This panel aims to open up the value of intimacy as a quality of socio-material relations in knowledge-making and communities of practice. The focus is on the attachments and detachments that appear crucial to understanding affective relations and ecologies inside and beyond science and technology.
This panel aims to open-up the value of intimacy as a quality of socio-material relations in knowledge-making and communities of practice. Where intimacy has been mentioned it is usually in the context of distinguishing local and experiential knowledge from universal and scientific knowledge. In contrast, as Raffles (2003) points out, intimacy can be foregrounded as a site for the social production of knowledge across the social, human and life sciences, to help rework human/nature and socio/technical boundaries. The aim of the panel is thus to foreground what is so often made invisible in extant accounts of how knowledge is done. The focus is on the attachments and detachments that appear crucial to understanding affective relations and ecologies inside and beyond the sciences, including the social sciences. This entails pressing how the 'affective turn' in Science & Technology Studies does more than represent a 'turn to ontology'. We welcome contributions that explore how the foregrounding of affect restructures possibilities for 'situated knowledge' and non-anthropocentric ('posthuman') modes of relatedness in a wide range of substantive domains and communities of practice - from laboratories, metric and digital worlds, care and disability, *human-non human relationalities* with animals and objects. In so doing, we want to address different aspects of how and when intimacy becomes a quality of entanglements. Issues addressed include the politics of intimacy and its different characterizations: as ordinary and dangerous, a site of alterity and "contamination" but also of attachment, belonging and companionship.