Call for papers

6, 2 (2023)

The next issue of the journal will be devoted to Leroi-Gourhan’s Gesture and Speech, a work that revealed seminal in many aspects also for those who did not share its approach: to deduce the urgency of speech from technological gestures, based on the assumption that technology and language develop parallelly. The first volume of the book was entitled Technics and Language, although the nexus there partially appeared as a conflation. But technology is language, language is technology as well, at least in the sense that language is the original counterpart of human technicity, both as a condition and as a consequence in the form of a proto-technique as the technique of all techniques. In elaborating on his grounding theses, which bring into play the relationships between the hand and the mouth, sight and actions, Leroi-Gourhan referred to neurology: “Humans, though they started out with the same formula as primates, can make tools as well as symbols, both of which derive from the same process or, rather, draw upon the same basic equipment in the brain.” Given such a biological starting point, Leroi-Gourhan dealt with history, economy, and aesthetics to provide a fascinating and impressive anthropological frame.
Leroi-Gourhan’s anthropology is nonetheless controversial precisely for the emphasis put on the nexus between technology and language, a question on which it is worth considering further debate in the anthropology of technology.
Of course, this is not the only way to interpret the relationship between our two terms. For instance, among the bulk of variously mutual connections, we can take into consideration either “the technology of language” or “the language of technology”, whereby the technology of language is not only poetry and rhetoric but also every form of technological operation that manipulates language and human beings, from advertising to propaganda. By the same token, the language of technology is not only specific and technical, but it concerns above all the rhetoric deployed by technocracies to pollute public opinion (especially concerning politics).
Therefore, we expect submissions on these topics for the sixth issue of Mechane:

• Palaeontology of Technology and Language: The origin of language and technology as vectors of anthropogenesis, above all as regards palaeontology, as well as cultural and philosophical anthropology;
• Neurology and Cognitive science: The study of the brain, with emphasis on its link with motion (and/or action) and language;
• Politics of language: the use of language in public contexts (and with its different purposes: persuasion, control etc.) from antiquity to the Anthropocene;
• Logic and linguistics: analysis of given linguistic phenomena (e.g. deictics) and more general issues (the use and meaning of “being” as a verb) from the standpoint of formal logic and linguistics;
• The language of science: reflections on the use of language in different scientific fields, with attention to be especially paid to the relationship between common and scientific language, mostly on the background of disinformation and misinformation.

We welcome submissions in English, Italian, German, French, and Spanish. All interested people are pleased to submit a short abstract (up to 500 words) by 4 November 2023 to the e-mail address:

Potential authors must declare for which section they are presenting their paper.

Final submissions should not overcome 40 000 characters (including spaces) and must be received by 30 November 2023.

Manuscripts undergo a double-blind peer review.