Call for Contributions

SONIC CYBERFEMINISMS
UNIVERSITY OF LINCOLN, UK
5-6th MAY 2017

DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS: 12 FEBRUARY 2017

In recent years, the relationship between sound, gender and technology has gained increasing attention. There have been a number of artist networks, archives and educational initiatives established in the hope of tackling the gendered exclusions from and disparities within the technocentric fields of electronic music, audio production and sound arts. Many of these projects can be understood to share some of the concerns and ideals of cyberfeminism. Emerging in the early 1990s, cyberfeminism sought to explore the potentials and possibilities of technology, computing and Cyberspace for feminist praxis. However, to talk of cyberfeminism or indeed a cyberfeminist ethos in the singular is something of a misnomer: we consider it more appropriate to speak of plural cyberfeminisms, with various agendas, methods, perspectives and priorities.

Whilst many of these recent initiatives have been aimed at increasing the visibility of women in sound technology and computing-related fields, for many, the debates around improving representation of gender reveals disparities around what feminist agendas are being pursued. Is the lack of women and girls in audio technology a problem only to be fixed by increasing participation? Or is there a danger of “leaning in” to a regime of white supremacist, imperialist, capitalist hetero-patriarchy (to use bell hooks’ augmented phrase)? Revisiting Faith Wilding’s question of the political strategy of cyberfeminism, it is timely to ask – where is the feminism in sonic cyberfeminisms?

Sonic Cyberfeminisms will provide an opportunity to critically reflect upon and, in doing so, contribute to current activism and debates concerning sound, gender and technology. The 2-day event follows on from an online reading group, ‘Decolonizing Sonic Cyberfeminisms’ and a panel discussion ‘Doing Sonic Cyberfeminisims’ that took place in 2016.

Questions to explore include:

• In what ways might current activism around sound, gender and technology be understood as a continuation of the cyberfeminist project(s) – for better or for worse?
• What might cyberfeminism(s) bring to current activism around gender, sound and technology and vice versa?
• How does current activism around sound, gender and technology continue to be centred on issues of white, middle-class women? How and when do issues of race and coloniality play out in these fields?
• How does the notion of technology manifest itself in contemporary discussions of gender? What are the problems and possibilities of framing gendered struggles/activism in relation to technology? What (racialized, classed,
gendered, geopolitical) perspectives does this prioritize and minimize?
• What specifically about sonic or musical practices does thinking/acting through sound afford for feminist politics? How might this be realised in practice?
• Is it possible to decolonize sonic cyberfeminisms? How might this be enacted?
• How might cyberfeminisms transform our understandings of sonic technologies?

We would like to invite contributions that address these questions. Proposed contributions may take the following formats:
• 20 minute research papers
• 10 minute standpoint papers (these can be more polemical, performative and/or outline emerging ideas)
• Workshop proposals*
• Performances** (between 10-30 minutes)

* We have a very modest budget for workshop resources. Please provide costing estimates as part of workshop proposals.
**Please note that we are unfortunately unable to provide an artist fee for performance proposals, however there are some bursaries available (see below).

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BURSARIES

Thanks to the generous support of the Feminist Review Trust, we have 5 bursaries available to help cover travel, accommodation and childcare costs. These bursaries are worth up to £150 each. We hope that these bursaries will enable us to bring to Lincoln those who would not be able to attend otherwise due to financial restrictions.
To apply for a bursary, please provide a short (approx.. 250 word) statement detailing why you would like to be considered for a bursary and a breakdown of your estimated expenses.

TO SUBMIT A PROPOSAL PLEASE CLICK HERE

Have a question? Please email soniccyberfeminisms@gmail.com

Hosted by Marie Thompson (Lincoln) and Annie Goh (Goldsmiths), in collaboration with the extra sonic practice research group.