Eurograd message

Message posted on 18/05/2023

Call for Abstracts: 4S open panel - Biometrics and their Infrastructural Worlds

Dear all,

Continuing our tradition of organizing conversations on biometrics at the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) conferences, Ranjit Singh (Data & Society) and I are convening an open panel entitled "Biometrics and their Infrastructural Worlds " for this year's conference on 8-11 November 2023 in Honolulu, Hawai'i. More information about the conference can be found here .

We hope you will consider submitting an abstract to our panel, detailed below. Instructions for submitting abstracts (250 words) can be found in the conference call for submissions .

The deadline for submission is 26 May 2023. When making the submission, please remember to select "Biometrics and their Infrastructural Worlds" (Panel #135). You'll also be able to indicate whether you plan to participate in person or virtually.

Please reach out to me and Ranjit ( with any questions. We look forward to your submissions!

Best wishes,

Michelle Spektor Lecturer Science, Technology, and Society Tufts University

Biometrics and their Infrastructural Worlds Panel #135

Biometric data form conditions of possibility for imagining, representing, and intervening in individual and collective identities. These data, however, are also a means to create technological infrastructures that serve a variety of social and political purposes. Body measurements can be incorporated into passports, and other pre-existing identification and surveillance infrastructures, that distinguish citizens from non-citizens. Biometric data and their promise of unique identification are inscribed in systems that control access to healthcare and voting, as well as classification systems that reinforce inequalities related to, race, ethnicity, gender, class, age, disability, and nationality. Sensors in 'smart' devices and buildings measure human activity in order to regulate energy consumption, while the built environments of border crossings rely on biometrics to regulate the mobility of populations. These biometric infrastructures can transfer to new geographic, political, and temporal contexts, where their original technological designs and political aims may persist or change. For example, some post-colonial police departments inherited fingerprint systems from their colonial predecessors, but aimed to reframe them as infrastructures of nation building.

This panel extends questions about the meanings of biometric data to include what these data do in the world - especially when they are imbricated into infrastructures that organize the societies, ecologies, and built environments in which we live. Taking an expansive view of what counts as biometrics, this panel welcomes papers that critically examine the consequences, politics, and human experiences of past and present infrastructures around the world that rely on measurements of life itself.

Contact: & Keywords: biometrics; infrastructure; identification; identity; classification

EASST's Eurograd mailing list Eurograd (at) Unsubscribe or edit subscription options:

Meet us via

Report abuses of this list to

view as plain text

EASST-Eurograd RSS

mailing list
30 recent messages