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AusSTS 2021: Situated practice

a multi-sited workshop

“Knowledge is embedded in projects; knowledge is always for, in many sense, some things and not others, and knowers are always formed by their projects, just as they shape what they can know” 

Donna Haraway, Morphing in the Order

The AusSTS interdisciplinary workshop is an annual, multi-day, multi-disciplinary event that brings together STS researchers from across Australasia. AusSTS 2021 was hosted as a multi-sited event, with shared online keynotes and local (read: “situated”) meetup events across Melbourne, Sydney, Darwin, and Wellington.

As STS researchers, we are taught to see science as a situated practice — something that is tied to knowledge and power, radically historically specific, and irreducibly social and political. We understand that science, like all practices, is contingent on the social and material forces that circumscribe possibility and action. Yet, at times, we struggle to articulate how our research practice too is a situated practice. 

We know that research is unruly. No matter how much we propose and plan, no matter what timelines and techniques we use to discipline ourselves into writing, the social and material forces (otherwise known as life) have a unique way of acting back. For many, 2020 and now 2021 have been a humbling experience into what it means to continue our practices in situations we had not expected. While some of us had planned to situate ourselves elsewhere — conducting fieldwork, attending conferences, etc — others have found that once familiar situations are now vastly different. 

Watch the Keynotes

Pollution, Colonialism, and Re-imagining Chemicals
Opening Keynote with Michelle Murphy (University of Toronto), chaired by Timothy Neale
Embodied Engagements
Keynote Conversation with Kane Race (University of Sydney) and Anne Galloway (Victoria University of Wellington), chaired by Kiran Pienaar

Photos from the Workshop

Organising Committees

Sydney: Kari Lancaster, Sophie Adams, Mia Harrison, Matthew Kearnes
Melbourne: Thao Phan, Emma Kowal, Timothy Neale
Darwin: Matt Barlow, Cathy Bow, Kelly Lee Hickey, Kirsty Howey, Jen Macdonald, Michaela Spencer
Wellington: Courtney Addison, Max Soar, Dinithi Bowatte