T085
Infrastructures, subjects, politics

Convenors:
Jane Summerton (VTI/Swedish National Road & Transport Research Institute)
Vasilis Galis (IT University of Copenhagen )
Stream:
Tracks
Location:
122
Start time:
3 September, 2016 at 11:00
Session slots:
4

Short abstract:

This session aims to explore the relevance of STS for the study of entanglements of sociotechnical infrastructures - such as transport systems, digital platforms, policing systems, border machineries and so on - with so-called human subjects in infrastructural politics.

Long abstract:

Several strands of research within STS have theoretically and empirically dealt with the ways in which infrastructures often embody controversies, politics, and the constituting/excluding of subjects. One fascinating dimension concerns how (im-)material infrastructures are intertwined with human activity, are imbued with personal narratives, and perform social identities, often in relation to issues of belonging, citizenship and power. This session aims to explore the relevance of STS for the study of entanglements of sociotechnical infrastructures - such as transport systems, digital platforms, policing systems, border machineries and so on - with so-called human subjects in infrastructural politics. We invite papers that critically explore various forms of technopolitical order and/or (digital) resistance to these orders, the enacting of devalued subject positions (i.e. refugees, political activists) in the various sociotechnical assemblages in which they come to be integrated, as well as new spaces of political expression (i.e. social media; temporary autonomous zones) to these practices. We are particularly interested in papers that focus on how conceptualizing sociotechnical assemblages as matters of power and politics reveals the ways in which certain actors/actants/actions are devalued, invisible, or neglected, as well as how various groups (i.e. social movements, ad hoc groups) act to create alternative ontologies, practices and resistance against sociotechnical norms. SESSIONS: 5/5/4/5

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