Linked Tour: Infrastructuring Transnational STS


“Infrastructuring Transnational STS: (draft paper) 

This paper is still very drafty; the front sections (through p10) and the endings (beginning p14) are coherent and ready for comments.   The first sections focus one the needs for and purposes of transnational STS. The middle sections describe an array of collaborative projects designed in pursuit of transnational STS.  The ending sections focus on the characteristics of transnational STS projects.  

The key argument is that transnational STS and supporting collaborative projects will need to consistently de-center themselves -- and this will take creative project design and supporting socio-technical infrastructure. Feedback welcome:

Backstory: Editing Cultural Anthropology, 2005-2010

My work in this vein -- trying to build open sociotechnical infrasture for STS, anthropology and kindred field -- began through journal editing. 


The Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography (PECE, pronounced “peace”)

Through many turns, this led us to the development of the Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, which is now openly available for use by the research community. 


Design Logics


PECE Architecture: A Triptych


Learning PECE


PECE Platforms


PECE Projects

Projects highlighted in paper

Drawing out Diverse STS Formations

See STS Across Borders and Innovating STS, which run the STS-Infrastructures on the instance of PECE.

Place in Planetary Perspective

See Quotidian Anthropocenic, which runs on the Disaster-STS Research Network instance of PECE.

Visualizing Toxics

See Visualizing Toxic Subjects (and it's gallery show) and Visualizing Toxic Places, which run on the Center for Ethnography instance of PECE.

The Transnational Disaster STS COVID-19 Project

See the Transnational Disaster STS COVID-19 project, which runs on the Disaster-STS Research Network instance of PECE.


See the PECE user guide and documentation. Research supporting the development of PECE is carried on on

KEY points for discussion about STS publishing

  • Well designed projects can actively draw in diversely positioned collaborators, allowing them to produce authors previously  “out of scope” for established STS publications -- not by teaching them to conform but by looping in their differences of perspective.  

  • Collaborative transnational STS projects with good digital infrastructure can create rich archives of source material from which interpretations and arguments can be built, evidenced, re-analyzed, and pushed further. Established forms of STS publication -- the journal article, especially -- can link to these archives, further substantiating the claims made.  Links to source material opens pathways for reuse and re-interpretation of materials in later projects, carried out by researchers in varied settings today and into the future.  Linking to source material in STS journal articles  helps unsettle uneven access to and control over research data among scholars.  Most importantly, creating an STS research commons would upset the propertied figuration of academic subjects and products. 

  • Third, technically infrastructured transnational STS projects open up possibilities for new forms of STS publication, enabling both avante garde experimentation and publications strategically cast for specific audiences (lawmakers, for example).


Creative Commons Licence


Contributed date

August 21, 2020 - 8:48am

Critical Commentary

Linked tour of paper, "Infrastructuring Transnational STS." 


Kim Fortun