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P181


Thermal transformations and materializations: rethinking socio-material entanglements from the perspective of heat 
Convenors:
Jorge Martin Sainz de los Terreros (HU-Berlin)
Elisabeth Luggauer (Humboldt University Berlin)
Aalok Khandekar (Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad)
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Format:
Traditional Open Panel

Short Abstract:

This panel focuses on the uneven transformative materializations of heat across different ecologies. We invite conceptual, empirical and methodological contributions paying attention to how heat (re)entangles bodies, materials, and devices, and induces new thermal practices, knowledges and concepts.

Long Abstract:

In terms of physics, heat is a transfer of energy. Since all life happens in thermodynamics, heat is ubiquitous. Although receiving increasing attention within social sciences and STS, heat remains empirically, methodologically and conceptually hard to grasp. As an agentive thermal energy, it affects and transforms materials and bodies – human and nonhuman (Ong, 2012). Heat materializes through its conductive, convective and radiant transformative interactions with different materials and bodies, as well as in its effects in socio-material formations (e.g. Oppermann et al 2019; Khandekar et al 2023; Luggauer & Martín Sainz de los Terreros 2023). Depending on their thermal properties, materials and bodies overheat, dry out, melt, dissolve, change their shape or state, expand, evaporate, disintegrate, burn or break down. And, as capitalogenic global warming accelerates, heat increasingly affects the very possibilities of cohabitation on earth in starkly uneven ways (e.g. Stensrud & Eriksen 2019; Goh 2021).

This panel focuses on the uneven transformative materializations of heat in different ecologies of e.g. densely built cities, deserts, wetlands, forests or agriculturally used land. We invite contributions from perspectives such as:

1. How heat enacts (re)entanglements of human and other-than-human bodies, buildings, materials, air, land and soil.

2. How heat mobilizes new modes of “learning how to be affected” (Latour 2004) and transforms knowledges and practices related to thermal properties and thermoregulations.

3. How thermal transformations involve using and adapting objects and technical devices (e.g. for cooling, heating, insulating, ventilating, etc).

4. How heat problematizes and operationalises modes of planning, designing, building, living and governing different spaces.

5. How heat can be rendered researchable, for example in modes including ethnography? How might it transform crucial conceptualisations in STS-scholarship of e.g. ‘entanglement’ (Barad 2007), ‘materialization’ (Murphy 2006), ‘disaster’ (Fortun & Morgan 2015) or ‘risk’ (Callon, Lascoumes & Barthe 2011).

Accepted papers: