A one day meeting to critically examine the sociological theory developed by Katz and Aakhus in 1999 (cf. Katz and Aakhus, eds. Perpetual Contact: Mobile Communication, Private Talk, Public Performance (Cambridge University Press 2004)), a remarkably fruitful predictive account of human uses of mobile technology.
Results: A future journal issue is planned, along with a larger conference, perhaps to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Apparatgeist theory. Prof. Floyd’s participation led to an invitation to a conference on “Media Immersion and Forms of Life” at UCLA sponsored by Davide Panagia (UCLA, Political Science) and Vannessa Nurock (EPIDAPO CNRS-UCLA, Paris 8). Cooperation with participants of this group at UCLA, Québec and the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne has lead to a plan to submit a grant application through UCLA with the Borchard Foundation for a conference in 2019 on “The Fate of Society in an Age of Automation”. This will join researchers from political theory, sociology, philosophy, and media studies in an examination of the effects of automation and the implementation of algorithms on everyday life, democracy, ethics, and care.
We are grateful to the Feld Family Professorship and the Boston University Center for Mobile Communication Studies, as well as the Boston University Philosophy Department for Co-Sponsoring this Event.