EASST-4S 2024 open panel: STS Confessions: Untold stories in transforming fieldwork into text
have you ever finished writing with a feeling that some stories were still
left untold? Then this EASST-4S 2024 open panel on "STS Confessions: Untold
stories in transforming fieldwork into
text" (#P101) is the
place to tell them! Although the panel says "traditional open panel" we
welcome experimental and speculative contributions.
Timo Romann & Markus Rudolfi
We invite scholars to talk about those curious stories we decided to leave
untold as we transform our fieldwork experiences into text. We explore such
confessed omissions as part of the construction of a common sense and
speculate about what parallel stories their inclusion might have produced.
This panel is a stage for confessional stories from our empirical projects. We
invite STS researchers to tell us about those vibrant situations, encounters,
relationships, people, or materials that are part of the research process but
get 'lost in transformation' as we compose our fieldwork experiences for more
conventional academic formats. Such untold stories wouldn't rest easy on us
because our sensitivity and curiosity in STS recognises potential we
eventually did not pursue. We seek to reflect upon these omissions as possible
effects of our engagement with theoretical frameworks, methodologies, and
representational politics to which we adhere.
For that matter, we ask for your contributions in the form of STS confessions:
Which stories have you suspended in the sake of producing a superseding story
that is more focused, coherent, or compelling? Which stories have you
sacrificed, perhaps uneasily, given the expectations of interlocutors,
colleagues, supervisors, or against the prospects of publication? We are keen
for your contributions to engender a speculative moment (Haraway 2016;
Stengers 2018a, 2018b), thus we also invite you to share what other work you
imagine your text would have become if you had included these stories after
With this experimental and speculative 'STS confessions' panel format, we want
to ignite one of many conversations to follow, not only on the mechanics of
making and un-making data and the conceptual logics of using and discarding
field stories but also on knowledge economies prompting us to un-tell such
stories and at what costs we do so. We argue that a confessional and
speculative engagement with the stories we discard is part and parcel of
making and doing transformations - it lets us explore how we construct and how
we would like to construct ethnographic common sense in STS.
Haraway, Donna J. (2016): Staying with the Trouble. Making Kin in the
Chthulucene. Durham/London: Duke University Press.
Stengers, Isabelle (2018a): Another Science is Possible. A Manifesto for Slow
Science. Translated by Stephen Muecke. Medford: Polity Press.
Stengers, Isabelle (2018b): The Challenge of Ontological Politics. In: de la
Cadena, Marisol/Blaser, Mario (eds.), A World of Many Worlds. Durham/London:
Duke University Press. 83-111.