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:

Paolo Palladino,
Department of History,
Lancaster University,
Lancaster LA1 4YG



18 September 2001 | Contact HSS | Contact the Web Editor | Return Home
© 1995-2001 by the History of Science Society, All Rights Reserved

We've Moved! This site is no longer updated.

Please use our new site at