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Message posted on 09/01/2019

CFp 4S 2019 Open Panel 'Becoming otherwise: STS inroads into techniques of the better self'

Apologies for cross-posting


4S 2019 New Orleans (September 4-7, 2019)


We would like to kindly invite you to submit an abstract to our open panel.


Deadline for abstract submission: Feb 1, 2019.


Please let us know if you have any questions!


The conveners: Sara Bea, Catelijne Coopmans, Else Vogel, Steve Woolgar
(Linköping University, Sweden)



Becoming Otherwise:

STS Inroads into Techniques of the Better Self


This panel explores the influential landscape of practices of personal
change and radical self-transformation. Practices and techniques for
self-improvement are part of encounters and ways of operating in
healthcare, education, professional development, life coaching, therapy,
spiritual practice, movements like the quantified self, etc. Various
instantiations share a staged ‘will to goodness’ and an emphasis on the
possibility of change, foregrounding an inward turn to learn how to become
a happier, healthier, wiser and sometimes also a wealthier version of
oneself.

Much existing literature in the social sciences attempts to grapple with
the ubiquity of ’the psy-complex’ by analysing the phenomenon as (yet)
another manifestation of neoliberal regimes. We wish to move away from such
an analytical cul-de-sac and craft stories that do not hinge on unilateral
critique or explanatory frameworks. Drawing on STS’ capacity to re-frame
the issues under study as well as to reinvent itself, we propose to ignite
an STS-inflected examination of ‘techniques of the better self’ that
poses
novel questions, mobilises inventive empirical methods, and opens up
interstitial spaces between critique and justification. What is involved in
lived instances or trajectories of ‘becoming otherwise’? What do these
allow us to learn about, for example, limits, sameness/difference, choice,
care, divisions, subjectivities? In order to address these questions, the
panel encourages a wide range of contributions that attend to the
teaching/learning, using, incorporating or evaluating techniques of the
better self.


For submission details: https://www.4s2019.org/accepted-open-panels/



All best,


Sara Bea

Postdoctoral researcher

Linkoping university

Sweden
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