Call for Papers Shared Americas Series

Technology and Society in the Americas: new frontiers and dilemmas of contemporary capitalism

This call is for a series of publications organized by the Department of Latin American Studies (DELA) of the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Brasilia (UnB), as part of the Shared Americas Series, which corresponds to the sixth book, which will gather joint publications between teachers and students with a focus on American countries, especially Latin American countries.

Historical transformations related to the reconfiguration of contemporary capitalism and its productive processes took place in line with the technical -scientific advance, materialized in new technological and scientific frontiers. Such processes are connected to reconfigurations in power relations, in different dimensions of social conflicts – inside and outside national borders, in migratory flows, in identity configurations, in the nation-state, and in the international system, in the international division of labor and in the capital accumulation. Within this context, scientific-technological development entails new forms of asymmetry and inequality in economic, political, and social relations within and between countries, contributing to alter the dynamics and relations between the different development processes, in their particularities. Currently, the new technological frontiers are materialized in varied developments such as artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things, advanced automation and robotics, materials engineering, semiconductors, biotechnology, among others. The progressive association of productive technologies with information technologies has intensified in the most diverse sectors, around what has been called “industry 4.0”. Such processes expand the role of scientific and technical knowledge in economies and societies that are increasingly digitalized through the collection, prospecting, analysis and use of data in the public and private sphere; a feat that relates to the processes of “digitalization”, “platforming” and other forms of reconfiguration, on a digital basis, of the economy, culture, security, international relations.

When articulating the transformation of social relations of production, the role socially attributed to technology in the productive processes, including information and knowledge, materializes in technical-scientific applications that come to assume centrality in contemporary capitalism, in a similar way to what happened with machinery in modern industry, impacting the relations between markets, state and political institutions, as well as the nature of democracy itself, including its ideological dimension and tensions in (and between) public and private spheres.

However, historically, such processes occur, as is known, in an uneven (and combined) manner in central and peripheral countries, which includes, in an often conflicting dimension, private technological development (transnational) and the role of States in the production and regulation of its applications within national and international limits. Thus, social, economic, political and cultural relations in central and peripheral countries are transformed, in a context in which scientific and technological developments contribute to significantly modify, asymmetrically, the productive structures and power relations in contemporary capitalism.

Considering such problems, this issue of the Shared Americas collection is proposed, in which academic texts will be compiled in the field of social and human sciences (philosophy, sociology, anthropology, political science, international relations, law and economics) with an emphasis on critical analysis, of a theoretical or empirical nature, on the transformations of contemporary capitalism in light of the new technological frontiers, as well as their impacts on conflicts and diverse asymmetries – in their social, political and cultural dimensions – in the central and peripheral American and, especially, Latin-American countries.

Deadlines

Sending an extended abstract of the article (max 12,000 characters)March 15th, 2021
Sending the full article to the organizers (between 15 and 20 pages)July 15th, 2021

Organizers:

Edemilson Paraná – Professor at the Graduate Program in Social Sciences – Comparative Studies on the Americas at the University of Brasília (UnB) and at the Department of Social Sciences / Graduate Program in Sociology at the Federal University of Ceará (UFC), Brazil.

Ricardo S. Kaminski – Researcher, doctoral student in the Postgraduate Program in Social Sciences – Comparative Studies on the Americas at the University of Brasília (UnB), Brazil.

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