[WebCultures] CFP- Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) in Barcelona- Aug 31- Sept 3

Joan Donovan joandonovan at gmail.com
Tue Jan 19 20:21:38 CET 2016

CFP- Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) in Barcelona- Aug 31- Sept 3

Track 066- Infrastructures of Evil: Participation, Collaboration,




Christopher Kelty (UCLA)

Joan Donovan (UCLA)

Aaron Panofsky (UCLA)

Short Abstract

Explores the dark side of infrastructure and how participation,
collaboration and maintenance can be looked at from the perspective of
illegitimacy, inequality, and evil. Papers will address under-researched,
unintended or surprising aspects of science, engineering and

Long Abstract

Why do good things happen to bad people? This track looks at the dark sides
of infrastructure, especially on the otherwise rosy themes of
participation, maintenance and collaboration. For most work in STS these
concepts are already antidotes: Participation because: unaccountable
expertise; Collaboration because: hierarchy and individuality; Maintenance
because: the routine is innovative. .

But if we grant these concepts a positive and a negative moment, what does
the latter look like? When is public participation a bad thing? When does
it "democratize" inequality or vindictiveness? What does too much or the
wrong kind of participation look like? When is collaboration insidious or
destructive? How does does it order racism, homophobia, classism, or
sexism? What kinds of maintenance perpetuate horrible infrastructures or
malevolent forms of power? When is the routine an evil to be resisted?

The track will include research addressing under-researched aspects of
science and infrastructure, or unintended consequences related to building
and standardizing socio-technical systems. Some examples might include: How
is the work of participation, collaboration or innovation in criminal,
terrorist or other illegitimate worlds conducted? Can we learn something
about infrastructure by looking at the worlds of hate groups, delinquents,
spammers and scammers, or scientists and engineers otherwise working
outside of the mainstream? What blind spots are created by the shared
theoretical approaches of STS?

Research is welcome from all subfields of STS including: software and
platform studies, labor, scientific communication, feminist and queer
science studies, information and communication technologies, games, social
movements, surveillance studies, biomedicine, public engagement, economics,
to environmental studies, and beyond.
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