CFP: Commentary on Carl Schmitt’s Die Buribunken

It is little known that one of Carl Schmitt’s first publications was the Die Buribunken published in SUMMA in 1918. Indeed many readers otherwise familiar with Schmitt’s Weimar writings would be surprised. The Die Buribunken can only be described as a piece of speculative fiction. In it Schmitt discusses the future emergence of a specific posthuman – die Buribunken – humans who have become integrated into a global system of continuous diary writing and dissemination. The Buribunken are creatures that live by the motto of ‘I think, therefore I am; I speak, therefore I am; I write therefore I am; I publish therefore I am’ and consider themselves ‘a letter on the typewriter of history.’

This cynical, irreverent and ironic text presents an information culture out of control; where individuals
are reduced to data and time is compressed into
‘rat seconds’ that need to be organised, managed and possibly exterminated. With Trump, social media, audit culture, the neoliberal university and the tyranny of continuous connection from our digitally accelerated existence, it seems to be a text that has become resonant, if not prophetic.

In recognition of the centenary of publication, Griffith Law School and the Law Futures Centre have produced the first full English translation of Die Buribunken. To further develop critical reflection on the text and what it means for understanding Schmitt and his legacy, informational existence, speculative fiction as critique, the power and politics of data, the tragedy of the posthuman and much more, we are inviting contributions for consideration in an edited volume.

Project timeline

• Proposals, including abstracts (300 words) and a brief one page CV: 15 August 2018
• Full papers (5000-8000 words): 28 February 2019
• Review process for papers: March to July 2019
• Planned submission of full manuscript to publisher: September 2019

For more information, submissionof proposal or for a copy of the English translation of
Die Buribunken, please contact Kieran Tranter:

About the author

Library Technology Specialist, West Virginia University College of Law