BALKA, Ellen: "Mapping the Body Across Diverse Information Systems: Shadow Bodies and They Make Us Human"
In this talk, I introduce the term "shadow bodies" (Star and Balka, 2009), a concept Leigh Star and I were working on at the time of her death. Using ski area injuries as a starting point, I demonstrate how shadow bodies are created as notions of health and illness are negotiated across multiple jurisdictions (such as the ski patrol, ambulance service, local clinic), information needs (e.g., those of a provincial safety officer, who receives information if an injury involves a ski lift) and information systems, with each jurisdictional boundary demarking a differing view of the body -- "shadow bodies" (Star and Balka, 2009). I then take up Leigh's broader line of inquiry to demonstrate how these infrastructure shadows permeate our bodies in action, interaction, and history, where these shadows take the form of absences and presences encoded by all types of information technology - which are not, themselves, yet considered institutionally. As the body of shadows accumulate (in the form of blogs, electronic traces of many sorts, the aggregation of information about individuals), little in the way of moral or sentimental order guides their proliferation, with documents and traces following, in ever-thickening ways, nearly every domain of life (e.g., book-buying, health, where one lives, how standard one may be or not be). I end by suggesting that as an aggregate social form, these shadows of the self are under-theorized, and, in the spirit of Leigh's inquiry, that we now turn our focus to consideration of the about the existential and political ways of life engendered by the volume and entanglement of multiple infrastructures.
ELLEN BALKA is a Professor in Simon Fraser University's School of Communication, in Vancouver, Canada, where she also holds a position as a senior research scientist at Vancouver Coastal Health's Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation. She holds a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Senior Scholar's Award, and an adjunct faculty position in the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine. Her current work is concerned with the relationship between information system design and health indicator quality and availability, the politics of cyberinfrastructures and classification systems in health and genomics, and the materiality of technology (which she is pursuing through the study of artist's interactions with the technologies of art practices).
BECK, Eevi E. : "Thundering Silence: Residuality and Theory"
'Thundering silence' refers to the apparent paradox of sound and silence, of powerful forces and invisibility being less contrasts than intertwined in each other. How these co-constitute is a running theme for many of Leigh Star's works, including her work with Geof Bowker on residuality (that which doesn't fit expected categorisations). Star and Bowker's work points to what is marginal, silent, impure; how the production of such positions are a consequence of the apparearance of order; the multiplicity of membership categories and thus the inescapability of finding oneself in such a position in some context or other; and the suffering and possibilities in this. Ways in which marginalities interlace with orderliness are in this paper explored in two areas: The constituting of theory in academics' oral practices (primarily in teaching), and the constituting of socially presentable bodies through the work of home-help care. While 'theory' is an explicit notion about which academics can converse, 'practice'/'experience' is more troublesome (but can be translated into discussable terms). Concealing the imperfections of bodies, however, exists close to the experience only. The rewards for success and consequences of not succeeding differ substantially in the two areas. Yet, the practices share the function of silencing suffering, moving (not removing) it from public view, preserving the appearance of orderliness not only of the specific persons concerned but of an aspect of social life.
EEVI E. BECK first studied Computer Science. Her thesis work on computer support for collaborative writing at the Univ. of Sussex, UK, brought her in touch with Leigh Star and a different approach to understanding science and life from what she had previously known. Currently, Eevi is working as a Professor of ICT and Learning at the Dept of Educational Research, University of Oslo, Norway, where she enjoys exploring ways of weaving fabric of understanding of learning and growth from diverse threads, including 'scientific,' 'experiential,' 'technical,' and 'dance/body/spirit.'
BOLAND, Dick: "The Concept of Boundary Objects and the Reshaping of Research in Management and Organization Studies"
I take the opportunity of this workshop celebrating Leigh Star to explore some themes that have enticed me for many years. They center on Leigh's evocative work on boundary objects and the unbounded multiplicity of what they represent. I use Walker Percy's triadic theory of language as a foil for exploring these themes in Leigh's work. Percy was a novelist who reflected deeply on language, struggling to break from the tradition of positivist thought that dominated it's theorizing. He found to his disappointment that those who appeared to be kindred spirits, never truly broke free from their yearning for the solid ground of singular meanings. His fascination with our uniquely human ability to name things, and to experience alienation in the world that we ourselves have named, will serve as a lens for thinking through the themes of boundary objects and multiplicity in Leigh's work.
DICK BOLAND is the Elizabeth M. and William C. Treuhaft Professor of Design in Management. He serves as Professor and Chair of Information Systems and as Professor of Cognitive Science, at Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, Ohio. From 1976 to 1989, he was Professor of Accountancy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has been a visiting Professor at the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management, and has held the Malmsten Chair for visiting Professors at the Gothenburg School of Economics, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Currently, he also holds an appointment as Senior Research Fellow at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. Boland's research emphasizes interpretive studies of how individuals experience the design, implementation and use of information technologies. His special interests include the design and modeling of social systems, the graphical representation of information, and processes of distributed cognition. Some representative publications include "The Process and Product of System Design", Management Science (1978), "Sense Making of Accounting Data", Management Science (1986), "Accounting and the Interpretive Act," Accounting, Organizations and Society (1993), "Designing Information Technology to Support Distributed Cognition", Organization Science (1994), "Perspective Making and Perspective Taking in Communities of Knowing", Organization Science (1995), "Why Shared Meanings Have No Place in Structuration Theory", Accounting, Organizations and Society (1996), "Knowledge Representation and Knowledge Transfer", Academy of Management Journal, (2001), Managing as Designing, (Stanford University Press, 2004), and "Wakes of Innovation in Project Networks" Organization Science (2007) which won an Academy of Management 2008 award for best published paper and He is just completing an eight study funded by the National Science Foundation on the distributed process of innovation associated with the adoption of three dimensional digital technologies in the architectural, engineering and construction industries, and wondering what to do next.
CEJA ALCALA, Janet: "Residual Categories and Becoming a Minority"
While at the American Indian Resource Center at Huntington Park Library in Huntington Park, California I noticed a man walk in one day with a teenager enthusiastically looking for materials that could help them learn Apachean. After being assured by the library assistant that Michael McLaughlin (Winnebago), the librarian, would be in soon to help them, he nodded with a confident smile and responded:
"Well, the librarian himself is an Indian, right?"
Witnessing this exchange suggested what others have already noted -- the delivery of library services by those that share the knowledge, language, values, and cultural heritage of specific populations does make a difference in the manner in which libraries function. Nevertheless, we know little about what this type of librarianship encompasses. As Lotsee Patterson (Comanche) notes on the scant literature on Native Americans in librarianship and tribal libraries, "perhaps this is not a reflection of a lack of interest but rather that information on both of these subjects is not easily obtained." During one of my summer breaks in Los Angeles I obtained such information and wrote a paper about it discussing how the terms "American Indian" and "Native American" were residual categories in library practice. What emerged was that these categories have created the knowledge base by which some become "minorities." The relationship between becoming a minority within institutional settings such as libraries will be discussed in relation to the invisible work Leigh performed to erase these types of residual categories as my mentor and friend.
JANET CEJA ALCALA is a doctoral student in the Library and Information Science program at the University of Pittsburgh iSchool. Her dissertation research seeks to understand the synergy between a religious fiesta in a small town in Mexico as a celebration and as video documentary productions of it made by local videographers. She explores how the cultural and social practices of members of the town preserve the tradition through its production as a celebration and as video documentaries that circulate within a transnational environment. It is hoped that this study will assist heritage institutions with the implementation of ethical policies that consider the contexts of consequence to be confronted when housing documents representing intangible forms of cultural heritage.
GRIESEMER, Jim: "Boundary Crossings, a Heuristic Strategy for STS Research"
In this essay, I revisit the concept of boundary objects and consider its status as a category for STS work. I emphasize that theoretical categories, to be effective for science, must serve the most mundane empirical practices. I suggest that a central activity of scientists (including STS workers) is engaging (leading, following, intersecting, avoiding, evading) processes they wish to describe, understand, explain, predict, or control. I take the concept of a boundary object to be part of a theoretical perspective that frames STS research activity as engaging processes of boundary crossings of science studies worlds (e.g. philosophies, sociologies, anthropologies, histories) while it tracks boundary crossings of its subjects. I revisit the case study of Star and Griesemer (1989) to consider how the concept of boundary objects may serve as a guide in empirically tracking scientific inquiry in ways that reveal tracking commitments of STS researchers, their scientist subjects, and the latter's objects of empirical inquiry. These tracking commitments are pragmatic commitments that have ontological, epistemic and ethical import: ontological commitments to track in particular ways, epistemic commitments to represent processes in terms of tracking results, and ethical commitments to be accountable to bodies marked and configured in empirical engagements. The merger of epistemic, ontological and ethical considerations in a picture of pragmatic commitments trackable through boundary crossings reflects well, I think, the goals of Star and Griesemer (1989).
JIM GRIESEMER is Professor and Ex-Chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of California, Davis, a member of the UC Davis Science and Technology Studies Program and the Center for Population Biology. He is also Past-President of the International Society for History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology and a member of the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research in Altenberg Austria. Jim's primary interests are philosophical, historical, and social understanding of the biological sciences, especially evolutionary biology, genetics, developmental biology, ecology and systematics. He has written on a wide variety of topics in history, philosophy and social studies of biology, including models and practices in museum-based natural history, laboratory-based ecology, units and levels of inheritance and selection in evolutionary biology, and visual representation in embryology and genetics. He is currently writing a book, Reproduction in the Evolutionary Process, which develops an epistemology of scientific practice, a theory of reproduction more comprehensive than current philosophical accounts of inheritance, and with applications to theoretical problems ranging from the nature and origin of living systems, evolutionary transitions, eco-evo-devo, and cultural change.
HALL, Rodgers and Karen Wieckert: "Serving and Abstracting in the Boundary Spanning Work of Statistical Consultants"
The conservation of work involved in having, making, refining or retiring concepts is something made visible to us through the work of Leigh Star and her many colleagues over the years. How concepts circulate through work organization, along with people and devices, is a form of learning that is just drawing the attention of the learning sciences. In this paper, we examine the work of using and extending statistical concepts. In cases of statistical consulting, biostatisticians "serve" diverse clients, who struggle to fit conventional uses of method in their field to new study contingencies, with the result that concepts move horizontally within the community of investigators. But while serving diverse client needs, biostatisticians are also constantly on the lookout for structural problems that invite "abstracting" new methods, lifting concepts vertically out of particulars. Linked practices of serving and abstracting in the boundary spanning work of statistical consultants are further complicated by statisticians' normative epistemic stance towards the variety of problems presented by their research clients.
RODGERS HALL is Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, Vanderbilt University. His research interests include: the learning and teaching of mathematics, both as a school topic and as a resource for modeling and inference in scientific inquiry; studies of learning in and out of school; comparative studies of mathematical activity in school and work settings, and (most generally) the organization and development of representational practices in technical and scientific work.
KAREN WIEKERT works as a User Experience Architect in medical informatics. Her research and teaching interests include studies of design practice in the construction and adoption of expert systems (UC Irvine), analysis of work practice in the design of human computer interaction (Stanford University), and teaching mathematics to students who have had utterly terrible experiences in formal math classes.
HARAWAY, Donna: "Playing Multispecies Cat's Cradle with Leigh Star"
Drawing from the world-wide game of string figures called Cat's Cradle in English, Donna will track some of the relays of action and passion in the ongoing patterning of feminist science studies that Leigh handed on to all of us.
DONNA HARRAWAY has been a member of the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California at Santa Cruz since 1980. Her teaching and research explore the cat's cradle knots tied by feminist theory, science and technology studies, and animal studies. She earned her PhD in Biology at Yale in 1972, and before coming to UCSC she taught biology at the University of Hawaii and the history of science at The Johns Hopkins University. Her recent book, When Species Meet (University of Minnesota Press, 2008) examines philosophical, historical, cultural, personal, technoscientific, and biological aspects of animal-human inter- and intra-actions. Her earlier books include Crystals, Fabrics, and Fields: Metaphors that Shape Embryos (Yale, 1976; North Atlantic Books, 2004); Primate Visions: Gender, Race, and Nature in the World of Modern Science (Routledge, 1989); Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (Routledge, 1991); Modest_Witness @ Second_Millennium.FemaleMan © _Meets_OncoMouse™ : Feminism and Technoscience (Routledge, 1997) The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness (Prickly Paradigm Press, 2003); and The Haraway Reader (Routledge, 2004). Under the title "Staying with the Trouble," her current work inhabits the relational labor of human and nonhuman animals in urban and periurban agriculture.
HENDERSON, Katherine: "From Gophers and Folk Art to the Pleasures and Dangers of Standards and Onions: a Journey about Boundaries"
This paper discusses the influences of Leigh Star's scholarship in my own research. We shared a life-long interest in boundaries and boundary work, whether their erection and maintenance through objects, standardization, and the work accomplished by their fluidity or the effect of their presence or non-existence on work practice and lives, with Leigh always in the lead. The dialogue started with our conversation, on first meeting in the 1980s, about the roles of multiple meanings of objects in museums, natural history (Leigh) and folk art (me). Leigh's concept of boundary objects in collaborative work coordination gave me a language to begin to address the roles of engineering sketches, drawings and prototypes in design collaboration and conflict. When I turned my interest to design practice outside mainstream engineering and the reasons early green builders sought building codes Leigh was there before me with her work on standardization of disease, suggesting theory, issues, and questions. My most recent research with those suffering from multiple chemical sensitivity examines how people, mostly women, cope in a world in which they react severely to everyday products, suffering an environmental illness that medicine refuses to recognize because there is no standard diagnosis or standardized protocol of treatment. Again, I am fortunate to be able to draw on concepts and issues Leigh has visited in her research on disease classification, standardization, and the many ramifications of "being allergic to onions."
KATHRYN HENDERSON is an associate professor of sociology at Texas A&M University where she teaches in Sociology and Women's Studies. Her MFA in art criticism and Ph.D. in sociology are from University of California, San Diego. Her research employs visual and qualitative methods and has included, among others, the visual culture of design engineers; building codes and standardization in straw bale building; and mind maps and the visual memory of Katrina survivors. Her current research employs participant-directed photo-elicitation to explore and record how those with environmental illness such as multiple chemical sensitivity -- of whom 80% are women -- cope in the face of medical failure to recognize and treat the disease.
HORNSTEIN, Gail A.: "Anatomy is Frozen Physiology, or How I Learned to See the Process that is Everywhere"
The language of science (biological/social, animal/human, etc.) is filled with static constructs that mask the dynamic processes operating inside of them. Leigh Star's work reveals these processes and the techniques that render them invisible in the first place. Illustrations, illuminations, and explorations of how her insights apply to the world of mental health will follow.
GAIL A. HORNSTEIN is Professor of Psychology at Mount Holyoke College. Trained as a personality/social psychologist, she has published widely in professional journals on such topics as conversational style in close relationships; the transition from work to retirement; the development of quantification in American psychology; and psychology's problematic relations with psychoanalysis. She did her undergraduate work at the University of Pittsburgh, earned her PhD from Clark University, and has been a Visiting Fellow at Harvard, Berkeley, Cambridge, Oxford, and the University of London. Her research spans the history of 20th-century psychology and psychiatry, and has been supported by many grants and fellowships. She served as Chair of Mount Holyoke's Women's Studies Program for 7 years, and as Founding Director of the interdisciplinary Five College Women's Studies Research Center during its first decade. In addition to her many scholarly publications, Hornstein's articles and op-ed pieces have appeared in Newsday, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Hartford Courant, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Encyclopedia of Psychology. She is the author of two books: To Redeem One Person is to Redeem the World: The Life of Frieda Fromm-Reichmann and Agnes's Jacket: A Psychologist's Search for the Meanings of Madness, and is the 2011 recipient of the Meribeth E. Cameron Faculty Award for Scholarship at Mount Holyoke. Her Bibliography of First-Person Narratives of Madness, now in its 4th edition, includes more than 700 titles and is used by scholars and activists worldwide.
HYYSALO, Sampsa: "Regions of Adjustment: Marginalization and the Quest for Robust Dominance"
Arguably the least read of Star's books, her regions of the mind provides a compelling analysis of how locationist brain research won over diffusionist one in the 19th century rivalry of paradigms, yet "the locationism that won" had adopted a range of diffusionist tenents during the interchange. Whilst the description of dynamics, means and outcomes of paradigm competition and interchange far exceeded what was available in 1989, and continues to be timely also presently, our community never really picked it up. We may speculate whether this was due to too subtle a prose that was lacking in catchy and provocative concepts, the writer's then dismissable academic position, the inconvenience in the marginalization-and-winning, collaborate-to-dominate and means-over-epistemics narratives that come out from the book, or, all of the above. What is clear, however, is that similar more complex stories of antagonistic interchange have begun to emerge in technology studies, and suggests that we should not forgo neither the insights nor the metholodological premises of Star's early work. To that aim, we discuss the key insights the book continues to offer to our understanding of intercommunity interchange, dominance and evolution in the light of present science and technology studies concerns around these topics.
SAMPSA HYYSALO is a Senior Researcher at the Aalto University School of Economics, Helsinki Finland. His research focuses on user involvement in innovation and the co-evolution of technologies, practices and organizations. His most recent book "Health Technology development and use: From practice-bound imagination to evolving impacts" (Routledge, 2010) sums up his twelve year research engagement with these topics on various health care technologies. His current research includes work with user innovation in sustainable home energy use, social media, and packaged software. Hyysalo received his Ph.d in Behavioral Sciences in the University of Helsinki and holds a Docentship in information systems, specialising in user-centered design.
KARNIK, Niranjan : "Homeless Youth Suffering: Boundaries and Ecologies of the Invisible"
KING, John Leslie: "Triangulation from the Margins"
I learned two things from Leigh. One was that you can often see a lot more of what you need to see of the world from the margins, meaning the points or view of marginalized people, than you can from the "centers" of things. Leigh herself was one of the most effective self-structured marginals I've ever known. I think that's why she was so amazingly effective, intellectually. The second was that you learn a lot by triangulating, which was essentially a metaphor grabbed from Euclidian geometry (or trigonometry, more precisely) and applied to social understanding. The trick of triangulation was to adopt points of view easily and accurately, but also leave them to adopt others easily and accurately. By selectively adopting and leaving POVs, especially from the margins, one could often get a remarkably good picture of what was going on at the focal point of the triangulation. Sometimes that focal point was in the center, but as often it was on some other margin, or somewhere within a particular margin. Selecting the POVs was more art than science, but Leigh was an excellent artist in this regard, and I learned much from watching her in action. I think the thing that most impressed me about Leigh was not merely that she was very good at this, but she was fast. She could draw a bead on a difficult issue and articulate an insight about it with astonishing speed. This impressed me deeply. I miss her a lot, but these things live on in me. I try to teach them to my students. They are worth knowing. That's something I cannot say about everything I know.
JOHN LESLIE KING is Vice Provost for Strategy and W.W. Bishop Professor and former dean in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. He joined the faculty at Michigan in 2000 after twenty years on the faculties of computer science and management at the University of California at Irvine. He has published more than 175 academic and professional books and research papers from his research on the relationship between changes in information technology and changes in organizations, institutions, and markets. Along the way he has been Marvin Bower Fellow at the Harvard Business School, distinguished visiting professor at the National University of Singapore and at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and Fulbright Distinguished Chair in American Studies at the University of Frankfurt. From 1992-1998 he was Editor-in-Chief of the INFORMS journal Information Systems Research, and has served as associate editor of many other journals. He has been a member of the Board of the Computing Research Association (CRA) and the Council of the Computing Community Consortium, run by the CRA for the National Science Foundation. He has been a member of the Advisory Committees for the National Science Foundation's Directorates for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) and Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE), as well as the NSF Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure (ACCI). He has also been a member of a number of committees of the National Academies. He holds a PhD in administration from the University of California, Irvine, and an honorary doctorate in economics from Copenhagen Business School. He is a Fellow of the Association for Information Systems and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
KNOBEL, Cory: "Boundary Objects and Ontic Occlusion"
Leigh Star often spoke of those who live in "residual categories" - the corners of classification that contain the unnamed or non-legitimated. Most often, these categories are black-boxed with labels such as other, not applicable, and the like. Yet, the social systems behind these occlusive terms have structure and organization of their own, allowing continued function and growth. These systems serve to facilitate the lives of those who live in the residual. At the same time, they may also arrange themselves to perpetuate their categorical existence as the residual, leading to complex structures of neglect.
This paper examines a Midwestern low-income community that lives between the structured governmental mechanisms of social services (the formal) and the informal social support economies that have evolved to maintain daily community life (the residual). In the space between, the community shows structural fluidity and an ability to reconfigure the ontic when situationally appropriate. Doing so provides a layer of support and custodianship for the larger community, but also creates a context in which residual categories and the accompanying structures of neglect can be perpetuated.
CORY KNOBEL is an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences. His research focuses on the human experience in the context of infrastructure and technological systems. His current work focuses on (1) the role of social values in the design of technological systems, and (2) remediating and expanding modes of scholarly and scientific communication. Cory earned his PhD in Information at the University of Michigan with additional graduate work in complex systems, statistics, and science & technology studies.
KRAMARAE, Cheris and Jutta Weber: "At War with Computers"
LAMPLAND, Martha: "Formalizing Practices"
I am curious about the epistemological status and cultural import of formal representations in dynamic social conditions. I have an abiding interest in how and why complex sociocultural phenomena are rendered abstractly, and how those representations change over time. My theoretical interest in formal representations lies in the conviction that symbolic forms are far more contingent and provisional than we usually assume. Some representations are more fragile than others, but in every instance the scaffolding on which symbolic expression rests is built from recurring social practices animating ideas and images. I argue that much can be learned about the cultural and historical contingencies of social processes of formal representation by studying formalizing practices.
MARTHA LAMPLAND is Associate Professor of Sociology and Science Studies at the University of California, San Diego. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago in 1987. Professor Lampland has published and co-edited several books: The Object of Labor. Commodification in Socialist Hungary (University of Chicago Press, 1995); Altering States. Ethnographies of the Transition in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union, co-edited with Daphne Berdahl and Matti Bunzl (University of Michigan Press, 2000); and Standards and their Stories. How Quantifying, Classifying and Formalizing Practices Shape Everyday Life (Cornell University Press, forthcoming). Her research interests include political economy, social and cultural history in Central Europe (19th-20th c.), and science studies. She has just finished a book on agrarian work science and the development of socialist wages during the transition to Stalinism (1920-1956), entitled The Value of Labor. The Science of Work and the Work of Science. Professor Lampland is working on a new project on the political iconography of class and race in satirical magazines in Hungary (1935-1948).
PUIG de la BELLACASA, Maria: "Ecology, Spirituality and the Infrastructure of Bios: Thinking the Sciences of Soil with Susan Leigh Star"
SCHMIDT, Kjeld: "Reflections on the visibility and invisibility of work"
Not all wines mature well, the same with scholarly papers. There are papers that meant for immediate consumption and become flat and tasteless after a year. And there are papers that, for some reason, become richer over time. The paper on 'the ecology of visible and invisible work' by Susan Leigh Star and Anselm Strauss from 1999 is one of those papers. It has become a CSCW classic, I think, because it grows on you, and it does so because it is a very dialectical paper: its authors did not shy away from tensions, dilemmas, and paradoxes but faced them boldly (and wittily). As far as I'm concerned, the paper invariably triggers whole trains of thought whenever I go back to it. More than that, the paper by Star and Strauss has gained in relevance. In the public discourse in the West, ordinary industrial work is seen as something that belongs to the world of yesterday, together with plowing with oxen or picking cotton. It is on the way out, we are told, and is better left to the Chinese, while we take care of the design, 'we' being the self-proclaimed 'creative class'. In fact, we are now often told, the very notion of 'work' is past its due date. 'Work' is not intellectually respectable, as an object of study. Or so we are led to believe. It is, I want to say, time to make work and the study of work intellectually respectable: visible. Only that way can we contribute to improving the conditions of work, its organization and technologies.
KJELD SCHMIDT is Professor of Work, Organization, and Technology at Copenhagen Business School. He was recently awarded the honorary title of dr.scient.soc. Schmidt is the Editor-in-Chief of Computer Supported Cooperative Work: The Journal of Collaborative Computing (since 1992). Initially a software programmer, Schmidt studied sociology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and obtained his MSc degree in sociology from the University of Lund, Sweden, in 1974. At that time his research focused on processes of socio-economic transformation, but in 1985 he decided to devote his efforts and energies to the then emerging area of Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), initially working as a researcher in private industry but from 1989 at Riso National Laboratory. From 1998, he has held faculty positions at universities in the Copenhagen area. His main contributions to the field of CSCW are centered on what can be termed its conceptual foundations. That is, he has contributed to making 'cooperative work' a researchable phenomenon, by delineating it as something that can be investigated systematically, as a category of work practice, distinct from organizational and socio-economic forms. This has opened a research strategy of focusing on coordinative practices, their methods and techniques (e.g., Schmidt and Bannon, 1992). Building on this, Schmidt has contributed to the development of technologies that will enable ordinary workers to express and execute coordinative protocols such as workflows and classification schemes in a distributed and flexible manner (e.g., Schmidt and Simone, 1996; Schmidt and Wagner, 2004). His recent book on Cooperative Work and Coordinative Practices (Springer 2011) argues for a re-conceptualization of CSCW.
SMITH, Brian Cantwell : "So boundary as to not be an object at all"
SUCHMAN, Lucy: "Remote Control: Asymmetric Entanglements of Bodies and Machines"
Taking Leigh Star's interest in the intersections of lived experience, technologies and silences (2007) as a starting place, this paper will explore reconfigurations at the interface of bodies and machines within the danger zones of contemporary war fighting. More specifically, I consider developments in remotely controlled aircraft and robots, devices designed to enable the projection of action at a distance in ways that keep 'our' bodies safe, while putting 'the enemy' at greater risk. I read media accounts of these initiatives against a critical inquiry into the prospects and problems of human/machine entanglements, to address two questions. First, what imaginaries are reiterated and what realities are made present in media reporting in these areas, and where are the consistent absences? Second, what forms of identification and difference are presumed in the deployment of these new modes of killing, with what implications for the biopolitics and ethics of warfare? I close with some reflections on emerging mobilization in opposition to these developments within international arms control and related networks, and how analyses like the one presented might work to support those movements.
LUCY SUCHMAN is Professor of Anthropology of Science and Technology in the Department of Sociology at Lancaster University, and Co-Director of Lancaster's Centre for Science Studies. Before taking up her present post she spent twenty years as a researcher at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center, where she was a founding member and Manager of the Work Practice and Technology area. Her research focuses on emerging reconceptualizations of social/material relations based in anthropology, feminist theory and science and technology studies.
SUMMERTON, Jane: "Voices from the margins: toward an understanding of exclusions, disadvantage and other issues of social equity in transport infrastructures"
How can the dynamics of infrastructural systems be understood from the vantage point of those "non-standardized" individuals and groups who are marginalized, disadvantaged or excluded from access to/use of/benefits from these infrastructures? What can such stories from the periphery tell us about the politics and power relations within which such infrastructures are embedded? These questions were central to the scholarship of Leigh Star, who continuously reminded us to ask cuo bono?
The purpose of this paper is to explore conceptual approaches to understanding the ways in which various groups of users and non-users are marginalized/disadvantaged in the on-going workings - the planning, operation and practices - of transport infrastructures. The paper, which will be highly exploratory in nature, will first give an overview of existing empirical work which in various ways addresses exclusionary practices and/or issues of equity specifically in transport infrastructures. Examples are recent work on the efforts of interest groups within disability to influence the configuration of large transport systems (Galis 2006), studies of transport disadvantage (Dodson et al 2006), work on negotiating "streets for all" for inclusion of non-motorized groups in urban transport planning (Khayesi et al 2010) and work on social equity in patterns of transport consumption (Bradley 2009). This overview will serve to frame the issues in relation to core questions of what groups can be identified, how exclusions are expressed, and what concepts are fruitful for explicating these dyamics specifically in transport infrastructures. Thereafter broader theoretical work within STS on users and other relevant actor groups (e.g. concerned groups) will be examined in terms of their potential for understanding exclusionary practices and efforts of victimized groups to influence these practices. The paper will conclude by pointing to critical questions to be addressed toward a sociology of non-standardized users in transport infrastructures.
JANE SUMMERTON is professor and director of the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture/TIK at the University of Oslo. She is also a member of the Scientific Board of Volvo Research and Educational Foundations since 2009. Her work within the sociology of technology has focused on constructions of risk in sociotechnical practice, manager - user dynamics in energy infrastructures, and planning processes in transport infrastructures.
WAKEFORD, Nina: "Revisiting Leigh Star's paper Misplaced Concretism and Concrete Situations: Feminism, Method and Information Technology"
Leigh Star's scholarship bridges many domains of experience and knowledge. In this paper, I extend a series of conversations that Leigh and I had about the importance of addressing suffering by looking at the experiences of homeless youth. Using several of the lenses that Leigh developed, I will attempt to make their suffering visible by demarcating the medical, penal, and economic boundaries that define their lives epistemologically, experientially, and socially. In this paper, I use a series of ethnographic vignettes and individual stories gathered in the course of working at shelters in San Francisco and Chicago as a means of examining the suffering of homeless youth.
NIRANJAN KARNIK is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Chicago. He completed his medical degree and PhD in Sociology through the Medical Scholars Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Leigh Star was his dissertation supervisor during his time at Illinois. After completing his degrees, he went on to Stanford University for residency training in psychiatry and subspecialty training in child & adolescent psychiatry. Beginning in 2005, he was appointed as an adjunct faculty member at the University of California, San Francisco, and served there until his move to Chicago in 2009.
"What is a computer?" That' s the strikingly simple and endlessly complex question offered and encouraged by Susan Leigh Star who pointed out that computers are both products and producers of media, objects of analysis and means of analysis. They provide a good occasion to study some basic processes of the development of material culture, the formation of practice-based networks, the fallibility of language, and the relationship between power and infrastructure. In our contribution we focus on issues involving computers and war with regard to the military-industrial-media-entertainment network, targeted killings with drones, western media and the making of non/grievable issues, and the intertwining of automated high-tech warfare and strategic violations of international humanitarian law.
CHERIS KRAMARAE is a research associate, Center for the Study of Women in Society, University of Oregon, USA. She is the author or co-author of more than 80 articles and 12 books dealing with gender and education, communication, online education, social networking, and new media. With Dale Spender, she co-edited the 4 volume Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women: Global Women' s Issues and Knowledge. She has served as Director of Women' s Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, and as an International Dean at the International Women' s University, Germany. She does volunteer work with women who have been battered, and with end of life care.
JUTTA WEBER is a philosopher, media theorist and STS scholar. She is visiting professor at the Centre for Gender Studies at the TU Braunschweig, Germany. Her research focuses on epistemological, ontological and socio-political dimensions of technoscientific knowledge production and culture. She has held several visiting professorships (Univ. Uppsala, Freiburg, etc.). She was a fellow of the research group Science in the Context of Application at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies ZIF, University Bielefeld as well as part of the EU-project Ethicbots Emerging Technoethics of Human I nteraction with Communication, Bionic, and Robotic systems. She is a member of the EU Cost Action Living in Surveillance Societies (LISS). Currently she is finalising a book on the philosophy of technoscience.
Leigh Star often interrupted the flow of thought with verses, such as these: 'oh seductive metaphor/network flung over reality/filaments spun from the body/connections of magic/extend/extend/extend/who will see the spaces between?' (Star, 1995). This poem subvertedthe celebration of virtual reality, and the computer hype pervasive at the time she wrote them. Star's work gently but firmly opens spaces between. Her timely disruptions expose painful cracks and interstices of possibility, otherwise obscured by seamless accounts of technological progress or doom. This paper pays homage to Star's thinking by attempting to prolong her modes of attention into a contemporary contested terrain of knowledge and practice: the sciences of soil. New relationships between science, technology and ecological movements confront the destruction of soil, calling for reclaiming this mistreated living ecosystem; the infrastructure of bios. Two themes in Star's work are particularly inspiring for the exploration of these disruptions in the workflow of productivist technoscientific networks: her insistence in ecology and her call for reintegrating spirituality into our thinking of science and technology. Ecological thinking challenges the seductive metaphors of extension in radical ways, including the salvation promises of greentech hype. New forms of naturecultural materialist spirituality challenge a self-centred humanity and transform our imagination of community. Finally, while following these moves, another legacy of Star's vision remains vital: to stay in the trouble of ambivalent betweenness, rather than seeking the purification of our technofutures into pre-existent categories of right and wrong.
MARIA PUIG DE LA BASCA teaches science, technology and organisation studies at the School of Management, University of Leicester. Her current work focuses on question of ethics, politics and justice in scientific practices and technoscientific imaginaries. She is also interested in the production of alternative forms of knowing and organising in social movements, such as everyday practices of ecological care. Recent publications include: Matters of Care in Technoscience. Assembling Neglected Things, Social Studies of Science, 41(1), 2011; Ethical Doings in naturecultures, Ethics, Place and Environment. A Journal of Philosophy and Geography, 13 (2) 2010; a co-edited special issue on Re-tooling technologies: exploring the possible through feminist science studies, Subjectivity Journal, 28, 2008.
Many believe that the intelligibility of the world depends on community, contingency, and context. What objects we take there to be -- what objects there are -- is a perspectival phenomenon, circumstantially dependent, inexorably local. Yet on any ethics worth standing for, it is incumbent on us not only to do justice to that which we understand, but also to honour entities on the edges of intelligibility -- boundary objects, for starters, forged through negotiation, and wrought in negotiated spaces between and among such communities, but also, even beyond those, stuff that transcends our understanding altogether. How can we develop an ethical ontology that allows us to shoulder responsibility for that which lies beyond the reach of our intelligible grasp?
BRIAN CANTWELL SMITH is a Professor in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto, with appointments in Philosophy, Computer Science, and the Program in Communication, Culture and Technology. Dr. Smith served as the Dean of the Faculty from 2003-2008, where he also held a Canada Research Chair in the Foundations of Information. He is a senior fellow at Massey College, and a member of the Research Council of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. Dr Smith's research focuses on the conceptual foundations of computation and information, and on new forms of metaphysics, ontology, and epistemology. He is the author of On the "Origin of Objects" (MIT, 1996) and two volumes of papers forthcoming from Harvard University Press entitled "Indiscrete Affairs". A seven volume series entitled "The Age of Significance: An Essay on the Origins of Computation and Intentionality" is being published simultaneously online and on paper by the MIT Press.