New Materialist Informatics 2021 - NOW ONLINE!

Call for Contributions - Deadline for Submission: November 2, 2020

11th International New Materialisms Conference
New Materialist Informatics
23-25 March 2021
University of Kassel, GER

New Materialist Informatics: Computing and Worldmaking

New Materialist Informatics 2021 is an international conference that connects informatics and the humanities & social sciences through the innovative field of new materialist research. It is dedicated to exploring sociotechnical approach to informatics and relation between informatics and social, cultural, environmental and political domains. It is 11th in the series of new materialist conferences and it invites participants to investigate the possible intersections between, and beyond, new materialism and informatics. How can new materialism and informatics be brought together in ways that help build liveable and sustainable techno-lifeworlds? What new perspectives with regard to contemporary crises might emerge at such intersection and beyond? What kind of conceptual and methodological tools are needed for new materialist informatics design and research? This conference wishes to include and go beyond the new materialist readings of computing and computational artefacts and generate innovative perspectives on how techno-worldings can be performed from a new materialist perspective.

Confirmed Keynotes

  • Shaowen Bardzell, Professor of Informatics in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, Indiana University, USA.
  • Maaike Bleeker, Professor in Theatre Studies in the Department of Media & Culture Studies, Utrecht University, Netherlands.
  • Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Canada 150 Research Chair in New Media at the School of Communication, Simon Fraser University, Canada.
  • Felicity Colman, Professor of Media Arts and Associate Dean of Research for the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts, London, UK.
  • Aimi Hamraie, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Health, and Society and American Studies at the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society, Vanderbilt University, USA.
  • Safiya Umoja Noble, Associate Professor in the Department of Information Studies, University of California UCLA, Los Angeles, USA.

Conference Themes

In recent decades, new materialist thought has emerged as a transversal field of inquiry that successfully brings together and constructs hybrid spaces between the social sciences & the humanities and the natural & technical sciences & engineering. Within those spaces, engagement with the concerns around "the digital" has figured prominently. Increasing computing power and technological advancements that power the 4th industrial revolution as well as contribute to the 6th extinction highlight further need to account for the material basis as well as material consequences of informatics and to ask how techno-politics and techno-epistemologies can be reconfigured for these complex times. In this context, it is also particularly salient to further build hybrid research spaces spanning information sciences and the (post)humanities. "Materialist informatics" (Haraway, Hayles, Colman) thus can be seen as precisely such a field that highlights the inter- and intra-connectedness of computing and worldmaking, and the material stakes of such intra-connectedness.

The conveners of New Materialist Informatics invite to approach these inter-and intra-connections from a multiplicity of disciplinary perspectives, including humanities and social sciences, design, engineering and computer science. Suggested topics for abstracts for papers, panels as well as workshops and demonstrations include (but are not limited to):

  • Theoretical and conceptual frameworks for new materialist informatics
  • Material conditions and effects of informatics
  • Informational matters, matter as informational
  • Artistic research and material(ist) informatics
  • Environmental and medical informatics from a new materialist perspective
  • Methodologies for new materialist informatics research
  • New materialist design of computational artefacts: propositions, case studies, approaches, methodologies
  • HCI and new materialism
  • Transdisciplinary translations and their vocabularies: computer science - engineering - design - new materialism
  • Material intersections of informatics and race, dis/ability, gender, class and sexuality
  • Informatics beyond the global North: indigenous and post/decolonial computing
  • Contemporary concerns for new materialist informatics: pandemic reconfiguring of matter and technology, material intersections of race and informatics, technologies of protest,  matters of high-tech borders, viral technopolitics

Contribution Forms and Specifications

For papers and panels, please submit an up to 300-word abstract as well as name(s), biographical note(s) (150 words) and affiliations of author(s).
For workshops, please submit an up to 300-word abstract including suggested workshop plan; name(s), biographical note(s) (150 words) and affiliations of author(s); specifications for technical and material needs; maximum expected number of participants.
For demonstrations, please submit an up to 300-word abstract and visualisation(s) or detailed description of proposed work; name(s), biographical note(s) (150 words) and affiliations of author(s); specifications for technical and material needs.

Please submit your contributions via the Conference Tool System.

Conference Timeline

July 10, 2020 - Abstract submission system opens
November 2, 2020   November 19, 2020 - Deadline for submission
December 1, 2020 - Notifications of acceptance
December 15, 2020 - Registration open
March 23-25, 2021 – Conference

COVID-19 Information

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the conference will take place online.
More information will be provided in due time.

Fees and funding

Participants can anticipate that moderate participant fees will be requested (with different categories depending on employment/student status). The income from fees will be used towards honoraria for keynotes and respondents and, depending on availability, supporting artists, designers and presenters in need of support.

Organizers and Contact

The conference is organized by Gender/Diversity in Informatics Systems Research Group (GeDIS) and Research Center for Information System Design (ITeG), University of Kassel, Germany.
If you have any questions, please email us at