We are pleased to announce our upcoming conference on “Biographies of Numbers” organized by the sin-aps research group. It takes place from July 7-9, 2022, you can join us in person or via Zoom. For a detailed program please click here.
The conference explores the life of numerically framed knowledge from a global historical perspective on quantification, with a focus on the Chinese cultural realm. It is based on the assumption that numbers have their own lifes and are not simply the objective reflection of reality but socially, politically, culturally, and historically constructed knowledge and at the same time powerful agents which represent, transform, and recreate individual lives, social worlds, political spheres, nature, or other entities.
Following the global trajectory of a single number from its production and global dissemination to the divergent narratives surrounding its numerical value, we aim to analyze the stabilizing and destabilizing impact of numbers on individual and collective practices and imaginaries (and vice versa). We will limit ourselves to “scientific numbers”, i.e. those that are grounded on quantitative knowledge and method, yet our notion of “number” is also to be understood more broadly, including indicators, formulas, and statistics as well. More information can be found in the earlier Call for Papers.