Call for Papers: “When Infrastructures Fall Apart” (4S, New Orleans)

This is a call for submissions to the 4S panel “When Infrastructures Fall Apart – Cuts and Ruptures in STS” (New Orleans, Louisiana, 4.-7.09.2019). The deadline for submissions is February 1st, 2019. More information can be found here:
Infrastructures have become key concerns in STS (Vertesi 2014, Harvey et al 2017), especially those that are ripe with interruptions and break downs (Anand 2017) of all kind. Experimental systems are plagued with extended moments of suspension (Galison 1997). Travelling technologies come to a halt as frictions emerge on unfamiliar grounds (Behrends et al 2014). More importantly, relationalities through which knowledge is produced are widely dismissed and black-boxed (Mol 2002).
This panel contributes to recent debates on built-in imaginaries (Tutton 2018), their temporality, politics, media or their agency in the anthropocene by interrogating interruptions (Braidotti 2013, Kirby 2011). We aim to rethink cuts and ruptures as two moments of interruption, and to think them together. While a cut in the apparatus (Barad 2007) marks the subject’s distinction from the object, a rupture exhibits the fragility of the setup itself with its multitudes of contributing agencies.
We call for contributions that re-examine the significance of interruptions along three dimensions:
  1. a) Temporality: We discuss duration, ranging from pause all the way to disruption,
  2. b) Situationality: No two interruptions are alike,
  3. c) Epistemology: While cuts enact the distinction between the subject and the object, in ruptures the fragility of complex systems exhibits itself.
We are keen to discuss material gathered amidst desks, laboratories and open-air, real-life experiments, spanning the usage of handheld devices to extremely expensive apparatuses mobilized by large research collaborations. Last but not least, we would like to ask how interruptions affect things and what their situational specificities are.
Convenors: Anne Dippel, Department of Cultural Anthropology/Cultural History – Friedrich Schiller University of Jena;Arne Harms, Institute of Anthropology – University of Leipzig;Lukas Mairhofer, Institute of Physics, University of Vienna