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Making and doing hormonal theory 
Celia Roberts (Australian National University)
Roslyn Malcolm (Durham University)
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Sone Erikainen (University of Aberdeen)
Lisa Raeder (University of Edinburgh)
Andrea Ford (University of Edinburgh)
Combined Format Open Panel

Short Abstract:

What do hormones do? How can STS engagements create new stories about their actions? We invite academic papers about particular hormones and present an opportunity to engage in critical conversations about hormones and to contribute to a collective archive of hormonal theory, stories and drawings.

Long Abstract:

From adrenaline to estrogen, dopamine to cortisol, and testosterone to angiotensin, hormones are significant actors in human and non-human lives. Critical interdisciplinary accounts from STS, anthropology, feminist and queer studies have explored the biosocial entanglements constituting their actions, and highlighted the ways in which biomedical and technoscientific approaches both constrain and elaborate cultural understandings of their importance. Critical accounts have also highlighted the complex ways in which diverse kinds of people – scientists, therapists, parents, gender experimentalists, midwives, sportspeople, patients, artists and many others – do things with hormones to try to improve their lives. Hormones provoke rich stories about, inter alia, bodies, global politics, health, reproduction, animals and communication and are provocative agents for social theory.

This alternative format Open Panel celebrates and develops the approach of a new book, Hormonal Theory: A Rebellious Glossary edited by Andrea Ford, Roslyn Malcolm, Sone Erikainen, Lisa Raeder and Celia Roberts (2024, Bloomsbury Press). The aim of the panel is to collectively build an archive of academic accounts, personal stories and drawings about hormones. We invite academic papers and discussion about specific hormones and their biosocial entanglements. We will also exhibit drawings by Swedish graphic designer and illustrator Elsa Paulson, produced as responses to entries in Hormonal Theory. In a workshop session, we will then invite conference participants to share their own hormone stories and/or to make drawings of hormones they care about or as responses to the academic papers. These stories and drawings will be collated on an online platform and will be considered, alongside any academic submissions, for publication in a proposed second volume of Hormonal Theory.

Accepted contributions: