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The ends of hope: post-optimistic futures worth working towards 
Elliott Hauser (University of Texas at Austin)
Matt Ratto (University of Toronto)
Sophia Efstathiou (Norwegian Uni. of Science and Technology)
Paul Dourish (UC Irvine)
Blanca Callén (Autonomous University of Barcelona)
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Steven Jackson (Cornell University)
Combined Format Open Panel

Short Abstract:

Recent work in STS has focused upon the complex relations between hope, technoscience, and the worlds they each shape. Continuing that project, this panel seeks proposals that engage hope/hopelessness, optimism/pessimism, and the Ends of technology within, around, and beyond technoscience.

Long Abstract:

Recent work in STS has shed light on the complex relations between hope, worlds, and technoscience. As a continuation of that project, this panel seeks proposals that build action or theory addressing hope, hopelessness, optimism, or pessimism within, around and beyond technoscience.

Sociotechnical imaginaries of the future ground anticipatory attitudes,reveal unanticipated possibilities, and demand the improvised practices present in both our research sites and our research communities. They shape and sustain STS as a mode of acting towards, within, with or against technoscience. Amidst a proliferation of the promissory rhetoric of techno-optimism, we ask: when, where and for whom can technology give hope, now?

The panel invites in particular engagements with questions and practices of/around hope that lead to grounded, liberatory, resilient and interventionist socio-technical work, including:

- investigations of hope as a principled method for shaping and sustaining counter-imaginaries

- alternatives to, and new and experimental approaches beyond, techno-optimism

- active forms of resistance, unlearning, unscripting, or agnosis that allow futuring or remembering otherwise

- emancipatory investigations of hopelessness: accepting and acting with the trouble

- methods of anticipation, modes of improvisation, and/or techniques of memory

- analysis of the futures, pasts, and presents deployed in technoscientific narrative progress

- articulations of Ends of technology: telos, terminus, termination, apocalypse, or alternatives

- methodological reflections on the study of hope/lessness: how might these may be better incorporated into forms of critical analysis within and beyond STS

- material and creative engagements with hope/lessness, including ones that engage the conference’s making and doing theme

The panel’s convenors welcome any contribution motivated by equitable and just Ends in technoscience. This includes traditional abstract submissions along with creative expressions, artifacts, or embodied practice in dialogue with the panel’s themes.

Accepted contributions:

Session 1
Session 2
Session 3