CODE AND CODING
A one-day workshop at Lancaster University
30 November 2001
The word 'code' appears today in contexts as diverse as computer programming,
genetic engineering and geo-strategic planning. Most of us, however,
encounter the term while engaging in more mundane activities such as
shopping or posting a letter. Lucy Suchman has recently described this
forthcoming workshop on 'code and coding' as focusing 'on the migrations
of 'code' across previously disparate discourses and arenas of practice'.
This concise and apposite wording suggests that these disparate activities
are being unified. Indeed, these 'migrations' can be associated with
increasingly ubiquitous technologies of management, and, we can begin
to speak of an emerging 'discourse of code'. Yet, as a number of anthropologists,
geographers, historians, philosophers and sociologists would readiliy
attest, the empirical evidence for the connection between these different
contexts is disputable, and so are its methodological and philosophical
presuppositions. Thinking about the 'migrations of 'code'' then raises
much debated questions about the relationship between language, practice
and power. On the other hand, 'code' so challenges the boundaries between
language and practice, and everything that is predicated on such boundaries,
that it is possible to argue that these debates are being overtaken
by the contemporary 'migrations of 'code''. The aim of the workshop
is to draw out and clarify these issues. Anyone willing to participate
in this discussion is invited.
Speakers: Fred Botting (English, Keele), Howard Caygill (History, Goldsmiths),
Bob Cooper (Management Studies, Keele), Mick Dillon (Politics, Lancaster),
James Griesemer (Philosophy, California-Davis), John Hughes (Sociology,
Lancaster), Paolo Palladino (History, Lancaster), Nigel Thrift (Geography,
Bristol), and Wes Sharrock (Sociology, Manchester).
For further information, please contact:
Department of History,
Lancaster LA1 4YG
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