CFS ASA 2021: Sociologies of Science, Knowledge, and Technology in “Revolting Times” (Open Panel)

Session organizers:
Nathalia Hernandez Vidal (Oxford College of Emory University)
Patrick Grzanka, University of Tennessee‐Knoxville
Kelly Moore, Loyola University‐Chicago

Drawing on scholar‐activist Michelle Fine’s ongoing characterization of the present as “revolting times”—marked by incredible forms of inequality and movement‐led uprisings that reflect a desire for profound social transformation—we propose a panel that showcases SKAT scholarship reflective of this moment and its implications for the future of the section. Even as some corners of the sociology of science, knowledge, technology (and medicine) have embraced an interest in the study of inequalities and injustice created through, with, and by technologies, biomedicine, and scientific knowledge production, less SKAT scholarship conceives of SKAT and STS as tools for justice‐making or social transformation.

Projects that seek to strike out centrifugally against the conventions of the field confront a canon of sociological/STS scholarship and norms that constrict what counts as “good” SKAT work. Reflecting the ASA theme of DuBoisian sociology, which challenges both the dominant origin stories of American sociology and the legacy of disinterested positivism that haunts the field, this panel will foreground scholarship that investigates alternative genealogies of SKAT/STS and scholars who do critical scholarship as justice work. We welcome papers that do not merely document injustice or efforts to ameliorate social and scientific problems, but those that view the sociological enterprise itself as a catalyst for community‐building, restorative justice, and systemic change. We are especially interested in papers that speak to or are consonant with DuBois’s belief in the capacity of rigorous social science to address seemingly intractable social problems and which connect this work directly to the sociology of knowledge, science, and/or technology.

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