STS Summer Institute at University of Wisconsin, Madison: DUE Monday, January 11, 2016

Science and Technology Studies Summer School

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.


A curious feature of knowledge societies is that producing more data does not always result in less uncertainty, and the circulation of information may obscure some facts even as it reveals and amplifies others. Scientists, policy-makers, ethicists, laypersons, and advocacy groups alike attempt to manage the flow of facts, techniques, and materials by sequestering, containing, or merely highlighting certain facets. Yet despite their best efforts at controlling the distribution of knowledge, there are also unanticipated leaks, diversions, and revelations. Imperatives for transparency and the ‘right to know’ may also come into direct conflict with intended ‘protections,’ as demonstrated by controversies over the sequestering of knowledge through intellectual property regimes or governmental suppression of data for political purposes. We will use examples and case studies from research on the paradoxes of information flow in the life sciences to introduce and illustrate some of the key approaches in STS. These examples cases will span genetics, synthetic biology, newborn screening, bioinformatics, regenerative medicine and precision medicine.

The Summer School is supported by the Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies and its Disclosing/Enclosing

knowledge research cluster. For more information about the cluster, see


Program and faculty

Through a mix of lectures, group workshops and discussions of individual projects, participants will be exposed to core concepts and methodologies in STS. The workshop faculty will illustrate core concepts or methods with examples from their own research. These will be accompanied by in-depth discussion sessions, case study exercises, short presentations on student research projects, and a field trip. There will be plenty of opportunities for interaction and participation, as well as enjoying artisanal beer and cheese on UW Madison’s lakefront.

Organizing UW Madison faculty:
Linda Hogle, Medical History and Bioethics Nicole Nelson, History of Science
Pilar Ossorio, Morgridge Institute for Research Krishanu Saha, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery


Guest faculty:
Stephen Hilgartner, Cornell University Sheila Jasanoff, Harvard University Sergio Sismondo, Queen’s University Stefan Timmermans, UCLA

Selection criteria

We will recruit outstanding young scholars from UW Madison and across the United States. Applications are open to all graduate students, 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.

Key dates
Deadline for applications: Monday, January 11th, 2016 Notification of acceptance: Monday, February 1st, 2016 Registration and financial aid form: Monday, February 8th, 2016

Financial aid

Accommodations for out of town students and some meals will be covered by a grant from the Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies. A limited amount of funds are available for travel grants ($150-$400, depending on the distance traveled). More information about travel grant allocation will be provided in the acceptance letters.

Application process

Applications should include the following, sent as a single PDF file:

  1. Statement of interest (maximum 300 words). The statement of interest should describe the applicant’s background and qualifications and describe their current research and its relevance to the aims of the summer school
  2. Brief Curriculum Vitae (maximum 2 pages)
  3. One signed letter of recommendation from a supervisor, director of graduate studies, or other faculty member familiar with applicant’s research interests.

Application materials should be sent to Lyn Macgregor at




Bergamo (Italy) – June 8-11, 2016

Call for Papers


The past year has been a tumultuous one for the south/eastern borderlands of Europe. From the failed attempts to resist austerity in Greece against the backdrop of its possible exit/expulsion from the Eurozone, to the ongoing ‘refugee crisis’ that reverberates from Germany to the Mediterranean, old patterns of exclusion at Europe’s socio/spatial ‘margins’ are being reinforced, and new ones are being created. The production of categories of exclusion – the insolvent debtor, the economic migrant, the refugee – are also moments of redefinition of what ‘Europe’ may mean, and who or what may be ‘European’.

This panel seeks to bring together areas that are usually studied separately – the Eurozone crisis and ‘austerity’ on one side, and migration and the ‘refugee crisis’ on the other – in order to challenge the notion that it is migration alone (and a supposed ‘difference’ embodied by migrants, or citizens of non-European descent) that is calling into question a stable notion of ‘Europe’. Instead, the panel seeks to analyze the multiple ways in which ‘Europe’ (as a ‘geo-body’, a ‘historical construct’, a symbol, a relation) is currently being produced and reproduced through patterns of inclusion, exclusion and constant renegotiation of belonging at its borderlands, peripheries and margins. Understanding the present moment as part of a longer history of the making and remaking of Europe, the panel seeks to understand what is particular about how Europe is being produced at the present conjuncture, and how this is occurring in multiple arenas of everyday life.

In order to hold this conversation, the panel welcomes ethnographically-grounded papers that study how, through everyday forms of interaction, people from different socio-geographical positionalities produce ‘Europe’. Papers can be grounded in ‘obvious’ border-making spaces such as Lampedusa, or peripheries such as Greece, but also in those traditionally conceived as ‘centers’ such as Berlin, as well as outside of Geographical Europe. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: mobility, migration, and the ‘refugee crisis’; life with, and resistance to, austerity measures; rethinking ‘Fortress Europe’, the Eurozone, the Schengen Area, and the meaning of the European project through everyday material practices. We welcome works in progress as well as finished studies.

Symposium Announcement: What is the Urban? Registers of a World Interior

What Is the Urban? Registers of a World Interior
Iowa State University, Center for Excellence in Arts and Humanities (CEAH) Symposium
April 4-5, 2016
Full details and free registration at 

The urban, long a popular topic of inquiry, has become an unavoidable condition for contemporary life. For many disciplines, it has become a primary locus of research. Disciplines as varied as sociology, anthropology, geography, literature, art, design, economics, history and politics increasingly find themselves in contact with and shaped by the urban. And as more and more spaces of the world are urbanized, the ubiquity of this category as a site of scholarly research could be said to rest on the urgency we face in accommodating ourselves to its contradictions, imposed forms of violence, and the environmental fallout it has unleashed. From all scales, we encounter the urban, too: popularized notions like the anthropocene shed light on this category just as much as the problem of uneven development that characterizes our everyday experiences in its spaces. Yet for as much as it has opened itself to scholarly research, there is oddly scant reflection on the category itself. Despite its irrefutable complexity, its use is often irrefutably reductive: it appears as a background condition, as much for life itself as for the many discourses that attempt to describe it. Always at the disposal of myriad forms of knowledge, it is the unquestioned specification for the definition of other problems. The urban, it seems, is a given.

This symposium opens with a simple yet perplexing question: what is the urban? It brings together a range of internationally renowned scholars in an effort less to provide answers to this question than to frame a problem that has yet to be fully constituted. What language do we need to speak about the urban? What spaces and politics does it produce? Does the urban have a history of its own? An ontological specificity? By simply addressing the urban as a problem in and of itself, the symposium aims to open radically new apertures toward a world increasingly viewed through its endlessly urbanized space.

Emerging philosophical, theoretical and conceptual apparatuses may be necessary to repose the urban outside of its traditional spatial and ontological frameworks. Considering recent work in the humanities, what happens when we consider the urban to be a political ecology in its own right-a dense, complex, relational entanglement of human and non-human natures, embodied energies and materialities? What political forms and technologies does its spatial organization produce? Likewise, through juridico-political histories, the urban may begin to appear as a spatio-political order on par with a historical figure like territory, raising genealogical questions as to its emergence and formation. Can discourses on circulation, logistics and network theory be marshaled to confront the trans-scalar qualities that we observe in a spatial order visible at once at the planetary and the bodily scales? What kind of spatial theories can reconcile the geopolitical with the biopolitical?

In this regard, Peter Sloterdijk’s recent provocations around the notion of ‘world interior’ may shed crucial light on the question of the urban. The ‘world interior’ for Sloterdijk operates as a metaphor to describe the end result of a long history of globalization, characterized by an overarching aversion to risk developed over centuries of plunderous oceanic crossing. ‘Interiorization’ for him stands as a tendency whose effect today is marked by sprawling insurance policies, unchecked security measures and a techno-media power structure whose effort to totally annihilate risk comes through endless structures and technologies of enclosure. The space of the world interior, akin to Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace (1851), is an interior so vast as to permit the fantasy that there is no outside. Moving from paradigm to ontology, how can such a notion of a ‘world-interior’ be useful for unfolding relations between the material, legal, social, political, architectural and phenomenological conditions of the urban today? How can it help to describe new socio-spatial ontologies of this category that transgress the familiar urban/rural, center/periphery, and even global south/north divides? What other emerging concepts and motifs can help capture the elusive yet omnipresent condition of the urban?


James C. Scott, Yale University

Max ViatoriIowa State University

Charles Rice, University of Technology Sydney

Design Earth (Rania Ghosn/El Hadi Jazairy), MIT/University of Michigan

Jane Rongerude, Iowa State University

Ayala Levin, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Marwan Ghandour, Iowa State University

Nikos Katsikis, Harvard Graduate School of Design

Albert Pope, Rice University

Ross Exo Adams, Iowa State University

AbdouMaliq Simone, Max Planck Institute/Goldsmiths College

Michael Bailey, Iowa State University

Alice Randall, Vanderbilt University

Kenny Cupers, University of Basel

Barbara Ching, Iowa State University

Antonio Petrov, University of Texas at San Antonio