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Message posted on 13/02/2021

4S Open Panel CfP: "(Re)configuring care practices in pandemic times"

Dear all,

(With apologies for cross-posting)

We invite you all to submit an abstract to our Open Panel "(Re)configuring care practices in pandemic times" (see CFP below) as part of the 4S Annual Meeting (2021).

This year's conference, "Good Relations: Practices and Methods in Unequal and Uncertain Worlds," will take place in Toronto and worldwide October 6-9, 2021.

We welcome presentations from all disciplines and practices. Submissions will be open until March 8, 2021.

For more details on how to submit, please visit:

For submission, please use the abstract submission platform of the conference and choose the Open Panel:

For further questions, please email or

Kind regards, Cristina & Stefan

Panel 4: (Re)configuring care practices in pandemic times

Care practices were addressed in STS by Annemarie Mol (2002, 2008, 2010) as capturing a specific way of engaging with material reality as well as framing situated human relations. Hence, care bears not only upon intimacy or affectivity, but relates to forms of interdependency between ontology and normativity ("ontonorms"; Mol 2012).

The open panel starts from and further develops the discussions on relevance of care practices focusing on the (re)configurations of care practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. Such a discussion of "care" takes up not only a currently highly relevant social topic, but also acknowledges the salient empirical shaping of theoretical reflections on care in STS as ways of handling reality and transforming social relations. While COVID-19 differently addresses virologists, clinicians, physicists, epidemiologists, immunologists, or economics (Mol and Hardon 2020), a wide range of practices of care proliferated in response to the health crisis beyond these formal and mainstream settings, draw mainly on spatial (and social) proximity (neighbourhoods, peer-groups), and emphasised a temporal continuity of the caring engagement (regular visits, extended homeschooling). In a word: specific (re)configurations of care are rendered visible in dealing with personal concern, vulnerability, and (inter)dependence (Kittay 2015).

The panel welcomes contributions on topics as:

  • expertise negotiated along care practices;
  • care related to groups traditionally framed as disadvantaged: elderly, people with disabilities, indigenous people, and other culturally diverse groups;
  • goods shaping actors understanding of care;
  • alliances of human and non-human entities as modes of pragmatic coping with pandemic crisis;
  • methodological adjustments regarding (re)configurations of care.

Keywords: practices of care, ontology, normativity, vulnerability, interdependence, elderly, disability, cultural diversity

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