TRANSnationalizing STS: Places, Spaces, and Politics
Why, how, and for whom does it matter to walk through, attend and attune to plural and complex STS places/spaces? By building on the STS Across Borders and Innovating STS exhibits held at 4S 2018 and 2019 meetings, this thematic collection unpacks this question and explores the potentials of TRANSnational STS as a methodological orientation in these uncertain times, in a world where technoscientific knowledges and practices are constantly instrumentalized, reproducing colonial, imperialist, racist, nationalist and toxic relationships. The landscape of analysis in curating this thematic collection begins with the places of STS; this can be either a place where an STS meeting is held, an institution where STS scholars do research and teaching, or a formation that brings people together for social studies of science and technology. We invite readers to slowly walk through such a landscape, observing in detail particular places of STS. The contributors to this thematic collection highlight the importance of thinking and theorizing by starting with lived experiences, investigating each phenomenon within its own reality, and creating and conserving spaces for plurality with responsibility and care. Recognizing that reality is multi-layered, and thus needs a plurality of perspectives, the invitation to think about STS theories and practices through the analytic of place is about opening and holding collaborative spaces for ongoing discussions over the politics of STS without reproducing a form of methodological nationalism. This introductory essay presents what we have learned over the last four years navigating in and through TRANSnational STS places/spaces and constitutes one stop in our journey to slow down, reflect on, and share what it means to TRANSnationalize STS. With this collection, we hope to open a public space in ESTS to continue thinking collectively about potential new pathways for the future of the field.
Supplemental data published in this original research article can be accessed in STS Infrastructures at: https://n2t.net/ark:/81416/p4t01p.
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