Monthly Archives: December 2015

Science & Technology Studies Summer School at UW-Madison

by Lyn

Disclosing/Enclosing Knowledge in the Life Sciences
July 11-15, 2016
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, Madison WI

We invite applications from students in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, and humanities for a five-day summer school that will provide training in the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS). This seminar is an excellent opportunity for graduate students who are interested in incorporating social and humanistic perspectives on science and technology into their research, and require an advanced level introduction to the field.

We will recruit outstanding young scholars from inside and outside UW Madison. Applications are open to all graduate students and postdocs, including disciplines other than STS or History and Philosophy of Science. The summer school will offer a rich educational experience for those new to the field, and scientists who are interested in gaining skills to address social or policy questions related to their research are especially encouraged to apply.

Complete information can be found here:

UW-Madison Institute for Regional Studies Incubator Grants

by Lyn

The Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison announces a competition for incubator grants for faculty and certain academic staff members to develop international research projects that bring together two or more distinct research traditions or approaches and focus on a place or places outside the United States. Projects may be in any fields. Applicants must demonstrate that place-based, contextual knowledge of the region or regions on which the project will focus is essential to achieving research objectives. For the announcement, see attached file and also:

CFP: Holtz Center Thematic Cluster Funds

by Lyn
Call for Proposals
Thematic Clusters in Science and Technology Studies
The Robert F. and Jean E. Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies invites proposals to create thematic clusters to advance research, teaching, and outreach on interdisciplinary topics within science and technology studies, conceived broadly. These groups will receive two years of funding at up to $15,000/year. The Center will select one group this spring to be funded in AYs 2016-2017 and 2017-2018.
Proposals are welcome from any faculty and staff doing STS-related work on campus. We recommend discussing proposals with Holtz Center personnel before submission. Lead faculty and staff in the groups should be willing to join the Holtz Center if not already affiliated.
The grant can be used to fund any activities that fall under the purview of the Holtz Center. We welcome proposals that will build community and strengthen intellectual connections across campus in a sustainable way, especially by integrating teaching, research, and outreach. The grant can be used to fund field research, support faculty workshops or conferences, engage undergraduate and graduate students, provide support for creating new or revised courses, organize outreach activities, and pay for outside speakers.
The applications are due at 6 pm on Monday, February 29, 2016. The following materials are required: a one-page cover letter summarizing the proposal and listing key personnel, a five-page, double-spaced project description, a one-page budget, and 2-page c.v.’s of key personnel.
Successful proposals will be evaluated in part by their ability to promote the following goals:
  1. Forge new intellectual directions and thematic research clusters within STS
  2. Enhance and expand participation in the STS community at UW-Madison
  3. Build new connections across disciplines at UW-Madison
  4. Involve undergraduate students in the project
For more information, please contact Samer Alatout, director of the Holtz Center, as or associate director, Lyn Macgregor,


The Maintainers: Conference on Technology at Stevens Institute, April 2016

by Lyn

The Maintainers: A Conference, April 8, 2016, Stevens Institute of Technology

Many groups and individuals today celebrate “innovation.” The notion has influenced not only how we think about the present but also how we interpret the past. It has become a concept of historical analysis in both academic histories and popular ones. A recent example is Walter Isaacson’s book, The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution. When this book was released in 2014, the historian of technology, Andrew Russell, put forward the idea of a counter-volume, titled, The Maintainers: How a Group of Bureaucrats, Standards Engineers, and Introverts Made Technologies That Kind of Work Most of the Time. Since then, various scholars in science and technology studies have entered an on-going conversation about developing a historical research program around the study of maintenance.

There are many reasons to turn to the history of maintenance at this time, and many questions that our workshop will engage. We are not claiming that the study of maintenance is new, especially since we are inspired by formative work of historians, anthropologists, sociologists, labor activists, and many other communities. Rather, we are arguing that this is a propitious moment to turn to this theme.

In this light, we invite proposals for a conference to be held at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, on Friday, April 8, 2016.  Proposals might engage some of the following questions:

–         What is at stake if we move scholarship away from innovation and toward maintenance?

–         How do matters of innovation and maintenance in digital systems differ from earlier technological systems, such as those that provide water, electric power, rail and automobile travel, and sanitation?

–         How does labor focused on novelty and innovation differ from labor focused on maintenance and conservation?

–         How should studies of maintenance engage scholarship on race, gender, ethnicity, social justice, and economic inequality?

–         What theories, methods, and sources can we use to study maintenance, infrastructure, and myriad forms of technological labor?

–         What should policymakers do to respond to scholarship and activism around maintenance and infrastructure, such as the report cards issued by the American Society of Civil Engineers?

Instead of developing traditional conference papers, participants will be asked to write brief essays (~1,000-3,000 words), which will be due before the conference and will later be posted on a conference website for both scholarly and educational use. (Our model is partly based on the Histories of the Future conference/website: Essays that include images, sound, video, and other mixed media are welcome and encouraged (but not necessary).

Deadline for proposal submission: January 4, 2016.

To submit a proposal: Please email an abstract (~300 words and CV) to