Eurograd message

Message posted on 24/02/2020

Reminder: CfP "Infrastructuring Outer Space" (No. 87)

Dear colleagues,

We invite you to participate in our panel ‘Infrastructuring Outer Space’
(Panel No. 87) at the upcoming EASST/4S conference in Prague from 18 - 21st
August 2020.

Conveners:

A.R.E. Taylor, University of Cambridge (aret2@cam.ac.uk)
Nina Klimburg-Witjes, University of Vienna (nina.witjes@univie.ac.at)
James Lawrence Merron, University of Basel (james.merron@unibas.ch)

Abstract:

87. Infrastructuring Outer Space

Infrastructures play critical roles connecting and mediating planet Earth and
outer space in multiple ways. Space infrastructures are often loaded with
cultural meaning, national significance and corporate anticipation. They
demand public investments and require expert knowledge. Ground stations and
observatories are sites where time and distance collapse, enabling new
conceptualisations of space, temporality and scale. It is in outer space that
the vulnerability of infrastructure becomes readily apparent. Satellites and
space stations now circulate in debris-ridden orbits. As well as being
vulnerable to wear and damage, they are prone to failure and abandonment. As
such, orbital infrastructures are objects of risk and disaster.

This panel seeks to merge Infrastructure Studies with the rapidly growing
field of social studies now exploring outer space. How might Infrastructure
Studies' attention to material relations and process of (dis)connection help
shape STS understandings of outer space? Conversely, what might an off-Earth
perspective bring to STS analyses of infrastructure? We invite papers that
ethnographically and theoretically explore the intersection between
infrastructure and outer space. An STS and infrastructure-orientated approach
to space infrastructure promises to open valuable horizons for building
understandings of emerging extra-terrestrial worlds, reshaping understandings
of existing worlds and addressing questions such as: What pasts, futures,
imaginaries, power relations, promises and failures haunt or circulate around
terrestrial and non-terrestrial space infrastructure? In what ways do space
infrastructures complicate concepts of nation, space, place and placelessness?
How might an infrastructure-orientated approach open up STS analyses of outer
space to countries and actors outside of Euro-American contexts?

The call for papers closes on 29 February 2020.

Abstracts must be made via the online form that can be found by logging in
with your 4S/EASST credentials here:
https://convention2.allacademic.com/one/ssss/prague20/

After you log in, you should click the link ‘Submit A New Proposal’, then
‘Papers For Open Panels’. Scroll down through the list of open panels
until you find ‘Infrastructuring Outer Space’. After you click the panel
title, you will be directed to the page where you can complete your
submission.

Submissions should consist of:
A paper title (limit to fifteen words) - type the title as you would like it
to appear in the Program. Please Use Title Case (that is, capitalise the first
letter of each word).
An abstract of 250 words maximum.
From the drop-down box you must select at least one descriptor that best
matches your area of STS scholarship.
If you want, you can identify other potential panels with which your paper
would fit in the event this panel does not go ahead or cannot accommodate your
paper.
The theme of EASST 2020 is 'Locating and Timing Matters: Significance and
Agency of STS in Emerging Worlds'. To view all of the open panels, please
click here. For more information about the conference in general, please click
here.

Inquiries are most welcome. Please CC all three of us into any email
correspondence so that we can get back to you as swiftly as possible:
aret2@cam.ac.uk; nina.witjes@univie.ac.at; james.merron@unibas.ch.

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