Special Exhibits: STS Across Borders

Furthering its theme, TRANSnational STS, the 4S Sydney conference will include special exhibits that showcase STS from different regions, diasporas, and genealogies. Together, exhibits will explore different ways STS developed across time and space, and the structures, infrastructures, and systems that have allowed–or worked against–the cultivation of STS modes of thinking.

Exhibits in STS Across Borders will be presented gallery-style in Sydney, and also curated as digital collections that can be preserved, elaborated, and accessed over time in a new 4S archive. Presenters who elect to curate digital exhibits are also encouraged to have a physical exhibit in Sydney. Both gallery and online material can be presented in many languages. The goal is to build deeply diverse grounds for the future of STS and 4S.

STS Across Borders exhibits could have various kinds of foci. Examples of these include exhibits featuring:

  • STS in a particular country or region (STS in China or East Asian STS, for example)
  • STS in a particular department/ educational program
  • An STS journal (Social Studies of Science, for example, or Cultural Anthropology (focusing especially on its STS publications))
  • Events/ Phenomena/ Social Movements of interest and relevance to STS, such as various March for Science demonstrations across the world in April 2017

The goal of STS Across Borders is to support collective engagement across such different traditions and enactments of STS in the lead-up to Sydney, in Sydney, and beyond. Thus, beyond the Sydney conference, STS Across Borders exhibits could also be installed in various STS departments, library foyers, or in local science musea. Digital collections prepared as part of STS Across Borders also can be engaged in multiple ways beyond the Sydney conference: for example, for individual research, workshops (online or in-person), and classes.

Proposals for STS Across Borders exhibits should be approximately 250 words, indicating the title and focus of the exhibit, and the kind of material expected to be archived online. Proposed projects do not have to have a deep digital archiving component. Minimally, proposals should include a plan for a small gallery exhibit. Exhibit curators will work with the STS Across Borders Design Group to work out allowable formats, permissions, and so on. Proposals can be submitted by individuals or groups, but must have a lead-curator. To submit a digital exhibit, at least one curator for each project must complete online training to learn about the project’s digital platform. This training will give curators both autonomy within the project platform, and capacity to connect to curators of other exhibits.

Gallery Exhibits exhibits will be organized around small posters that together tell a story about how STS has developed in a particular setting, or in response to a particular problem. Exhibits could also be designed around specific narratives already published–like Michael Fischer’s “Anthropological STS in Asia” (Annual Review of Anthropology 2016) or Pablo Kreimer and Hebe Vessuri’s
“Latin American Science, Technology, and Society: a Historical and Reflexive Approach” (Tapuya 2017). Curators are encouraged to design posters that respond to questions that can also be answered in other exhibits, allowing for comparison. See sample questions below.

The STS Across Borders Design Group will provide poster templates and easy instructions for printing. See the posters made by the Bread and Puppet Theatre Group for ideas (though STS Across Borders exhibits will need more detailed content).  Posters will be archived online as photo essays.

Table space for each exhibit (see photo) can be used to display books, journals, old conference programs, and so on. Exhibits can also include a computer (provided by the exhibiting group) where visitors can explore associated digital collections.

Digital Collections can be more expansive, and can include oral histories, field research videos, department brochures and posters, photos, and so on, all of which can be captioned or annotated. The architecture of the digital platform for the project will support shadow box-like displays (for inspiration see the “assemblage art” of Joseph Cornell), with each box-within-the box treated as a holding place for material (textual, audio, and video). Exhibit curators will go through on-line training to learn how to work within the project’s digital platform, gaining experience and skills that can support further collaboration and other digital projects. People primarily interested in the digital aspects of STS Across Borders can train to become Editorial Infrastructure Fellows who will work across projects.

Contributing Editors Program

In the lead up to the conference, the STS Across Borders Design Group will run a Contributing Editors program to support people building exhibits. The program will run from February 1, 2018 through 4S Sydney, meeting virtually every month to share ideas, maintain momentum, and develop strategies for encouraging engagement with exhibits. Students are encouraged to join the program to fulfill degree requirements for research or as an independent study course in their home departments (see sample bibliography below as an example of something that students can build and annotate on the platform towards course requirements). Participants can work on a project they select themselves, or on an assigned project–focusing on 4S itself, for example, on journals such as Science, Technology, & Human Values, and Engaging Science, Technology, and Society, or on the history of a regional STS organization such as the Asociación Latinoamericana de Estudios Sociales de la Ciencia y la Tecnología  (ESOCITE). Participants in the Contributing Editors Program will also collectively build a shared bibliography intended to  become a resource across across STS communities, helping to identify convergences and divergences across diverse intellectual traditions and genealogies. Please review  further details about the Contributing Editors program. If interested in joining, please sign up here. Deadline for signing up is February 5, 2018.

POSSIBLE EXHIBIT ORGANIZING QUESTIONS

Querying STS Genealogies

  • How do you delineate or name the STS genealogy or network that you describe here?
  • What is the broad discursive context within which STS operates in your region? How, for example, did the April 2017 March for Science play out in your region? Who participated and why? How was it covered by the media and talked about in public arenas?
  • What political developments and formations (varied colonialisms, fundamentalisms and parochialisms, for example) set the stage for STS in your region?
  • What historical events point to the beginnings and development of STS in your region?
  • What universities, scholarly societies, journals, and other organizations provide a home for STS scholarship in your region, and through what kinds of programs?
  • What educational programs in your region produce STS scholars and practitioners?
  • What threads of scholarly work in your region address STS themes and concerns?
  • What scholarly topics and themes in your region call for cross-region comparison and dialogue?
  • What concepts and debates have focused (and delimited) STS work in your region and network?
  • How, in your region and STS network, are gender, race, class, and indigeneity enacted, studied, contested, and otherwise at issue?
  • Where and how is STS put into practice in your region?
  • What opportunities are there to fund and grow STS in your region?
  • How could 4S (as an organization) support STS in your region?

POSSIBLE EXHIBIT ORGANIZING QUESTIONS

STS Departments and Programs

  • What was the originating contexts of STS in this institution and department?
  • What scholars and kinds of scholarship characterized the earliest phase of (what can now be called) STS at this institution?
  • How has STS in this department evolved and been elaborated?
  • What STS courses and degree programs has this department or program offered?
  • What faculty, students, and alums research, teach, and practice STS today?
  • What initiatives at this institution move STS into practice and beyond the academy?
  • What STS projects have been done in this department or program?
  • What future plans and visions are there for STS in this department and institution?

POSSIBLE EXHIBIT ORGANIZING QUESTIONS

Querying STS Publications

  • What were the originating contexts of this STS publication?
  • What kinds of scholarship characterized the earliest phase of (what can now be called) STS in this publication?
  • How has STS in this publication evolved and been elaborated?
  • How has this publication sought to support and enable diverse strands of STS scholarship?
  • What publishing model does this publication pursue? How often is an issue published? How has this publication been financially sustained?
  • How has this publication been governed? What practices of peer review, editorship, and professional oversight characterize this publication?
  • What innovations have been pursued by this publication to promote and consolidate scholarly community?
  • What initiatives have been pursued by this publication to make itself relevant to broader public discussions?
  • What future plans and visions for promoting STS scholarship have been formulated by this publication?

Select STS Across Borders Bibliography

  1. Anderson, Warwick, and Vincanne Adams 2008. “Pramoedya’s Chickens: Postcolonial Studies of Technoscience.” In Handbook of Science and Technology Studies. 3rd edition. Edward J Hackett, Olga Amsterdamska, Michael Lynch, and Judy Wajcman, eds. pp. 181–204. Cambridge, Massachusetts; London, England: MIT Press.
  2. Auerbach, Jess. 2017. “What a New University in Africa is Doing to Decolonise Social Sciences. Society for Social Studies of Science Backchannels Blog Post. July 20.
  3. Bijker, Wiebe 2003. “The Need for Public Intellectuals: A Space for STS: Pre-Presidential Address, Annual Meeting 2001, Cambridge, MA.” Science, Technology, & Human Values 28(4): 443–450.
  4. Bijker, Wiebe 2017. “Constructing Worlds: Reflections on Science, Technology and Democracy (and a Plea for Bold Modesty).” Engaging Science, Technology, and Society 3: 315–331.
  5. Breyman, Steve, Nancy Campbell, Virginia Eubanks, and Abby Kinchy 2017. “STS and Social Movements: Pasts and Futures.” In Handbook of Science and Technology Studies. 4th edition. Ulrike Felt, Rayvon Fouché, Clark Miller, and Laurel Smith-Doerr, eds. pp. Cambridge, Massachusetts; London, England: MIT Press.
  6. Fischer, Michael 2007. “Four Genealogies for a Recombinant Anthropology of Science and Technology.” Cultural Anthropology 22(4): 539–615.
  7. Fischer, Michael 2016. “Anthropological STS in Asia.” Annual Review of Anthropology 45: 181–198.
  8. Fortun, Kim, Scott Gabriel Knowles, Vivian Choi, Paul Jobin, Pedro de la Torre III, Max Liboiron, and Luis Felipe R. Murillo 2017. “Researching Disaster from an STS Perspective.” In Handbook of Science and Technology Studies. 4th edition. Ulrike Felt, Rayvon Fouché, Clark Miller, and Laurel Smith-Doerr, eds. pp. 1003–1028. Cambridge, Massachusetts; London, England: MIT Press.
  9. Fu, Daiwie 2007. “How Far Can East Asian STS Go? A Position Paper.” East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal 1: 1-14.
  10. Fu, Daiwie and Ruey-Lin Chen editors. 2012. What are East Asian STS Theories: Questions, Qualifications, and Strategies? a special issue of East Asian Science, Technology and Society. 6/4.
  11. Haraway, Donna J. 1994. “A Game of Cat’s Cradle: Science Studies, Feminist Theory, Cultural Studies.” Configurations 2(1): 59–71.
  12. Harding, Sandra G. 1998. Is Science Multicultural?: Postcolonialisms, Feminisms, and Epistemologies. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
  13. Khandekar, Aalok, Koen Beumer, Annapurna Mamidipudi, Pankaj Sekhsaria, and Wiebe Bijker 2017. “STS for Development.” In Handbook of Science and Technology Studies. 4th edition. Ulrike Felt, Rayvon Fouché, Clark Miller, and Laurel Smith-Doerr, eds. pp. 665–693. Cambridge, Massachusetts; London, England: MIT Press.
  14. Kreimer, Pablo, and Hebe Vessuri 2018. “Latin American Science, Technology, and Society: A Historical and Reflexive Approach.” Tapuya 1(1): 17–37.
  15. Kuo, Wen-Hua. 2017.  “Provincializing STS: an EASTS Forum on how East Asia complicates the STS Landscape,” Society for Social Studies of Science Backchannels Blog Post.  August 23.
  16. Medina, Eden, Ivan da Costa Marques, Christina Holmes, and Marcos Cueto (eds.) 2014. Beyond Imported Magic: Essays on Science, Technology, and Society in Latin America. Cambridge, Massachusetts; London, England: MIT Press.
  17. Satish, Joseph. 2017. “Describing and Intervening: Exploring the Plurality of STS in India.” Society for Social Studies of Science Backchannels Blog Post. (link)
  18. Subramaniam, Banu, Laura Foster, Sandra Harding, Deboleena Roy, and Kim TallBear 2017. “Feminism, Postcolonialism, Technoscience.” In Handbook of Science and Technology Studies. 4th edition. Ulrike Felt, Rayvon Fouché, Clark Miller, and Laurel Smith-Doerr, eds. pp. 407–433. Cambridge, Massachusetts; London, England: MIT Press.
  19. Van House, Nancy A. 2004. “Science and Technology Studies and Information Studies.” Annual Review of Information Science and Technology (ARIST) 38: 3–86.
  20. Vessuri, Hebe. 2014.  “The Role of Science in the Ideology of Five Models of Latin American Modernity,”  lecture at conference on “Inequality, Education and Social Power” (http://ies.hypotheses.org/) hosted by the German Humanities Institutes Abroad.   Lecture on vimeo https://vimeo.com/117662260.
  21. Visvanathan, Shiv 1997. A Carnival for Science: Essays on Science, Technology, and Development. Delhi, India; New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  22. Visvanathan, Shiv 2002. “The Future of Science Studies.” Futures 34: 91–101.
  23. Watson-Verran, Helen, and David Turnbull 1995. “Science and Other Indigenous Knowledge Systems.” In Handbook of Science and Technology Studies. Sheila Jasanoff, Gerald E. Markle, James C. Peterson, and Trevor Pinch, eds. pp. 115–139. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

STS Across Borders Design Group

Managing Editor:  Aalok Khandekar / Digital Editor: Lindsay Poirier /

Archivist: Vivian Wong / Gallery Editors: Noela Invernizzi and Hined Rafeh /

Exhibit Advisors: Vivian Choi / Maral Erol / Kim Fortun / Anna Harris / Angela Okune / Grant Otsuki

 

Questions? Contact Aalok Khandekar (aalok@iith.ac.in)