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Between STS and the New materialisms: Affinities and Alliances in Troubling Times

A One-Day Conference from the BSA New Materialisms and Science and Technology Studies (STS) Study Groups; in conjunction with University of Sheffield STEMIS group

15 July 2020
University of Sheffield, UK

Keynote Speaker

  • Eva Giraud - University of Keele, UK

About the Event

For the past 50 years, Science and Technology Studies (STS) has critically dissected the scientific endeavour, and exposed the overt and covert politics and cultures of science and technology practice and policy.  More recently a ‘materialist’ turn in the social sciences and humanities has unpicked Enlightenment ontologies of human and non-human, to recognise the vitality of all matter and reveal the micropolitics of body/technology assemblages.

Against the contemporary backcloth of neoliberalisation in science and education, growing inequalities within and between nations, the climate emergency and fake news, critical voices must be raised, affinities acknowledged and alliances forged. 

This conference considers what the analyses of STS and the new materialisms can offer each other.  How may new materialisms pose critical questions of science, scientific progress and STS itself?  What may the insights of STS supply to a new materialist project of post-humanising academic disciplines and society? 

Call for Papers

We invite colleagues to explore how thought, bodies, technologies and environments are always inevitably entangled and how ideas from STS or the new materialisms may offer a critical, collaborative and embodied mode of thinking the current challenges facing the world in 2020.  Contributions on (but not limited to) the following are welcomed:

  • Science, technology and inequalities.
  • Transdisciplinary thought and the practicalities of subverting funding/research procedures that favour/divide the sciences against the arts.
  • Vitalism and living things.
  • Experiments in collective thinking and embodied critique.
  • Empowering subjugated and subversive peoples and things.
  • Histories of materialisms and science.
  • Pragmaticism and emancipatory rather than utopian thinking and praxis.
  • Inventive methods.

Submissions and Timeline

We invite abstracts of no more than 200 words for papers reporting research (20 minutes, plus time for pooled Q&A).  Please submit abstracts by Friday, 1 May 2020 to Julia Swallow.


  • BSA Member:  £15
  • BSA Concessionary Member:  £5   
  • Non Member:  £20
  • Full-time Student Registration:  £10