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[ecrea] Call For Papers: Lost in Translation? People, Technologies for Practices and Concepts Across Boundaries
Sat Jan 28 00:14:28 GMT 2017
Call For Papers
We are pleased to announce the first joint meeting of the Red EsCTS and
the Portuguese STS network. The meeting will take place in Lisbon,
Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa (Av. Prof.
Aníbal de Bettencourt, 9, 1600-189 Lisboa www.ics.ulisboa.pt
<http://www.ics.ulisboa.pt/>) from the 7th to 9th of June with the
following title: Lost in Translation? People, Technologies for Practices
and Concepts Across Boundaries. We welcome proposals for papers,
communications, audiovisual presentations and alternative formats.
Portugal and Spain share many things but they are also divided by
several boundaries – political, linguistic, historical, technological.
Part of a same peninsula, they are nonetheless entities on their own
right: two countries, two political systems, several languages, and,
furthermore, two academic systems, two STS communities. In a way, they
represent two sides of a border. And yet, as Science and Technology
Studies (STS) have taught us, borders and boundaries are far from being
An STS perspective shows that boundaries are continuously traversed,
continuously challenged, continuously re-made. It also shows that
maintaining boundaries is a performative practice, which requires
separation and integration, difference and translation as well as
interdiction and transgression. In fact, maintaining borders forcefully
requires objects, people and information that can pass through such borders.
The idea of ‘boundary objects’, first suggested in 1989 by Susan
Leigh-Star and James Griesemer, refers to those entities that are
“plastic enough to adapt to local needs and constraints of the several
parties employing them, yet robust enough to maintain a common identity
across sites” (Leigh-Star and Griesemer, 1989:393). Boundary objects are
part of multiple social worlds at once, therefore facilitating
communication and translation between them; at the same time, they
reside in the borderlands where two or more social worlds overlap,
without fully belonging to any of them, like monsters or cyborgs (Bowker
and Star, 1999).
Are STS meetings a kind of ‘boundary object’? We somehow think so, and
indeed reflections on boundaries and borders are not new to us. Former
meetings of the Spanish Red esCTS have explicitly posed the challenge of
opening up the boundaries of STS and speaking to concerned publics and
collectives beyond academia. The dynamics and paradoxes of academic
diasporas have also figured prominently in previous meetings, as many
Spanish (and also Portuguese) researchers have been forced to migrate
due to lack of funding or other issues related to the economic crisis
that has so harshly hit our countries. And we feel that this first joint
meeting between the Portuguese and Spanish STS communities offers a
privileged opportunity to continue thinking about boundary crossing,
identities in the making and remaking, translation between social
worlds, and technological, political or academic practices beyond borders.
This meeting aims to be an opportunity for STS scholars in Spain,
Portugal and elsewhere to meet and share their social, academic,
epistemological and political experiences generated by the difficulties
and opportunities arising from crossing territorial, linguistic,
disciplinary, and professional boundaries. We invite individual or joint
papers, but also short communications, audiovisual presentations and
alternative format proposals that reflect upon the following themes:
* Practices, technologies and objects involved in
dismantling/constituting boundaries, in particular geographic,
linguistic, disciplinary, technological, and political boundaries.
* Research practices that work within, and expand, the interstitial
spaces between conceptual boundaries.
* STS views and theories on trends of academic mobility specifically,
and migration more generally.
* The sociotechnical constitution/mapping out of diasporas.
* The establishment of hierarchies of academic mobility (“centers” and
* What do borders mean and who are they designed to keep out? What is
their role in current EU politics of technoscience?
* The return (or dislocation) to one’s original country/institution
and the transformation of individuals and communities who remain.
* The naturalization of foreign nationals living in Spain and Portugal.
* Challenges in translating/adapting generic (Anglophone, French) STS
concepts into other languages and local contexts.
* Hybridisation of academic identities and careers.
While these suggestions are an opportunity to reflect upon specific
themes that the organizing committee wanted to draw attention on, we are
happy to consider proposals and papers that do not directly address
these topics but fit into an STS conference and may still enrich and
stimulate our meeting.
We welcome presentations, activities, performances and contributions in
English, any of the official languages of the Spanish state, and
Portuguese. Please send your proposal (max. 250 words) to
(es.cts.es /at/ gmail.com) <mailto:(es.cts.es /at/ gmail.com)>, including contact data
(name, email address, institution if present).
Deadline for sending proposals: Friday 10th of February 2017.
Attendance to the meeting will be open and free of charge.
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