This track seeks to bring together diverse empirical and theoretical approaches that defy the biology/society dichotomy.
This track seeks to bring together diverse empirical and theoretical approaches that defy the biology/society dichotomy. While networks, hybrids, and entanglements have long been features of STS analysis, the relevance of the social to biology and vice versa are increasingly marks of 21st century life-sciences. Epigenetics, neurological plasticity, microbiomics, extended inheritance, and multi/trans-generational trauma bring an increased appreciation of "the social" to the practices of biomedicine. In biology these changes are gathered under the notion of postgenomics, by which an unprecedented temporalization, spatialization, permeability to material surroundings, and plasticity of genomic functioning is expressed. Meanwhile, in STS, sociology, cultural anthropology, and feminist studies, we've seen a wave of calls for increased engagement with biological materiality. We thus invite papers that chart the specificities of this biosocial domain in different disciplinary contexts. These papers might think with fertile concepts already in play (the biosocial, the biocultural, new materialism, new vitality etc) or propose new ones. In keeping with the meeting's theme, we hope that some contributions will imagine futures where this tired dichotomy is laid to rest not just in the vanguard of academy, but in public life as well. At the same time we don't want simply to celebrate the new biosocial: we suggest to critically reflect on its social and political translations, how this will or will not contribute to the remaking of key modern notions like race, class, and gender.