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WHAT IS TECHNOLOGY? (2019)

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University of Oregon Portland
70 NW Couch Street
Portland, Oregon 97209, US (map)

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What is Technology? will examine interactions and transactions among (1) practical arts and tools, (2) techniques and processes, (3) moral knowledge and imagination, to navigate our everchanging media/life/universe. In a broad sense, technology can be understood as (4) methods of intelligent inquiry and problem-solving in all domains of human life.

This year marks the ten-year anniversary and ninth annual What is…?, bringing together natural and social scientists, scholars, government officials, industry professionals, artists and designers, as well as alumni, students, community organizations, and the public. We invite proposals for scholarly papers, panels, and installations on a wide variety of issues and topics.

–> CALL FOR PROPOSALS
(ABSTRACTS DUE BY DECEMBER 21, 2018)

CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS
* Eric Schatzberg (Georgia Institute of Technology)
* Carolyn Marvin (Annenberg School of Communication at University of Pennsylvania)
* Larry Hickman (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
* Amber Case (Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University)
* Clifford Christians (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
* Carolyn R. Miller (North Carolina State University)
* Colin Koopman (University of Oregon)
* Nandini Ranganathan (Pacific Northwest College of Art)
* Christian Fuchs (University of Westminster, UK)
* More Participants TBA

“[John Dewey] thought of technology as inquiry into techniques, tools, and artifacts. And he thought that techniques are among the habits that are necessary to the continuance and growth of human life. He therefore thought that the major human problem was improving intelligence, which he identified with technology. And this means no more or less than developing better and more productive methods of inquiry into our techniques, our tools, and our artifacts. […] what are commonly called the ‘theoretical sciences’ such as chemistry and biology are no less cases of this type of activity than what are commonly called ‘material technologies’ such as mechanical engineering and crop science. Theoretical knowing, such as that involved in mathematics, is no less a case of technological activity than is the type of knowing that is involved with concrete, practical outcomes such as building bridges. Because the theoretical is also artifactual, even what is sometimes called ‘pure research’ is a type of technology.”
—Larry Hickman, 2009

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