Reminder: March 17 is the deadline for 4S

As a reminder, the deadline for submitting abstracts to 4S this year is quickly approaching. As a break with years past, the leadership at 4S is getting a little bit stricter with each passing year so that submitting abstracts to session organizers informally is no longer been seen as an acceptable practice, and, instead, leadership would like all abstracts to flow through the formal system.

Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S)

Just a quick reminder: Only two weeks remain to submit paper and session proposals for the 4S Annual Meeting in San Diego. Deadline is March 17. Visit the meeting home page to begin.

October 9 – 12, 2013 — San Diego, California, Town and Country Resort and Convention Center. Meeting home page:

Jan-Hendrik and I (Nicholas Rowland) have organized Open Session 43, which we anticipate will host, with luck, two or three panels of presenters. Per usual, we are in pursuit of the infrastructure of the state in its multitudinous forms and incantations.

See our session proposal below:

43. State Multiplicity, Performativity and Materiality: Current STS Research on State and Stateness
Jan-Hendrik Passoth; Nicholas J. Rowland
Currently, science and technology studies is rich with opportunity to conceptualize the state and comment on its consequences for global living. While long under the conceptual jurisdiction of traditional political science, political sociology, and political history, scholars in science and technology studies have, with their own concepts and style, taken to rethinking the state and, with renewed nuance, capture its many and multiple influences in our (decidedly) material world. Similar to the move made by scholars in the social studies of finance, when they showed us how to rethink economic sociology, recent work on the machinery and infrastructure of governing is growing in significance. We see large empirical studies of water infrastructure in India, Columbia, and US states such as California, research on public transportation systems and global logistics, work about census creation and population data gathering as well as growing and genuine theoretical contributions to state theory and theories of stateness have all been published in recent years.
The upshot: Conceptual lens such as multiplicity, performativity, and materiality, which are central to contemporary science and technology studies, provide one such direction toward an explicitly science and technology studies perspective on the state. We believe that this line of thinking, if properly developed in-house by science and technology studies scholars, has the potential to produce discourse-changing research even among our friends in traditional political science, sociology, and history. This open panel will consist of two or three sessions. We invite empirical and theoretical contributions on a wide variety of topics, regions, and theoretical approaches. We encourage work-in-progress as well as more mature projects to the session. We especially invite papers on the multiple ontologies of political entities such as states, the performativity of social and political theory, and the materialities of governing modern states and their environs.

Please consider submitting to our session or writing us to inquire about whether or not your work would fit into the session’s framework.