we invite you to submit an abstract for our session “F.4 (M)eating the future: technologies, materialities, and politics of food” (https://stsconf.tugraz.at/calls/sessions-in-food-systems/) in the upcoming STS Conference in Graz https://stsconf.tugraz.at/, held from May 8.-10. 2023.
Submission Deadline: January 30, 2023
“F.4 (M)eating the future: technologies, materialities, and politics of food”
Organizers: Désirée Janowsky, Martin Winter
Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany
The production of meat products is associated with many potential dangers for the future. These dangers are located on the global-planetary level as well as on the embodied-individual level: first, meat can be related to ecological problems, the climate crisis, pollution, and soil damage. Second, it involves the breeding and killing of billions of animals to a vast amount in precarious and poor working conditions. Third, meat can be seen as a root for issues of individual as well as public health. The issue of the production and consumption of meat is at the core of political transformation and social conflicts. On the one hand, an immense increase in productivity is associated with the success story of the fight against hunger, at least in Western countries. At the same time, however, meat production endangers the livelihood of many people on earth. However, efforts are already being made to change this and the field of meat production is in great flux: Various ways are emerging to make nutrition more sustainable. There are technical innovations such as plant-based meat alternatives, in-vitro meat or meat from insects. There is also the question of how the practices in nutritional science capture the problems associated with meat consumption and health related interventions.
With this in mind, it becomes clear that food and eating are far more than mundane practice and are a highly relevant and fruitful research objects for STS (see most recently Mol 2021). The papers presented in this panel will examine how perspectives of STS can be aligned to examine technical and scientific development in the food sector and identify opportunities for sustainable development. How can local alternative practices of food production offer a way out of the industrialized mass breeding of animals? How is technoscientific knowledge of different animal or plant-based meat co-produced with social norms and hierarchies, e.g. of what kind of meat products are produced for whom? But not only the production of food can be seen as a technological practice, food itself is a technology in everyday life that (re)produces lively bodies. This coupling of technologies and bodies is a prime example of being ‘cyborgs’ (Haraway). How is the technoscientific production of meat products and bodies entangled with knowledges of health and capability? How is this related to social differentiations of race, class and gender? These and further questions will be discussed to develop a grip on current futures of food that offer a perspective of a more sustainable and livable more-than-human world.