CfP – Changing Political Economy of Research and Innovation (CPERI) 7th Annual International Workshop
Dates: 7-8 September 2019 (just after 4S Conference)
Location: Tulane University, New Orleans, USA
Organizers: Frankie Mastrangelo (Virginia Commonwealth University, USA), Jeanette Vigliotti (Virginia Commonwealth University, USA), Jesse Goldstein (Virginia Commonwealth University, USA), Ana Vara (Universidad Nacional de San Martín, Argentina)
Abstract Deadline: 31 May 2019, email to 2019CPERI@gmail.com
Call for Papers
At this year’s Changing Political Economy of Research and Innovation Workshop (CPERI), we invite contributions to an interdisciplinary conversation about the multiple roles that research and innovation play in the promotion, perpetuation and contestation of inequalities. The imaginaries animating research and innovation reveal the uneven knowledge-production capacities of contemporary socio-technical systems, and they are a key site of social and political contestation. By delimiting the contours of possible, viable and desirable futures, these imaginaries foreclose a number of other(ed) ways of engaging life and the possibilities for vibrant sociotechnical and environmental systems to exist.
Is it possible that certain sciences are structured by a colonial and capitalist logic of dehumanization, racialization and extraction? What might this mean for the research and innovation emerging from these paradigms? In the realm of environmental politics, for example, the possibility of a Green New Deal in the USA has created an opening for envisioning systemic transformations of the US state, economy and ecology. Proposals vary widely, though nearly all take for granted the central role that deploying renewable energy systems and other ‘green’ technologies will play in an effort to become ‘carbon neutral.’ What do these sociotechnical imaginaries presuppose about desirable and achievable futures? And what other(ed) forms of sociotechnical practices, along with their attendant ways of knowing, might these Green New Deal visions inadvertently marginalize, or delegitimize as un-scalable, un-desirable and therefore un-imaginable?
Technoscientific imaginaries have differentiated material and affective consequences on bodies within global capitalist regimes. These material realities are also found in digital spaces–including the way contemporary Western audiences think about the alleged neutrality of algorithms and big data. Facial recognition software can be introduced as a minor addition to social media uses, while doubling as a technology of carceral surveillance and control. An increasingly political-economic intensification of imperial violence is facilitated through the dehumanizing gamification of drone operation and other remote warfare technologies. These infrastructures shape our engagement with digital space, producing modes of representation with complex entanglements to systemic privilege and oppression. Questions of visibility, access, and control emerge from interrogations of the software and protocols that configure our digital lives.
The complicated interrelations between systemic inequality and digital space highlight how categories of race, gender, disability, class, and location differentiate experiences within the geographies of technoscience. The same can be said more broadly of any number of sociotechnical dimensions of the modern world-ecology; patterns of media engagement, design, and production intertwine with social and political histories, pointing to the complex relationships technology shares with racial capitalism and colonial projects. When does digital connectivity and creation function as a tool of exploitation or domination? How does systemic oppression undergird our digital lives by informing the logic of platforms?
In what ways are the infrastructures of our socio-technical realities defined by manifestations of social, political, and economic power?
Due to the scope of the workshop’s themes, we invite a robust interdisciplinary conversation around the various borders, peripheries, and interstitial spaces that shape imaginaries and structures of research and innovation. We welcome scholars from STS, political economy, cultural studies, environmental studies, decolonial & postcolonial studies, sociology, media studies, communication and information studies, visual artists, writers, and other creative practitioners. To engage the broad landscape of thinking around the structures and imaginaries of research and innovation, we invite submissions of roundtable discussions (1 hour in total) or paper presentations (15 minutes) that explore a wide range of themes including, but not limited to, the following:
- Colonial legacies of science, technology and the institutions supporting sociotechnical research and innovation
- Perspectives on technology, research and innovation from the Black radical tradition
- Digital labor as a site of power/oppression/inequality,
- Discourses (and underlying political economies) of innovation, science, and technology as sites of political and environmental contestation (understood through any number of lenses making sense of the production and perpetuation of inequalities: colonialism/coloniality, global capitalism, racial capitalism, capitalist world-ecology, racial capitalocene, etc.)
- Questions of privacy and control
- Data’s relationship to technoscience and the ethics of data usage
- The political economy of platforms
- Cultural political economy of capitalism and associated engagements with technoscientific structures & imaginaries
- Decolonizing digital space, decolonizing environmentalism, decolonizing research and innovation
- Transnational flows of labor, commodities, and data
- Neoliberal modes of control and regulation
- Embodied consequences of digital structures, infrastructures, and imaginaries