Accepted Paper:

Anticolonial science and technology: seizing the means of liberation?  

Author:

Sophie Toupin (McGill University)

Paper short abstract:

In this presentation I ask two interrelated questions: what does it mean to do anticolonial science and technology? And, how does Frantz Fanon's work inform our thinking about doing anticolonial STS?

Paper long abstract:

My paper is situated at the crossroads of two stereotypes: the image of Africa as defined by a lack of technological innovation; and of science and technology as being transferred from the West. As with all stereotypes, neither of these accurately represents the complexity of the phenomena to which it has been applied. By reconsidering the history of anticolonial movements and thoughts during liberation struggles in Africa, this paper gestures toward a recasting of colonial Africa as a geography of technological struggle, not absence. To contribute to such thinking, I focus on Fanon's writings and practices which expresses the rich entanglement between science and technologies, and liberation movements. I posit that his work has informed a way of thinking, but also and mostly of doing anticolonial STS. As of now, most of Fanon's work and scholarship on his work has focused on issues of violence, racism and his influence on African American culture. His scholarship on science and technology and the ways in which it is entangled with violence and racism have been given less attention. This paper will ask two questions: what does it mean to do anticolonial science and technology? And, how does Frantz Fanon's work inform our thinking about doing anticolonial STS? With this paper, I hope to start a process of developing an account of anticolonial STS that might point to possibilities for progressive social, political and technical responses to the uneven and unequal conditions that continue to challenge decolonizing processes in Africa.

Panel C12
Colliding theories, cultures, and futures. STS view(s) beyond the horizon. Or: STS diaspora