Not an open panel…Methodologies and Theories of Scale

As CfPs for “Open Panels” at 4S/EASST are frequently flooding our email clients at these days a remarkable regular panel (I actually have just seen two of them) is focussing on a topic we have discussed a few times: “Methodologies and Theories of Scale”. As regular panels are such a rare thing this year, I would really encourage people to send in good papers for this one – I would love to see good talks and papers on that topic. And no: I do not know Max Liboiron personally, this is not a friend´s recommendation 🙂

CFP: Methodologies and Theories of Scale
Panel proposal for 4S Annual Conference
October 17-20, 2012, Copenhagen, Denmark

Scale is not about being big or small. At different scales, different relationships matter. In the last two decades, there have been heated contests over the meanings and methodologies of scale, not the least because our historical moment faces economic systems, power structures, and ecological problems at global and planetary scopes. In these contexts, the use of the term “scale” is often unreflective and scholars inadvertently create “scalar fallacies,” particularly in the realm of environmental advocacy and design, where the scale of the problem and the scale of the solution are mismatched. This panel invites scholars whose work explicitly deals with theories and methodologies of scale, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • the epistemological versus the ontological aspects of scale
  • how interscalar relationships are defined and investigated
  • the relationships between time and space at different scales
  • the implications of terms and ideas such as “global,” glocal” and “planetary”
  • problems presented by designing technologies or actions meant to address different scales
  • methodologies that test designs and actions for scalability
  • methodologies that address scalar politics, and/or the politics of scale
  • designing technologies, policies or actions for specific scales
  • innovations in scalar theories or methods

Please send a 250 word abstract and CV to by
March 10th, 2012.

Note that acceptance onto this panel does not guarantee acceptance
into the conference, as the panel as a whole must go through the 4S
acceptance process. The title and description of this panel are
mutable, and we will adapt each to the types of submissions received.

Max Liboiron is a PhD Candidate at New York University in the Media,
Culture, and Communication Dept.

Infrastructure at the crossroads of speed and scale

We’ve discussed scale quite often in this blog. I recently watched this clip, and suddenly scale seemed to matter even more when matters of speed figured in.

Check this out: a 30 story hotel in China (Hunan) built in 15 days.

Certainly, a hotel is not necessarily “infrastructure” (although, we could debate that), but the intersection of speed and scale seems like a very promising research site for infrastructure development (especially because it might be a way out of purely ideographic case studies toward more quantitative work in STS).