Call for Papers
Amodern 9: Techniques and Technologies

Edited by Grant Wythoff

Proposals of 300 words due: 1 September 2018
Drafts of 4000-8000 words due: 1 November2018

Ideas are products of our environments. It’s no accident that when a new paradigm of media studies appeared on the scene going by the name of “media archaeology,” we were in the process of turning on our first smartphones and gawking at our friends’ new tablets. Media archaeology gave us a set of historical lenses through which, if only indirectly, we could understand those strange gadgets in terms of what came before. A decade later, digital devices are an embedded part of our daily lives. Far clearer are the changes they have introduced to our relationships, our politics, and our sense of the world around us. Perhaps for this reason, scholars are increasingly adopting approaches to the use of media technology, from philosophies of technique, habit, and know-how, to histories of neglected ideas like psychotechnics, the useful arts, and the chaîne opératoire. Recent scholarship along these lines includes studies of philosophies of technology written by eighteenth- and nineteenth-century engineers and mechanics, the growing translation and influence of work on cultural techniques [Kulturtechniken], and an ongoing Historical Dictionary of Media-in-Use [Historisches Wörterbuch des Mediengebrauchs].

This issue of Amodern will profile how media studies scholars of all kinds are extending the object-orientation of media archaeology. What are some of the emerging approaches to the sensuousness, intimacy, virtuosity, and fetishism that characterizes the relationship between users and their devices? What do the terms technics / technique / technê / technology mean in a work of media scholarship today? Methodological reflections are also welcome: at what point in your research did you begin reaching out for new points of reference? How do scholars who are trained in the analysis of texts and artifacts approach questions of technique? Are ethnographic methods necessary?

Topics include and are not limited to:

–the intellectual history of “technics” among American writers (Lewis Mumford, Thorstein Veblen)
–craft and artisanship in the history of science
–philosophies of technology written by practitioners (mechanics, engineers)
–the philosophy of know-how and non-propositional knowledge
–disability and accessibility
–repair and maintenance
–communities of practice
–competitive gaming and virtuosity
–athleticism, exercise, and the quantified self
–affordance theory
–cultural techniques (Kulturtechniken; Siegert)
–habitus (Bourdieu)
–techniques of the body (Mauss)
–chaîne opératoire (Leroi-Gourhan)
–psychotechnics (Münsterberg)
–Birminghamian cultural studies

Proposals of 300 words are due to by September 1, 2018. Once accepted, full drafts of 4,000 to 8,000 words are due by November 1, 2018.


Ongoing Call for Papers


Peer-reviewed articles are the backbone of Amodern. Each issue will consist primarily of peer-reviewed articles on a specific topic or theme.


To propose an issue idea to the editors, please send an email to with the following information: Title; Significance / impact of topic; Description of the issue (number of articles, interviews, type and source of images); List of likely contributors; Relevant expertise of the editor(s); Work plan (including timelines).


Amodern publishes two kinds of interviews: article-length pieces, which may be submitted for an issue following the regular process, and feature-length interviews for our eponymous series, “The Amoderns.” Feature-length interviews are not normally accepted over the transom, but if you have something completed and unpublished that you think might be appropriate for an upcoming issue, you’re welcome to make an inquiry.


Each issue of Amodern showcases a small body of work by a particular artist or collective. To submit work for consideration, send us a URL to your portfolio and a short statement about the nature of your work.


We are interested in new forms for academic writing, such as the technical reports for communication in the Humanities that Nick Montfort describes in “Beyond the Journal and the Blog.” The “Reports” section of Amodern is primarily a venue for unvetted interdisciplinary discourse that prioritizes flexibility, urgency, and sharability.

Special Projects

We will be using Amodern to showcase other kinds of materials as well: audio, video, and documentary/archival materials. If you have a proposal for such a project that works well with an upcoming topic and it’s within your technical skills to produce and our technical means to support it, we’ll consider it. Please contact us for further details.

The editors may decide, with advance notice, to experiment with other formats for peer review in a digital networked milieu, including open peer review. Notices of any such changes in our peer review process will appear here.


Amodern uses Chicago Style with endnotes (bibliography incorporated into the notes). Please format all submitted papers accordingly.

Submitting to Amodern

Please send all submissions and queries to:

submissions [at] amodern [dot] net