What does innovation look like?

What does innovation look like? I’m in Santiago in Chile at a workshop at the Catholic University discussing the co-production of gender and knowledge norms. At the entrance of their San Joaquim campus is this amazing bunker-like building – the Innovation building. It looks quite forbidding, the outside seems both very closed off and somehow un-in-viting. It is not clear if you are meant to enter. It represents the very opposite of what I associate with innovation: openness, networking, fluidity. Instead it appears static, quasi-brutalist in style, and highly masculinized. The interior is in many ways not much different: closed-off blocks of wood-and-glass cabinets, a sort of display unit. And on the outside of course – since this is the Catholic University and hence predictably full of depictions of religious figures, is the figure of Jesus pointing. So what is the relation between religion and creativity, or maybe between religion and creation? The connection here is made partly through the monumentalism, partly through the colour – all grey. Is this how we imagine innovation?

Gabriele Griffin

Call for submissions to EASST/4S Prague 2020


The next EASST/4S conference (European Association for the Study of Science and Technology + Society for Social Studies of Science) will be held in Prague 18-21 August 2020. The theme is “Locating and Timing Matters: Significance and Agency of STS in Emerging Worlds,” looking back at the major shifts in the past years that create feelings of urgency, unease and confusion.

Nordwit will be represented in the section “Gender/Sexuality/Feminist STS” with the open panel Old Academics and Emerging Worlds: Feminist Encounters in Changing STS Contexts, and we warmly invite you to submit papers to this panel!

The due date is 29 Feb and you are asked to produce a 250-word abstract.

Read more about the panel below, or visit the website for more information on how to apply.

125. Old Academies and Emerging Worlds: Feminist Encounters in Changing STS Contexts

Gabriele Griffin, Uppsala University; Marja Vehviläinen, Tampere University

The notion of emerging worlds is frequently associated with the global South, so-called ‘third world’ countries, and dys- or utopian imaginaries. This – at times conveniently – ignores the fact that academies in the global North harbour within them emerging worlds in the form of emerging disciplines, through the impact of technologization on data and knowledge production, and through the changing socio-political and economic contexts in which these academies operate. STS itself constitutes an emerging world in that its methods and objects of study have changed significantly over time and continue to do so.

In this panel we explore the gendered dis/continuities arising from academies engaging with the emerging worlds within them in the form of new disciplines such as Digital Humanities, eHealth, and new forms of research and innovation, which in turn challenge conventional STS through their claims in relation to both science and technology.

We invite contributions on topics such as:

  • How does gender play out in the emerging worlds of new disciplines in old academies?
  • How do emerging disciplines challenge gendered STS epistemologies?
  • How does the meeting of academies from different parts of the world challenge gendered notions of STS knowledge production?
  • What is the impact of the technologization of academic disciplines on the disciplines’ genderization?
  • What is the relation between emerging disciplines, gender, and STS?
  • How are notions of gender in the academy impacted by emerging disciplines?
  • How does STS relate to the issue of gender relative to feminism?

Contact: gabriele.griffin@gender.uu.se

Keywords: emerging disciplines, gendered innovations, feminist interventions, technologization