WTMC Spring Workshop “Postcolonial STS” 8 – 10 May 2019

At the turn of the millennium, Science and Technology Studies was seen to have made mixed progress in terms of developing a post-colonial scholarship, in spite of over a decade of post-colonial lines of work in many areas of the humanities and social sciences. For example, in 2002, Anderson wrote:


During the 1990s, [such] efforts to ‘provincialize Europe’ have gained pace in many disciplines, but they seem to almost have stalled in science studies, with the engine choking perhaps on a lingering residue of the field’s obsession with a universalized European rationality (Anderson 2002, 645).


How has the field evolved since? A decade later, Harding remarked that despite longstanding critique of the underdeveloped ability of the modern Western science, namely, their lack of the resources to recognize their own provinciality, “it remains puzzling that the issues raised … are only now beginning to attract the attention of broader audiences in the West” (Harding 2011, 3). In 2018 “STS across borders” was part of the annual meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science, marking yet another milestone in the post-colonial STS discussion.


In this workshop we will consider what a post-colonial project for STS could be, how it has developed, and which ambitions have been and could be formulated. Where are we, today, as a field? How has STS been implicated in and contributed to working towards rethinking orderings of global and local, concepts of transnationalities and identities, and other “durable binaries” such as modern/traditional, developed/underdeveloped, Western/Indigenous, metropole/post-colony — to paraphrase Anderson?


We will reflect on the roles of technoscience in the production of ‘globality’ of the present historical moment. Such globality is made of declining nation-states, hybrid identities, contested new global markers (for example, a new ‘global’ geological age, the Anthropocene) among other phenomena. ‘Globalization’ also takes on ever new forms in market, organizations, bodies and epistemologies:  flexible hierarchies, complex transactions, displacement and fragmentations abide, also in the terrain of STS.


Guest lecturers: Amade M’Charek, Nishant Shah, David Ludwig, Christoph Rausch and Esther Turnhout.


The registration form for this workshop is now available here.

Please register by 28 February 2019!


Costs for WTMC members: meals 10 EUR /day.

Costs for everyone else: 695 EUR, including fee, accommodation and meals.

If you have any content-related questions regarding this workshop, please feel free to contact the training coordinators Anne Beaulieu: j.a.beaulieu@rug.nl or Bernike Pasveer: b.pasveer@maastrichtuniversity.nl

For practical questions please contact Elize Schiweck: e.schiweck@utwente.nl


Anderson, W. (2012), Postcolonial technoscience: Introduction. Social Studies of Science 32(5-6), 643-658.

Harding, S. (2011). The Postcolonial Science and Technology Studies Reader. Duke University Press.