Call for contributions

The call for contributions to the 5th STS-CH Conference, University of Lausanne, 15-17 February 2021, is currently open.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions at: contact@sts-ch.org

CONFERENCE RATIONALE

Over the past decades, in the face of natural hazards, economic collapses, democratic deficits and other forms of daunting setbacks, a prosperous body of literature has emerged to address the precariousness, complexity and plurality of things, beings and their coexistence. Within this literature emerging from Science and Technology Studies, as well as from bordering disciplines, various debates have suggested the fragility of not only the Earth and its ecosystems, but also of large technical systems, forms of life, human bodies and scientific knowledge. Different scholars and researchers have argued that such cataclysms offer us potential pathways to rethink the emergence and composition of heterogeneous worlds, the relations between various ecologies of possibility, so as to reconnect with non-human forms, values, actors and species. Many of them argue for re-imagining the politics of inquiry to develop arts of noticing the “thickness” or “togetherness” of the actual and multiple worlds we inhabit.

Building on these debates, this inter/national conference invites contributions that engage empirically, but also methodologically or theoretically, with fragile futures. This invitation has taken on a new urgency in the light of the global pandemics of COVID-19, and the resulting total crisis. In this new call, we therefore welcome contributions addressing this unprecedented event as an occasion to reflect upon fragilisation, discontinuation, and recomposition processes.

Against this backdrop, the overarching conference aim is to reassess the recent contributions of STS and beyond to the study of emerging worlds by gathering scholars from both inside and outside this interdisciplinary field of research. Through different formats (workshops, thematic panels, exhibitions, art performances, round tables etc.), we seek to address how such approaches can have significant impact on the understanding of contemporary issues such as climate change, global health, digitalisation, knowledge politics, open innovation, maintenance and discontinuation, heritage and futurism, migration and care practices, among others, by capturing how they participate in reinventing worlds in the making. We welcome all proposals that allow for fruiUul exchanges, experimental collaborations and speculative modes of engagement between academics from various disciplines, but also with and among activists, artists, and anyone concerned.

Possible topics include

  • Climate change and environmental sciences
  • Artificial intelligence and algorithm studies
  • Knowledge politics and post-truth
  • Maintenance and repair studies
  • Migration and border studies
  • Medicine and environmental health
  • Gender studies and material feminism
  • Communication infrastructure and digital technologies
  • Hacking, DIY and open innovation
  • Market devices and the platform economy
  • Digital cities, open government and platform urbanism
  • Participatory design and experimental knowledge infrastructures
  • Media studies and web philosophy

Like former editions before the Swiss STS Meeitng 2021 is intended to encourage and promote the social, historical and philosophical study of sciences in Switzerland. This event lasts for three days and aims at bringing together STS scholars of all career levels.

Submission formats

It is possible to submit either a paper or an open or closed panel. Multiple submissions are permitted in principle. In order to give a maximum of people an opportunity to participate in the conference, the organizers may take multiple authorship into consideration when making final decisions.

Open panel submission

Panel proposals for open panels should be submitted by 15 September 2020. Along with traditional academic sessions, the submission of alternative formats is encouraged. These can include (but are not limited to) roundtables, workshop-style sessions, art performances, exhibitions, and other performances. We welcome papers covering the above topics or any other relevant issue. The open panel accepted organizers issue a call for papers and will group paper proposals into the panel. Submissions for papers should be written in English. They should include the name and contact details (email address and affiliation) of the proposer, the title of the proposal and an abstract of no more than 250 words.

Closed panel submission

Closed panels should be submitted by 15 October 2020. Closed panels will be comprised of 3 to 6 papers. Submissions for closed panels should be written in English. They should include a short description of the proposed theme (max. 200 words), the titles and abstracts of the papers (no more than 250 words for each), as well as the names and contact details of convenors and speakers (email addresses and affiliation). Convenors will be responsible for organizing their panel according to the constraints specified by the conference organizers. The organizers might ask convenors to include additional papers that fit into their panels.

Paper submission

Paper proposals should be submitted by 15 October 2020. We welcome proposals covering the above topics or any other relevant issue. The organizers will group paper proposals into panels. Submissions for papers should be written in English. They should include the name and contact details (email address and affiliation) of the proposer, the title of the proposal and an abstract of no more than 250 words.

HOW TO SUBMIT

Submission happens via scienceconf: First, your need to create an account on sciencesconf. Then, you can submit your panel or paper proposal using the “New submission” page.

IMPORTANT DATES

  • September 15, 2020: Deadline for open panel submission
  • October 15, 2020: Deadline for paper and closed panel submissions
  • November 1, 2020: Notification acceptance or rejection
  • December 30, 2020: Closing date for registration
  • January, 15 2021: Publication of the conference programme
  • February 15-17, 2021: Conference

ORIGINAL CONFERENCE RATIONALE
OF STS-CH 2020

Over the past decades, in the face of natural hazards, economic collapses, democratic deficits and other forms of daunting setbacks, a prosperous body of literature has emerged to address the precariousness, complexity and plurality of things, beings and their coexistence. Within this literature emerging from Science and Technology studies, as well as from bordering disciplines, various debates have suggested the fragility of not only the Earth and its ecosystems, but also of large technical systems, forms of life, human bodies and scientific knowledge. Different scholars and researchers have argued that such cataclysms offer us potential pathways to rethink the emergence and composition of heterogeneous worlds, the relations between various ecologies of possibility, so as to reconnect with non-human forms, values, actors and species. Many of them argue for re-imagining the politics of inquiry to develop arts of noticing the “thickness” or “togetherness” of the actual and multiple worlds we inhabit.

Building on these debates, this international conference invites contributions that engage empirically, but also methodologically or theoretically, with fragile futures. The aim is to reassess the recent contributions of STS and beyond to the study of emerging worlds by gathering scholars from both inside and outside this field of research. Through different formats (workshops, thematic panels, exhibitions, art performances, round tables etc.), our objective is to address how such approaches can have significant impact on the understanding of contemporary issues such as climate change, artificial intelligence, knowledge politics, maintenance and repair, heritage and futurism, open innovation, migration and border studies and care practices by capturing how they participate in reinventing worlds in the making. We welcome all proposals that allow for fruitful exchanges, experimental collaborations and speculative modes of engagement between academics from various disciplines, but also with and among activists, artists, and anyone concerned.

Studio Tomás Saraceno, 2017. Exhibition ON AIR, Carte Blanche à Tomás Saraceno, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, du 17 octobre 2018 au 6 janvier 2019.