E08
Topologies of race: bringing a touchy object in STS

Convenors:
Lisette Jong (University of Amsterdam)
Amade M'charek (University of Amsterdam)
Stream:
Assembly, silence, dissent
Location:
Elizabeth Livingston Lecture Theatre (Bowland North)
Start time:
25 July, 2018 at 13:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

Can STS be touched by race? Is it capable of taking an unruly yet utterly political object onboard? And to what effect? The aim is of this panel to bring into conversation various practices in which race is shaped and made relevant and to explore how race is affecting STS, its methods and concepts.

Long abstract:

Can STS be touched by race? Is it capable of taking an unruly yet utterly political object onboard? And to what effect? Although race has been tabooed in science ever since WWII, it never completely disappeared (Lipphardt 2012; Bengham 2015). In the past decades, as an effect of the growing role of the life sciences and its interest in difference, race is more clearly resurfacing, roaring its head in both science and society. Yet, and perhaps because of its political touchiness, race is an illusive and slippery object. An absent presence (Law & Singleton 2004). In this panel our aim is to bring into conversation various practices in which race is shaped and made relevant. We hope to learn from the individual papers about what race is made to be in different practices. While in the conversations between them we also aim to explore how race is affecting STS. The topological approach helps to not only attend to race as a spatial and temporal configuration, but necessarily shifts our gaze to STS itself to inquire the methods and concepts through which we come to know race. Can STS deal with temporality? Is it capable of dealing with ghostly objects, such as race? Is it well equipped to calmly study an over-politicized, a touchy object? Can STS and race properly meet?