What is Technology? (2019) will examine interactions and transactions among practical arts and tools, techniques and processes, moral knowledge and imagination, to navigate our everchanging world. In a broad sense, technology can be understood as methods of intelligent inquiry and problem-solving into all domains of life. The conference-experience will enact a collaborative network of transdisciplinary research by cultivating communication as the heart of science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics, and environments.


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 students, community organizations, and the public. We invite proposals for scholarly papers, panels, and art installations on a wide variety of issues and topics.


Proposals may address the following questions (as well as many others):

• What is technology? What are the forces of technology?
• What are current approaches and/or lenses to the study of technology? 
• What is the relationship between communication, media, and/or film studies to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)? How are technology and value related? 
• What are philosophies of technology? Where do technology and ethics interface/interact?
• What are science and technology studies, and the digital humanities? 
• How does technology relate to—or converge—music, architecture, design, craft, and/or art?
• How do technologies’ scale, pace, and pattern transform/limit their impact?
• What are immersive technologies? What are the implications of emerging technologies?
• How are the natural sciences and technology coming together? Is biology itself technology?
• How do technologies obscure and/or highlight issues of gender, race, class, and/or indigeneity?
• What are emerging areas of inquiry related to equity, access, & learning (e.g. disability studies)? 
• What are the relationships between technology and cyber security or defense?
• What are technological determinism, technological realism, and technological (post-)humanism?
• How might technologies contribute to community resilience and/or thriving communities?

Current plenary participants include: Carolyn Marvin (Univ. of Pennsylvania), Larry Hickman (Southern Illinois Univ. Carbondale), Eric Schatzberg (Georgia Tech), Carolyn R. Miller (North Carolina State Univ.), Victoria Vesna (Art|Sci Center, UCLA), Clifford Christians (Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Nandini Ranganathan (PNCA), Mark Bedau (Reed College), Colin Koopman (Univ. of Oregon), Kenji Williams (Bella Gaia), Ward Cunningham (wiki inventor) and Amber Case.

Conference Organizers: Janet Wasko and Jeremy Swartz (University of Oregon)


Send 150–200 word abstracts for papers / panels / installations by JANUARY 21, 2019, to: Janet Wasko • jwasko@uoregon.edu • University of Oregon • 97403-1275 • USA