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Un/making more-than-human death and loss 
Franziska von Verschuer (Goethe University FrankfurtMain)
Josef Barla (Goethe University Frankfurt)
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Traditional Open Panel

Short Abstract:

This panel focuses on the increasing forms of more-than-human death and loss and how they are made, unmade, or made undone through science and technology. We discuss how death and loss ambivalently become objects of epistemological, economic, and technoscientific intervention and transformation.

Long Abstract:

Our present is a time of unprecedented ecological undoing and unmaking. In the face of multiple socio-ecological catastrophes and transformations, we become witnesses of ever-increasing numbers and diversifying forms of more-than-human death and loss. The vanishing of countless species, the loss of genetic variations within species, and the collapse of entire ecosystems, for example, illustrate a fundamental ‘undoing of the tissues of ongoingness’ (Haraway 2016). However, the experience of the acceleration of more-than-human death and loss has also spawned novel technologies, knowledges, economies, and modes of living and dealing with death and loss. Ranging from technological fixes embedded and invested in modernist technoscience to new forms of more-than-human bioeconomical labor and to epistemological ventures beyond the established confines of dominant Science, these interventions challenge naturecultural practices, rationalities, and relationalities underlying the perpetuation of forms of death- and loss-making.

In this panel, we want to discuss technoscientific, epistemological, affective, and other approaches to the un/making of death and loss. We are interested in how modes of ‘becoming without’ (Reis-Castro 2021) lives on the brink of extinction or already extinguished intertwine with and transform modes of ‘becoming with’ (Haraway 2008) more-than-human life, death, and loss. We invite contributions that discuss how more-than-human dying, death, and loss matter. We especially welcome papers that trace the ways in which more-than-human death and loss are made, unmade, or made undone through science and technology. How does more-than-human death and loss (ambivalently) become an object of knowledge and technoscientific intervention? How have technologies that once carried the promise of improving life become means of death- and loss-making? How do contemporary technologies, knowledges, and economies of death and loss trouble temporalities of life and death? How do critical analyses of death and loss challenge and transform more-than-human STS?

Accepted papers: