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.

Convenors: 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 +43-1-4277-49610 https://sts.univie.ac.at/en/

ResearchGate II Academia

Recent Publications:

° Klimburg-Witjes, N. & Trauttmansdorff, P. (2023): Technopolitics and the Making of Europe: Infrastructures of Security. Routledge. 10.4324/9781003267409

° 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) 10.1177/01622439211023554

° Klimburg-Witjes, N., Leese, M., & Trauttmansdorff, P. (2022). Expanding boundaries: Unmaking and remaking secrecy in field research. PARISS, 3(2) 0.1163/25903276-bja10039


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