Message posted on 28/11/2023

EASST /4S: CfP: Panel „Outer Space: Imaginaries, Infrastructures and Interventions“

                Dear all,

Interested in STS and Outer Space? Join us at the EASST / 4S Conference for
the panel
„Outer Space: Imaginaries, Infrastructures and Interventions“

We look forward to your abstract (Deadline: February 12, 2024) and seeing you
in Amsterdam!

Short abstract: Whose politics are being played out in realigning our
engagement with outer space? Which futures are being performed in the present?
Focusing on imaginaries and their entanglement with social and material
infrastructures, the panel explores modes of engagement with outer space in
the new space age.

Nina Klimburg-Witjes (University of Vienna)
Joseph Popper (Basel Academy of Art and Design FHNW)
Matjaz Vidmar (University of Edinburgh)

Long Abstract:
How can we conceptualize outer space imaginaries and infrastructures from an
STS perspective? And in what ways might the study of outer space futures
prompt a re-evaluation of fundamental concepts of human existence & societal
organization, both in space and on Earth? Our aim is to interrogate outer
space technoscience as a contested site and place that opens up and refracts
multiple conversations at the heart of STS. We will explore human activities
in / engagements with outer space across multiple dimensions, from cultural
and social meanings to economics, politics, and controversies. This panel
focuses on the productions, narrations, and rehearsals of diverse visions of
humankind as a spacefaring civilization and questions what these visions mean
for human futures on and off Earth. We encourage research perspectives that
advance a symmetrical treatment of the material and imaginative aspects
involved in (future) space projects and infrastructures. Attending to the
multidimensional relationships between imaginaries and infrastructures, the
panel explores how the future can be claimed in the present by envisioning,
building, or re-purposing infrastructures and the communities oriented around
them. We aim to highlight the infra-structuring role of the imaginary as a
powerful social force, shaping and consolidating the ambitions of space actors
for occupying the cosmos and multiple forms of resistance.

Thinking through interdisciplinary ideas of intervention, we particularly seek
contributions that play with perspectives in conceptualizing outer space
imaginaries and infrastructures by focusing on (but not limited to) questions
of outer space settlements, commercialization, environmentalism,
militarisation, (multi-)nationalism, exploitation, and environmental
protection, postcolonial trajectories of space science and infrastructures
including satellites and spaceports, planetarity, feminist, Afrofuturist,
indigenous and other alternative approaches towards the current space race and
methodological inventions for empirically studying outer space engagements.
This is a combined open panel; possible formats are short talks, panel
discussions, short films; video essays; poetry, and podcasts

How to submit:
Directly go to the webpage
 to submit your proposal and find details on terms
and requirements.
Submissions to panels must consist of:
• a title
• the name/s and email address/es of author/s
• a short abstract of fewer than 300 characters
• a long abstract of fewer than 250 words. Please indicate which kind of
contribution you are planning and how much time you would require

Assist.-Prof.Dr.Nina Klimburg Witjes
Principal Investigator (PI)
ERC Starting Grant Project „FutureSpace“

University of Vienna
Dep. of Science & Technology Studies
Kolingasse 14-16, 1090 Vienna

ResearchGate  II

Recent Publications:

° Klimburg-Witjes, N. & Trauttmansdorff, P. (2023): Technopolitics and the
Making of Europe: Infrastructures of Security. Routledge.

° Klimburg-Witjes, N. (2022): A Rocket to Protect? Sociotechnical Imaginaries
of Strategic Autonomy in Controversies About the European Rocket Program. In:
Geopolitics 10.1080/14650045.2023.2177157

° Clormann, M. & Klimburg-Witjes, N. (2022). Troubled Orbits and Earthly
Concerns: Space Debris as a Boundary Infrastructure. STHV, 47(5)

° Klimburg-Witjes, N., Leese, M., & Trauttmansdorff, P. (2022). Expanding
boundaries: Unmaking and remaking secrecy in field research. PARISS, 3(2)

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