CFP: Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) Annual Meeting, Open Panel on Affect, Technology, and Security (Nov. 11-14, Denver, CO)

November 11-14, 2015, Denver, CO

Call for papers

The Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) invites submissions for its 2015 conference in Denver, Colorado, November 11 -14 (, and I would like to draw your attention to an open panel I’m organizing on technology, affect, and security as part of the conference.
16. The Affective Contours of Technology and National [In]security 
Technologies have long been developed and deployed in the name of supporting a nation’s efforts to secure itself both on the battlefield and off of it. Such technologies include those weapons that few would ever witness firsthand: the scarcely used atomic bomb, for example, was famously lauded for saving lives by shortening the Pacific conflicts of World War II. Or we can also speak of those technologies an individual would encounter everyday, from civil defense measures of the Cold War era, like the bomb shelter, to today’s increasingly prolific assemblages of surveillance technologies, like biometric scanning, GPS and location tracking, or even the internet and traffic monitoring. Fantasies of total security derived from increasingly sophisticated technology are certainly appealing.
But this ubiquity of security technology is hardly a neutral development when we consider that, even as technology can strengthen some forms of security, it can also exacerbate or conjure other forms of insecurity among individuals: psychological anxieties, economic hardship, or the loss of privacy, among others.
This session aims to explore the affective and emotional fallout of technologies created to support national security. What consequences to everyday life are posed by security technologies? What forms of well-being might be threatened by security technologies? How might these technologies introduce particularly potent consequences to the well-being of marginalized communities and individuals, and thus to the strength of democratic life? What forms of resistance are possible in this techno-security apparatus?
Potential topics for discussion include, but are not limited to, surveillance technologies and paranoia, the troubled relationship between security technologies and race (i.e. Ferguson), the psychological effects of military weapons (i.e. UAVs) on populations abroad, the military-industrial complex and the production of [in]security, or the role of secrecy in both technological development and national security.
Paper proposals should be directed at the link below. This link contains more information on submission guidelines and conference details. Select #16 in the paper submission section to submit directly to this panel.
DEADLINE: March 29, 2015
Any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch with me at
Carrie Andersen
Ph.D. candidate, American Studies, UT-Austin

Deadline: March 29, 2015

Posted: February 23, 2015