STS on Edge Roundtable Series 2021-2022

Futuring Universities

Beginning June 2021, the Transnational STS Network will convene the  STS on Edge Roundtable Series to draw intellectuals from diverse places -- especially those with nascent STS communities -- into dialogue with STS scholars.  The STS on Edge Roundtable series is designed to create opportunities to meet and learn from researchers, teachers, artists and other critical cultural actors  in places outside established STS networks, especially  places dealing with  intense volatility and precarity.   We want to be informed about  these areas and find ways to work in solidarity  with them.     


The 2021-2022 Roundtables Series will focus on the  challenges and promise of universities and academic freedom. Our inaugural event on June 24, 2021 will be a discussion with faculty at  Boğaziçi University (Istanbul) who have mobilized in recent months to address escalating threats to  academic autonomy and freedom at the university. 


STS  on Edge Roundtables  will be small, select, and committed to confidentiality.  We want to create a safe space for unrestricted exchange.  After the  roundtables, we will produce  reports that  provide space for reflection and to create a record of the STS on Edge Roundtable Series, working closely with  roundtable participants to determine what should be included and what should be left  off the public record.

About STS, the Transnational STS Network, and the STS on Edge Roundtable Series

STS -- Science and Technology Studies -- is a transnational, interdisciplinary research community that studies the social and cultural dimensions of science and technology expansively conceived (including study of different types of knowledge and knowledge institutions, for example). The...Read more

Futuring the University

The 2021-2022 STS on Edge Roundtables Series will focus on the  challenges and promise of universities and academic freedom.  The series will build on and contribute to important scholarship on the history, dynamics, social roles and future of the university. 

Starting Questions for STS on Edge Roundtables, Futuring the University 

-What specific examples illustrate the challenges of producing and protecting knowledge pluralism in Turkish university contexts today?

-How do national policies support or undermine universities in Turkey’s operating as spaces for critical reflection  and envisioning of the future?

What problems are there in the way  people think and talk about constraints in Turkish universities today, even within oppositional communities?

What kinds of transnational collaboration and solidarity has proven helpful in protecting  and sustaining Turkish universities as sites for critical reflection and planning?

Universities and Academic Freedom in Turkey

On January 2, 2021, President Erdoğan appointed Melih Bulu --who stood as a Justice and Development party (AKP) parliamentary candidate in 2015 and was unqualified for the post-- as rector of Boğaziçi University, one of Turkey’s most prestigious universities. Following the appointment, Boğaziçi students, academics and alumni began protesting and these protests have turned into the largest and most influential popular protest in Turkey in recent years. The damage to the university continues and so do the protests. 

The STS on Edge Roundtable on 24 June 2021 will provide an opportunity for members of the Transnational STS Network to learn about Boğaziçi protests and larger challenges of Turkish universities, knowledge pluralism and academic freedom. Participation  in the roundtable is restricted. A reflexive report will be released afterwards.  

About STS Infrastructures

STS-Infrastructures is a digital archive, collaborative workspace and publication platform for the STS community. STS-Infrastructures is an instance of the Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, open source software...Read more