Open Panel, 4S/EASST 2020 - Transnational STS: Theories, Practices, and Pedagogies

STS scholarship has flourished in diverse regions and institutional spaces, creating a deeply transnational, interdisciplinary research field.  Further, STS scholars in diverse places often study global circuits of ideas, technologies, experts, development models, and so on. Transnational STS thus has many facets and potentials. Building on continuing dialogue about transnational STS in recent years (especially since the 2018 4S conference in Sydney, where TRANSnational STS was the conference theme), this panel will bring together presenters working to conceptualize, practice and extend Transnational STS in different ways. In conversation with STS scholarship that focuses on the constitution of modern technoscience across and between nation-states, this panel seeks to reflect on the transnational character of STS at theoretical, methodological and empirical levels from a comparative perspective. Rather than approaching “transnational” as an ideal temporal-spatial universalism to be achieved, this panel particularly aims to elaborate on and question STS praxis that centers on the analytic of the “nation-state” in studying technoscientific developments as well as reflecting on the uncritical utilization of STS concepts/theories across different contexts. Through opening a self-reflexive space about methodological nationalism and neocolonial orientations in our praxis at this very moment when we witness the haunt of the far-right movements, authoritarian states, post-truth politics, and intentional denial of socio-ecological crises across the world, we invite contributions that reflect on theoretical and methodological capacities of STS to imagine and reclaim for science(s) otherwise. Contributions may address, among others, the following questions:

  • What makes STS transnational? How can we think about “transnational STS” in juxtaposition to other concepts, e.g., international, multinational, postnational, supra-national, anti-national, global, cosmopolitan, universal, imperial, and translocal?
  • What becomes visible when nation-state as the only analytic breaks down? What is the role of the nation-state with regard to education, research activities and the regulation of technologies in the contemporary period?
  • How do STS theories and concepts travel, get used and modified around the world? Are the directions of the flux of theories and concepts changing? To what extent do STS theories and concepts reflect on the inadequacies of existing categories -e.g., “East and West” ; “center and periphery”; “developing and developed”?
  • What can we learn from South-South dialogues in STS?
  • How are transnational research networks formed and organized? How do these networks set research agendas?
  • What infrastructures can support transnational STS formations?
  • What are the methods and methodologies used to foster transnational knowledge production in a collaborative manner? How would transnational STS add to the interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary character of the field?
  • What are exemplary cases that demonstrate transnational STS sensibilities?
  • How can transnational STS contribute to STS teaching? How can transnational STS add to local efforts in engaging with multiple publics, decision-makers, scientists, activists, and other related actors?
  • How can transnational STS contribute to the future of the field? What are the limitations of doing transnational STS?

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