This special issue brings together scholars of technology and society in Asia to consider how specific information and communication technologies (ICTs) express and even transform what is considered human. The issue’s title provokes a question concerning not only the extent to which human beings are now networked via ICTs but also the extent to which network technologies configure and change human beings. It also considers the possibility that ICTs contribute to and may, in the future, challenge and infringe on the collective identity and self-awareness expressed by and often reserved for the category “human.” Contributors examine state, collective, and individual engagements with particular ICTs in countries with both relatively high and low levels of ICT penetration. The essays aim to understand how different forms of humanness present in these contexts are shaped by the ways in which technological infrastructure expresses and intertwines with social and national orders and imaginations.
Contributors: Itty Abraham, Warwick Anderson, Michiel Baas, Guillaume Carré, Prasenjit Duara, Michael M. J. Fischer, Connor Graham, Chihyung Jeon, Eric Kerr, Alfred Montoya, Natalie Pang, Sora Park, John W. P. Phillips, Ryosuke Takeuchi