Despite the widespread popularity of Science and Technology Studies (STS), the field has remained remarkably silent about the plethora of experiences offered by the former socialist bloc connected to technoscience. While the grand experiment of constructing 'socialism' heavily relied on the ambitious promises of technoscience, this aspect is absent from the discussions of postsocialism and ‘transition’. On the other hand, various approaches in the social sciences (e.g. political economic, post-colonialist) focusing on Eastern Europe have often treated knowledge production and technology in relatively underconceptualised and often quite instrumental terms. Connecting these approaches to STS with the aim to contribute to our understandings of technoscience, materialities and knowledge production under post/socialism remains an important theoretical challenge. In addition, empirical studies from the Eastern European region may extend the conceptual framework of STS towards alternative conceptualisations of the ‘macro’, the ‘global’, the ‘political’ or the ‘economy’.
The aim of our conference is to address three main questions stemming from the above issues:
How does our perspective on the socialist and postsocialist conditions change when studying the technoscientific projects, materialities, and modes of knowledge production in Eastern Europe?
In what ways were socialist societies assembled through various technologies and materialities with different spatio-temporal legacies, manifesting in both utopistic projects or mundane objects?
Were there any specifically ‘socialist’ regimes of knowledge production in Eastern Europe, and in what ways can the continuities or ruptures of epistemological endeavors and technopolitics change our understandings of academia, political governance, and everyday lives after socialism?
We are expecting only a limited number of participants in order to provide for more engaging workshop sessions revolving around the above questions. Our keynote speaker will be Johanna Bockman. Panel discussants will hopefully include Martha Lampland, Karl Hall, Tereza Stöckelová and Andrzej W. Nowak.
Please upload your paper proposals for the panel organisers via the application form on http://bit.ly/cfp-postsoc-sts by the extended deadline of 12 July 2015. Proposals should include a title, a 250 words abstract, 3-5 keywords and the author(s) affiliations and email address. Please provide a selection of the particular theme you feel your paper would contribute to most. The organisers will notify the selected authors during July. Please find the extended description of the event attached, and visit our conference homepage on https://technosciencesofpostsocialism.wordpress.com/ for further details.