CFP: Re: Constructs | Exchanges between STS and Sociology”, University of Essex, 8 Dec 2023

Dear all,

We are writing to invite you to submit a paper proposal for the upcoming workshop "Re: Constructs | Exchanges between STS and Sociology" which will take place at the University of Essex on Friday 8 December 2023. This event is funded by the Department of Sociology (University of Essex) and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies (University of Warwick) and organised in collaboration with the British Sociological Association's STS study group.

The overall aim of the workshop is to investigate how key concepts have been developed through exchanges between STS and Sociology during the last 40 years or so. Please find below the workshop abstract below.

We are very pleased that the following speakers have already confirmed their participation: 

* Linsey McGoey, Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex and Director of the Centre for Research in Economic Sociology and Innovation
* Anne Pollock, Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at King’s College London and President-Elect of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S)

If you are interested in contributing a paper to this workshop, please send us a short abstract outlining your chosen concept (up to 300 words) by June 1, 2023 by emailing 

We expect to notify all those who submitted a proposal by July 1, 2023.

We have limited funding for travel and accommodation. We would be happy if you could indicate as part of  your proposal whether you would be able to cover the cost of your own travel and/or accommodation, in which case we would be able to cover costs for additional participants.

With best wishes,

Michael, Tara and Noortje 

Workshop abstract: 

The field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) has developed a range of concepts and theoretical sensibilities that enable studies of science, technology and society.  These concepts have also traveled outside of STS and found new applications and meanings in neighboring fields including sociology and anthropology. But concepts have not just traveled in one direction: existing theories from sociological traditions have played a core role in the very development of what we now think of as STS concepts. In this workshop, we will investigate how the development of specific concepts have been informed and/or enabled by exchanges between STS and Sociology. In doing so, we seek to address the consequences of such exchanges for the aspirations of STS as a transformative research field. What happens with the re-constructive aspiration of STS concepts? Have the export successes of STS led to the reshaping of other social sciences in the logic of STS, and vice versa? To what extent is interdisciplinary thinking at the intersections between STS, sociology, anthropology and cognate disciplines enabling the development of new hybrid concepts, at once sociological and STS? How might we debate the enabling role of disciplinary orientations without resorting to defenses of the purity of conceptual and theoretical language?  
We seek contributions addressing these questions in four formats:   
1. Conceptual Genealogies and Biographies: with a key focus on appraising the re-constructive ambition and potential of said concept, from inception to travel to current moment 
2. Trading Zones: how have specific concepts been used across STS and Sociology and how can we account for the differences of the work they have been doing 
3. Imported Concepts: how and why have certain concepts been imported from Sociology to STS or from STS to Sociology? 
4. Conceptual Holes: which concepts have not been imported, why, and what are the failed opportunities of conceptual exchange?  
We are not interested in drawing boundaries around or between disciplines, but rather are looking forward to examining  connections between STS and Sociology, drawing people into the trading zone between STS and Sociology and related fields, encouraging us to undertake forays across the borders and back, and to explore the conceptual re-imaginings this might enable. 

Michael Guggeinheim, Goldsmiths University
Tara Mahfoud, University of Essex
Noortje Marres, University of Warwick

Published: 05/01/2023