UBC Okanagan STS Reading Group

2020-21 Topic: TBD

2019-20 Topic: STS and Kinship

Convened by Heather Latimer (Gender & Women’s Studies) and Natalie Forssman (School of Engineering), the UBC Okanagan STS Reading Group is intended to bring together faculty and graduate students across the disciplines whose research and teaching is related to Science and Technology Studies (STS).

STS approaches the study of science and technology from perspectives and intellectual traditions associated with the humanities and social sciences. STS challenges deeply entrenched ideas about the autonomy of science and technology, encouraging the development of innovative cross-disciplinary approaches to the interplay between technoscience and society, politics, culture, materiality, and history.

For our inaugural year (2019-2020), we read texts that challenged the naturalization of kinship, as defined through hereditary, biological relations and legal regimes. Taking advantage of the generative multidisciplinarity of STS, and the multiple points of intersection in the UBCO research community with kinship broadly defined, our readings and discussions addressed what counts as kinship by turning to plural forms of relatedness and belonging. We looked to topics such as multispecies relationships, new reproductive technologies, Indigenous wisdom, affective forms of kinship, and planetary crisis, and we examined how kinship bonds are currently being reformed through cultural objects, emergent technologies, and environmental practices.

The theme for 2020-21 is TBD. The COVID-19 global pandemic cut our meetings short in 2019-20 and we are working on how best to continue the reading group, considering the changes to our research environments. Stay tuned for information in Sept. 2020.