An STS approach to ‘post-truth’

This 4S panel looks fascinating:

I’d like to invite you to consider submitting a paper abstract to the panel
I’m co-convening for 4S in Boston this year.

Abstracts are due March 1.

It would be great to have critical internet/digital media studies folks
working with STS to speak to the themes of this panel. Rich, timely topic!
We need your good work!

Thanks for your consideration ~

Monika Sengul-Jones & Amanda Menking

*89. Feelings and Doubt in Technoscience*

*Organized by:* Monika Sengul-Jones, UC San Diego; Amanda Menking,
University of Washington

“Post-truth” was the Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year in 2016. This
neologism refers to how appeals to emotion—and even deliberate
deception—influence the ignorance of, or rejection of facts. Feelings, and
subjectivities more generally, have long been a focus of STS work. STS
scholars have sought to mete out the complex relationships between
positionality, affects, and networks that lead to knowledge-making claims
and their role in truth-regimes. This panel seeks to address our
contemporary moment’s crises about “truth” in critical retrospective: to
use the methodological tools of STS to offer a nuanced examination of the
longstanding, complex relationships between feelings and doubts about
technoscience historically and today. This panel invites papers that speak
to a range of topics including: feelings of morality and postcolonialism
(see Schiebinger 2004); the feelings that engender the spread of ignorance
(see Proctor 2016); gender, feelings, and science (Harding 1991; Keller
1983); entanglements of affects and biology (Wilson, 2015); commercial
industries and doubt about scientific consensus (Oreskes and Conway 2011);
and gender and attachments to personal beliefs, such as vaccinations (see
Reich 2014). This panel will facilitate inter-generational conversations
around an important topic harmonized with the theme of 4S in 2017.
“Feelings and Doubt in Technoscience” will interrogate thoughtfully and
reflectively the conference’s call to bring attention to “(in)sensibilities
of contemporary technoscience,” by addressing the technological and
cultural means by which feelings about technoscience lead to it being
ridiculed as nonsense, marshaled to incense, and/or make sense.

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2 Comments

  1. What’s also interesting is the academic community’s return to the notion of “facts”, which went well out of fashion with postmodernism. Are facts once again straightforward empirical phenomena? Can we strip away “appeals to emotion” and “deception” to leave bare “facts”?

    I have no problem with such an approach, but it seems this paradigm shift has taken place recently with little acknowledgement that it goes against much of the most influential and fashionable academic thought of recent decades. Instead, post-truth is painted as a popular phenomenon, mostly found among uneducated Trump-voters.

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