Writing Imaginaries, Making Futures

03/27/2012 09:00 - 03/29/2012 18:00


Direct Link to complete COURSE DESCRIPTION


Research Division of Technoscience Studies, Dep. of Technology and Aesthetics, Blekinge Institute of Technology, and InterGender (Swedish-International Research School in Interdisciplinary Gender Studies) at Linköping University, Sweden.

Professor Lena Trojer and Senior lecturer Pirjo Elovaara, Blekinge Institute of Technology, together with Senior lecturer Pia Laskar, InterGender Managing Director and Professor Nina Lykke, Director of InterGender (Swedish-International Research School in Interdisciplinary Gender Studies, Linköping University, Sweden.

Laura Watts, writer, poet and ethnographer at Technologies in Practice (TiP), IT University of Copenhagen.

“What if the study and crafting of fiction and fact happened explicitly, instead of covertly, in the same room, and in all the rooms?” This is a question that Donna Haraway posed following her concern with knowledge-making (Haraway 1997: 110), and which this course takes as an invitation to experiment with different forms of empirical writing practice.
This is a practice-based course to explore diverse methods for writing material- semiotic ‘fictions’ – fictions that are both grounded in empirical evidence from fieldwork as well as generative. This will be a supportive place for participants to experiment with different writing techniques and technologies, from short story to twitter poetry to graphic novel. It will also critically examine the potential effects of such writing interventions: writing is always a political practice that makes a difference in the world, and therefore participates in making particular futures (and not others).
The aims of the workshop are to: produce a set of experimental pieces of writing based on empirical research; explore a set of critical tools for analyzing the effects and efficacy of such writing and the material-semiotic imaginaries they create. As an outcome, we hope to collect some of these material-semiotic fictions into an online book.
This is an interdisciplinary course, which will be informed by work in feminist technoscience (Visweswaran 1994; Haraway 1997; Suchman 2007), science studies (Shapin 1984), post actor-network theory (Law 2004), design anthropology (Ingold 2000), and ethnography (Tsing and Pollman 2005). Participants are very welcome from all disciplinary backgrounds, however.

All participants will be expected to produce a short piece of writing based on their research in preparation for the course, as well as written work (and other creative objects) during the workshop. Details to follow.

Laura Watts is a writer, poet and ethnographer at Technologies in Practice (TiP), IT University of Copenhagen. Her research, in the field of Science & Technology Studies (STS), is concerned with the effect of landscape and writing practice on how the future is imagined and made in high-tech industries. Over the last ten years she has worked with the renewable energy, mobile telecoms, and the transport industry. She has collaborated with artists and academics on a number of creative and empirical projects, including ‘Orkney Futures: a Handbook’ which featured 49 imagined futures for the Orkney Islands, Scotland, written by international contributors from poets to anthropologists. Please view the link to her website: www.sand14.com

Laura Watts online publications see her website at www.sand14.com
Information about exactly which texts to read will be presented later.

Haraway, Donna. Modest_Witness@Second_Millennium.Femaleman©_Meets_Oncomousetm. (London: Routledge, 1997).
Ingold, Tim. 'Making Culture and Weaving the World'. Matter, Materiality and Modern Culture. P. M. Graves-Brown. (London, Routledge, 2000). 50-71.
Law, John. After Method: Mess in Social Science Research. (London: Routledge, 2004). Shapin, Steven. 'Pump and Circumstance: Robert Boyle's Literary Technology', Social
Studies of Science 14 (1984): 481-520.
Suchman, Lucy. Human-Machine Reconfigurations: Plans and Situated Actions, 2nd
Expanded Edition. (New York / Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
Tsing, Anna and Elizabeth Pollman. 'Global Futures: The Game'. Histories of the Future.
D. Rosenberg and S. Harding. (Durham NC, Duke University Press, 2005).
Visweswaran, Kamala. Fictions of Feminist Ethnography. (London: University of
Minnesota Press, 1994).

a) 7,5 ECTS Credits is given for active participation and a short paper, maximum 5 pages.
b) 15 ECTS Credits is given for active participation, + essay (evaluated as pass/fail). An essay should be of 10-15 pages. The selected topic shall be related to the course content and readings.
The essay is to be sent to the teacher as well as to the academic coordinator no later than 3 months after the final day of the course.

Info on admission and grants can be found here

Applications should be sent to InterGender Managing Director Dr Pia Laskar (Pia.Laskar@liu.se) no later than January 27, 2012.

InterGender: Swedish-International Research School in Interdisciplinary Gender Studies

The School is funded by The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet). It is organized as a joint venture between Gender Studies Units and doctoral programmes at Linköping University (host university) and at eight other Swedish Universities: Blekinge Institute of Technology, Göteborg University, Lund University, Luleå Technical University, Stockholm University, Uppsala University, Umeå University, Örebro University and at three international partner institutions: Graduate Gender Program at Utrecht University (The Netherlands), The Finnish National Doctoral School of Women's and Gender Studies (Helsinki University, Finland) and Center for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Germany)

Blekinge Institute of Technology | Campus Karlshamn | Östra Piren, Sweden
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