Call for papers to Special Issue "Care in STS"

2019-07-03

 Dear colleagues,

We invite papers for a special issue: “Care in STS: objects, transformations and politics” in Nordic Journal of Science and Technology Studies (NJSTS).

This special thematic issue of NJSTS aims to provide a forum to discuss the possibilities and potential problems of care as a topic for STS research. After being an important topic in feminist research since the 70’s, care has, in recent years, gained increased momentum in Science and Technology Studies (STS). Building on a feminist ethics of care, STS scholars have emphasised local solutions rather than general ethical principles (Mol et al. 2010). By attending to care as a material and political doing, focus has been on care as something being enacted in diverse practices, such as farming (Singleton 2012), health care (Mol 2008), soil and permaculture (Puig de la Bellacasa 2017) and laboratories (Giraud & Hollin 2016). Moreover, feminist STS scholars have noted that care is not a taken-for-granted good. It should not be conflated with affection and positive feelings (Martin et al. 2015); it can include harm and vulnerabilities (Singleton & Mee 2017). In the process of cherishing some things, care also excludes others. Thus, care is “a selective mode of attention” (Martin et al. 2015: 627).

 Against this background, it is important to further understand the possibilities and challenges of doing care research in STS. What is gained from studying practices as ‘care practices’ and what is lost? What is made present and what is made absent? When and where is it fruitful to think about science and technology as matters of care? This special issue welcomes contributions that engage with care in various ways and from a range of empirical areas. We welcome papers that empirically, methodologically and theoretically approach the growing importance of care for STS analysis. For example, this can be about:

  • Pushing care in new empirical areas
  • Care as a matter of (translocal) responsibility
  • Care as doing “bads” and “goods”
  • Tensions between care as empirical practice and research practice
  • Care research as ethico-political practice
  • Methods as a way of doing care

Interested authors should send an abstract (250 words) and a short author-bio (200 words) to doris.lydahl@gu.se and lisa.linden@gu.se by the 15th of October, 2019. Authors will receive notifications by the 30th of October. Full paper submissions according to NJSTS guidelines will be due by the 15th of March, 2019 for the journal’s double-blind peer-review process. Review responses can be expected at the beginning of June 2020, with a planned publication of the special issue in December 2020.  

For information and questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Guest Editors:

Doris Lydahl (doris.lydahl@gu.se) & Lisa Lindén (lisa.linden@gu.se).

References:

Giraud, E., & Hollin, G. (2016). Care, laboratory beagles and affective utopia. Theory, Culture &

Society33(4), 27-49.

Martin, A., Myers, N., & Viseu, A. (2015). The politics of care in technoscience. Social Studies of Science45(5), 625-641.

Mol, A., (2008). The logic of care: health and the problem of patient choice. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Mol, A., Moser, I. & Pols, J. (red.) (2010). Care in practice: on tinkering in clinics, homes and farms. Bielefeld: Transcript.

Puig de la Bellacasa, M. (2017). Matters of care: speculative ethics in more than human worlds. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 

Singleton, V. (2012). When contexts meet: feminism and accountability in UK cattle farming. Science, Technology, & Human Values37(4), pp. 404-433.

Singleton, V., & Mee, S. (2017). Critical compassion: affect, discretion and policy–care relations. The Sociological Review65(2), 130-149.