Apologies for cross-posting.
CFP: Journal of Peer Production (JoPP)
Special Issue on Feminism and (Un)Hacking
Editors: Shaowen Bardzell, Lilly Nguyen, Sophie Toupin
There has been a recent growth in interest in feminist approaches to
practices like hacking, tinkering, geeking and making. What started off as
an interest in furthering representations of women in the technical fields
of computer science and engineering, often along the lines of liberal
feminism, has now grown into social, cultural, and political analyses of
gendered modes of social reproduction, expertise, and work, among others.
Practices of hacking, tinkering, geeking, and making have been criticized
for their overtly masculinist approaches, often anchored in the
Euro-American techno-centers of Silicon Valley and Cambridge that have
created a culture of entrepreneurial heroism and a certain understanding of
technopolitical liberation, or around the German Chaos Computer Club (CCC).
With this special issue of the Journal of Peer Production, we hope to delve
more deeply into these critiques to imagine new forms of feminist technical
praxis that redefine these practices and/or open up new ones. How can we
problematize hacking, tinkering, geeking and making through feminist
theories and epistemologies? How do these practices, in fact, change when
we begin to consider them through a feminist prism? Can we envision new
horizons of practice and possibility through a feminist critique?
In this call, we understand feminist perspectives to be pluralistic,
including intersectional, trans, genderqueer, and race-sensitive viewpoints
that are committed to the central principles of feminism--agency,
fulfillment, empowerment, diversity, and social justice. We refer to the
term hacking with a full understanding of its histories and limitations.
That said, we use it provisionally to provoke, stimulate, and reimagine new
possibilities for technical feminist practice. Hacking, as a form of
subjectivity and a mode of techno-political engagement, has recently
emerged as a site of intense debate, being equally lauded as a political
ethos of freedom and slandered as an elitist form of expertise. These
fervid economic and political ideals have been challenged and at times come
under attack because they not only displace women and genderqueer within
these technological communities but, more importantly, because they
displace gendered forms of reflection and engagement.
Drawing on a growing community of feminist scholarship and practices, we
hope to build on this momentum to invite submissions that reconceptualize
the relationship between feminism and hacking. We aim to highlight feminist
hackers, makers and geeks not only as new communities of experts, but as
new modes of engagement and novel theoretical developments. In turn, with
this special issue, we hope to challenge both concepts of feminism and
hacking to ask several questions. How can feminist approaches to hacking
open up new possibilities for technopolitics? Historically, hacking
discourses center on political and labor aesthetics of creation,
disruption, and transgression. How can feminist theories of political
economy push technopolitical imaginaries towards alternate ideals of
reproduction, care, and maintenance? Conversely, we also ask how notions of
hacking can open up new possibilities for feminist epistemologies and modes
We seek scholarly articles and commentaries that address any of the
following themes and beyond. We are also interested in portraits,
understood broadly, of feminist hackers, makers and geeks that help us
better understand feminist hacker, maker and geek culture. We also solicit
experimental formats such as photo essays or other media that address the
special issue themes.
* What is distinctive about feminist hacking or hackers? How does feminist
hacking practices help create a distinct feminist hacking culture?
* Why are feminist hacking practices emerging? Which constellation of
factors help the emergence of such practices?
* What do we know about the feminist hacker spectrum? i.e. what are the
differences among feminist hacking practices and how can we make sense of
* What tensions in hacking and/or in hacker practices and culture(s) come
to the fore when feminist, anti-patriarchal, anti-racist, anti-capitalist
and/or anti-oppression perspectives are taken?
* What does feminist hacker ethic(s) entail?
* What kind of social imaginaries are emerging with feminist hacking and
* What kinds of hacking are taking place beyond the Euro-American tradition?
Submission abstracts of 300-500 words due by *September 8, 2014*, and
should be sent to *[log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>*.
All peer reviewed papers will be reviewed according to Journal of Peer
Production guidelines; see http://peerproduction.net/peer-review/process/.
Full papers and materials (peer reviewed papers around 8,000 words and
testimonies, self-portraits and experimental formats up to 4,000 words) are
due by* January 31st, 2015* for review.
The Cultural Research in Technology (CRIT) Group
Associate Professor of Informatics
Affiliated Faculty of the Kinsey Institute
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