‘Numbers and the Self’ Symposium CFP

1 May 2020, University of Adelaide 

This symposium, funded by an ARC Discovery Project ‘Precarious Accounts’, explores the relationship between numbers and the self as a critical question in the era of big data. Much of contemporary science and social science rests on our reliance that there is a relationship between the human and the number — that our bodies, behaviours and actions, if conceptualised well, can be turned into statistics and used to predict and explain. Because of this numbers can bring us comfort and relief, as well as anxiety and fear. Numbers discipline, with both positive and negative results. They produce certain types of meaning that shapes our social environment. Yet, as Foucault reminded us, numbers never record neutral facts but enable systems of power. This workshop engages with these issues. Topics for discussion may include: Numbers as discipline; Numbers and embodiment; Numbers and emotions – from anxiety to joy; Numbers and self-expression, art and creative practices; Numbers as a philosophy of self; Measuring the abstract and intangible; Numbers, self and society – changing the world? 

Proposals due 15 November 2019 

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