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Message posted on 08/02/2020

EASST/4S call: Ideals and Ideologies of the material

We warmly invite abstract submissions to our panel at the 4S/EASST meeting in
August 2020:

Re-evaluating the high-tech and the low-tech: ideals and ideologies of the

Conference: 4S/EASST Prague 18th-21st Aug 2020

Convenors: Hannah Cowan (King's College London), Charlotte Khlbrandt (King's
College London), Natassia Brenman (The University of Cambridge)

Submission Deadline: 29th February

Call for abstracts:
This panel invites participants to question how values of high- and low-tech
become attached to and emerge from particular kinds of materialities. There is
growing concern in STS research around topics that get labelled
'technoscience', such as CRISPR genetically-engineered babies and cyborg-esque
uses of artificial intelligence. But here we want to trouble scholarly focus
on the materialities that get labelled high-tech, by thinking about the
"lowness" of low-tech (such as water supply, housing infrastructures etc). We
question taken-for-granted urgencies created by the politics and ethics of the
high-tech and point to stagnated material relations that perpetuate economic
inequality. Building on new materialism's attention to the mundane as well as
its often-neglected roots in historical materialism, this panel invites
participants to think about how different kinds of materialities matter in
particular spatiotemporal milieus. We encourage papers from different
theoretical or ideological perspectives to ask: When and how should STS
studies follow the biomedical endeavour to chase emerging worlds, and when
should we pay more attention to the present, or even dare to imagine our own
worlds? How should we as STS scholars collaborate or align ourselves with
different kinds of materialities? And what are the effects of how medical
practitioners, highly funded organisations, and STS scholars themselves, care
for these different types of materialities?

Visit: to submit.

Hannah Cowan
School of Population Health & Environmental Sciences
King's College London
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