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Rethinking STS through/from the Global South 
Esha Shah (Wageningen University and Research)
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David Ludwig
Harro Maat (Wageningen University)
Aneesh Aneesh (University of Oregon)
Combined Format Open Panel

Short Abstract:

This panel invites paper presentation and roundtable contributions on the perspectives from the global South that challenge, question, and help rethink Northern-centric theoretical and conceptual core of STS and its relationship with the global South.

Long Abstract:

In the 1980s and 1990s, STS was not uncommonly described as Europe/America centric discipline. Since the turn of millennium, the STS work carried out in developing and emerging economies have multiplied, and yet, the globalisation of STS is conducted as expansion of Euro-American-centric research approaches. The established theoretical and conceptual frameworks of STS have been historically developed primarily to suit to the making and doing of science and technology in western liberal democracies, so when these frameworks are transposed to explain histories or controversies of science and technology in the post-colonies, they do not always fit and create opaque picture of post-colonial societies being examined with the Northern-centric lens. Decolonization of academia from a global perspective implies major transformations of current inequalities in funding, academic positions, and decision making over quality, theory and data ownership, however, our focus for this panel is intellectual asymmetries.

We invite paper presentations on one of the following themes. How can theoretical and empirical contributions from the global South break universalizing ambitions and hegemony of the North-centric STS? How can STS loose its bearings in the North and regain them in the South by establishing dialogues with postcolonial studies, feminist studies, and development studies that are more grounded in the South? How can we incorporate the history of colonialism in examining the history of science and technology globally, more importantly, in understanding colonialism’s role in the making of science and technology in the global North?

We are more interested in decolonial perspectives from the global South that challenge, question, and help rethink established STS than merely case studies from the global South.

In addition to the paper presentations, this panel will also organise a roundtable. Please submit your contribution if you would like to address meta-questions about what STS was/is/can be from the decolonial perspectives.

Accepted contributions: