies, CRLC – Research Center on
Literature and Cognition, EA1569)

Call for papers
Today’s digital technologies of inscription and preservation have enabled the creation of
substantial electronic archives and complex databases while ushering in new ways of
archiving knowledge exemplified by collaborative encyclopedias. Such technical
developments have foreshadowed a radical reconfiguration of human relations to the
world and knowledge at large, and delineate a probable mutation in our understanding of
the human subject.
Hypermnesia, a recurrent motif in science fiction narratives, was already prefigured in H.
G. Wells’ (World Brain, 1937) or Borges’ works (“Funes el memorioso,” 1944). From
then on, the notion has migrated into other literary genres, be they published in traditional
print or in a digital medium. Similarly, the possible externalization and extension of
memory is one of the cornerstones of contemporary philosophical theories (such as that
of the “extended mind”) on both sides of the border separating the analytical and
continental schools of philosophy.
Right after the Second World War, machine memory, the thematization of subjective
memory in reference to computer memory, the potential alteration of the very nature of
human memory due to the development of machines were recurrent issues in discussions
pertaining to cybernetics and they are still vivid in the contemporary diagnosis of
Of particular interest is the scope and typology of works featuring the theme of
hypermnesia, from fantasies of omnipotence to rewritings of the Babel myth, to political,
cultural and economic policy blueprints. This call for papers invites contributions from
various fields and disciplines (the history of science and technology, literature,
philosophy among others) which question the theme of hypermnesia and memory
through the prism of the ambiguous relationship between man and machine, in a
historical as well as in a more contemporary perspective.
At the crossroads of philosophy, literature and the history of science and technology, this
symposium is part of a broader long-term project focusing on the digital subject, a subject
whose status and attributes appear to have been altered by the real or fictional
development of digital calculating machines from Babbage to Internet.
The working languages will be French and English. Contributions may be submitted in
either language and should not exceed 3000 characters. Please enclose a brief biobibliographical note.

Contact :

This symposium has received the support of the LABEX Arts-H2H scientific committee.

Extended deadline for submissions: July 1st, 2012

Contributors will be informed of the scientific committee’s decision by September 15, 2012.

Scientific committee :
Yves Abrioux (Université Paris 8)
Noelle Batt (Université Paris 8)
Maarten Bullynck (Université Paris 8)
Pierre Cassou-Noguès (Université Paris 8)
Claire Larsonneur (Université Paris 8)
Hélène Machinal (Université de Brest)
Arnaud Regnauld (Université Paris 8)
Mathieu Triclot (Université de Technologie de Belfort-Montbéliard)

Record posted by: 
Arnaud Regnauld
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