Issue #14: Infrastructuring the commons today, when STS meets ICT
Mariacristina Sciannamblo, Maurizio Teli, Peter Lyle, Christopher Csíkszentmihályi
Peer production and collaborative forms of technological design – such as those based on commons-oriented approaches – have at their core a critical stance towards the technoscientific landscape, an approach shared with Science and Technology Studies (STS) as a theoretical archipelago that has produced a significant wealth of knowledge that points out the social constructive and performative character of technoscience.
In recent time, the increasing prominence of critical approaches – e.g. feminist and postcolonial STS – and the intersections with surrounding fields – e.g. participatory design, information science, and critical technical practice – have stressed the politically engaged character of STS, emphasizing its “activist interest” (Sismondo, 2008). Such growing interest in collaborative modes of practicing STS has suggested the emergence of a “collaborative turn” in STS (Farías, 2017). Such novel approaches allow researchers and practitioners to understand and experience STS as a “practice” as well as a theoretical perspective, an approach that can be fruitful and inspiring also to investigate, design, and advocate for commons-based and oriented forms of production and experiences.
This special issue focuses on such collaborative orientation of STS by exploring its interplay with the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) when focusing on the commons and peer production. This relationship entails diverse forms of meeting such as the disciplinary intersection of STS with design studies and information science; the epistemological meeting between STS and critical perspectives; the making of new alliances between researchers, activists and local population; the convergence of institutional interests and research practices to promote alternative sociotechnical infrastructures based on the commons. At the same time such hybrid collaborations pose novel and interesting challenges such as the institutional constraints in the form of disciplinary boundaries that persist in today’s academia and the demand to engage in unconventional ways of publishing that are mostly disregarded by current evaluation practices.
This call seeks interdisciplinary contributions that explore the politics in and of the relationship between STS and ICT, from experiences of local and commons activism to large-scale examples of alternative sociotechnical infrastructures. Topics relevant for this call may include:
ICT, labor, and precariousness
Hacktivism, community networks, and alternative Internet
Datification and alternative data politics
Post-colonial and anti-colonial computing
Feminist interventions in ICT
Commons, peer production, and platform cooperativism
Interplay between publics, researchers, and institutions e.g. citizen science
This special issue aims at promoting interdisciplinary encounters in order to foster the politically engaged, commons-oriented, STS agenda in the relationship with ICT.
15 March 2019: Submission of a 250-500 words abstract
30 March 2019: Notification of relevance
1 July 2019: Submission of full papers
15 October 2019: Reviews to authors
15 December 2019: Submission of revised papers
March 2020: Foreseen publication
Abstracts should be of 250-500 words, while peer reviewed papers should be no more than 8,000 words.