4S Annual Meeting: Society Social Studies of Science, Cleveland, OH November 2-5, 2011

Join Jan-Hendrik Passoth and I (Nicholas J. Rowland) at this year’s annual meeting for Society Social Studies of Science (4S) meeting in Cleveland, OH (USA) from November 2nd until the 5th, 2011.

Submissions and proposals are being accepted.


Likewise, we encourage scholars in STS and outside to submit an abstract to a session that Jan and I are proposing. See below:

Seeing States and State Theory in STS
(Session Proposal for the Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), Cleveland, Ohio, November 2-5, 2011)

Jan-Hendrik Passoth (jan.passoth@uni-bielefeld.de), Bielefeld University, Germany, and Nicholas J. Rowland (njr12@psu.edu), Pennsylvania State University, Altoona, PA, USA

Deadline for Abstracts: March 10, 2011

The relationship between science, technology, and governance is a relationship that shapes and is shaped by contemporary states. While this relationship has been influential in STS research on how contemporary modes of governance influence scientific practice and technological innovations, the converse question of the influence of both on governance is relatively underrepresented. This session, therefore, takes-up the task and explores the inter-play between this relationship and its depiction in history and social/political theory.

With one eye on “seeing like a state” and the other eye on “state performativity,” we engage and question well-trodden artifacts of historical and social theory such as state entitivity, state materiality, and the much distributed Foucauldian model of stateness. Looking for insights in both directions, what does STS have to offer and learn from these important traditions that have shaped so much previous research? We are also curious about seeing state performances in some historical relief, for example, in establishing reciprocity under neo-liberal circumstances, in shifting ontologies of health care, in massive state projects such as California’s delta, and even in times of ungoverned anarchy set in Southeast Asia. We, therefore, invite papers that explore empirically and conceptually the possibilities of research based on an STS approach to politics, states and stateness, governance and governmentality.