The biology of history

The last Kitchen STS meeting of the Winter term will be held on the 11th February, at 6pm in the soc. kitchen area (PEG 3G.204).

This time, our special guest will be Uli Beisel, who will use this session as an opportunity to test some of her ideas for future research. As preparation, Uli has asked us to read Hannah Landecker’s ‘Antibiotic Resistance and the Biology of History‘ in Body & Society.

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Rhythm, tempo, and historical time

Happy New Year to you all! The first kitchen meeting of 2016 will take place on the 14th January, at the usual time and place. We’ll continue our discussion of multiple temporalities with the help of Michael Herzfeld’s ‘Rhythm, tempo, and historical time: experiencing temporality in the neoliberal age’. You should be able to download the paper from this page – please ask Endre for a PDF if you can’t access it.

See you next week!

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The eternal present

Last time we discussed how the idea of progress as a particular way of relating to the future was developed; this time we’re going to shift our attention to the hollowing out of progress and the rise of what Geoffrey Bowker calls an eternal, synchronised present. We’ll draw on Geof’s contribution to a special issue of History and Theory on multiple temporalities to see how such conceptualisation of the present is reliant upon various infrastrucutural developments, and how it’s still likely to remain incomplete.

The meeting will take place at 18.00 on the 17th December 2015. Incidentally, this is also the last meeting with Susanne, who is moving next month to Oslo to start a job at TiK. Please join us for a farewell drink at 20.00 at the kitchen (PEG 3G 204).

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The future cannot begin

Our next session on the 19th November will be centred around a classical text: Niklas Luhmann’s ‘The future cannot begin’. (Thanks to Michael Guggenheim for the recommendation!) The discussion will help us closely engage with such central concepts in STS as progress, planning, and technological innovation.

The meeting will take place at 18.00 at the sociology kitchen area (PEG 3.G 204).

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Timing with Kristin Asdal

In the winter term our kitchen sessions will be focusing on different temporalities and the ways in which they relate to each other. Our first meeting will take place on the 29th October; with the help of our special guest, Kristin Asdal from TIK in Oslo, we’ll discuss the importance of timing in processes of commodification. Kristin’s paper titled ‘Enacting values from the sea: On innovation devices, value practices, and the co-modifications of markets and bodies in aquaculture’ (published as a contribution to this book) is available as a PDF – just ask Endre for a copy.

The meeting, as usual, will take place at the Sociology kitchen area (PEG 3G 204) between 18.00 and 20.00 – looking forward to seeing you there!

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Worlding with Anna Tsing

In the discussion with Stefan Ouma the idea came up to read some recent works by Anna Tsing and her colleagues in Aarhus, where they keep themselves busy with a fascinating project on the anthropocene. One possible reading would be a chapter of Anna’s in an edited volume titled Experiments in Holism, along with her web project with Elaine Gan called ‘A fungal clock: experiments in representing time’.

The meeting will take place at the usual place & time on the 9th July – this will be the last session of this term.

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Audit and Ethics: Traditional Chinese Medicine and Clinical Trials

Our next kitchen meeting will take place on the 25th June, between 18.00 and 20.00, in the soc kitchen area (PEG 3G 204). This time our special guest will be Rachel Douglas-Jones from the IT University in Copenhagen. Drawing on John Law and Wen-yuan Lin’s paper on Chinese medical practice (a version of which John had presented at the 100 years of critical sociology conference), she’d like to use this session to discuss her own fieldwork in Beijing.

Those of you who can’t wait until next week to discuss postcolonialism and related concepts should go to Vijay Mishra’s lecture on Thursday the 18th June, starting at 18.00 in in IG 4.201

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STS & architecture

Our next kitchen STS meeting will be organised jointly with the AK Politische Ethnographie: it will be the launch event of an edited book titled ‘Architecture, Materiality and Society: Connecting Sociology of Architecture with Science and Technology Studies’ . The meeting will take place in the sociology kitchen area (PEG 3G 204) at 18.00 on the 11th June, where the editors, Anna-Lisa Müller and Werner Reichmann, will present the book, and Endre Dányi will briefly talk about the relationship between architecture and politics through his contribution to the book.

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Global food connections

In Brita Brenna’s paper ‘the market’ was analysed as an important context for the development of a particular understanding of ‘nature’. But the relation can be easily reversed: the market does not only help make sense of nature, it also contributes to its ongoing production. How this happens will be discussed with the help of Stefan Ouma and his new book titled Assembling Export Markets: The Making and Unmaking of Global Food Connections in West Africa. (We will discuss the Introduction and Chapter 6 – ask Endre for the PDF.)

The meeting will be held at 18.00 in the STS Kitchen (PEG 3G 204) on the 28th May.

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Postcolonial contexting

What does ‘context’ stand for, when we talk about a postcolonial context? How do contexts work, and how can history contribute to a better understanding of that work? These are some of the questions we will discuss with Linda Madsen, who has recently finished her PhD at TiK in Oslo, and her reading of Brita Brenna’s paper on Norwegian natural history and its contexts. The meeting will take place at the usual time and place on the 7th May.

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