Catalyst Fall 2021 Issue and Special Section on Probing the System

     We are pleased to announce the publication of the Fall 2021 (Vol. 7, No. 2) issue of Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience, featuring a Special Section on Probing the System: Feminist Complications of Automated Technologies, Flows, and Practices of Everyday Life, edited by Paula Gardner and Sarah Kember. Our evocatively beautiful cover is by Shu Lea Cheang.

     This Special Section presents diverse scholarly voices examining the silenced, underexposed, and intersectional forces that fortify artificial intelligence, surveillance, health, social media, and state platforms that support systems of care, news, communication, and governance. The articles probe these systems and platforms with attention to the assumptions and practices embedded in their algorithms, protocols, design specifications, and communications, and, in turn, the political, cultural, governance, and mediated practices they make possible. After an “Introduction” by Paula Gardner and Sarah Kember, the section features five articles including “The Space between Us: Network Gaps, Racism, and the Possibilities of Living in/Difference” by Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, “Technology of the Surround” by Beth Coleman, “Swapping Gender is a Snap(chat): Limitations of (Trans) Gendered Legibility within Binary Digital and Human Filters” by Teddy G. Goetz, “Experiments with Social Good: Feminist Critiques of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare in India” by Radhika Radhakrishnan, and “Absent Data: Engagements with Absence in a Twitter Collection Process” by Katrine Meldgaard Kjær, Mace Ojala, and Line Henriksen. The Special Section also includes Image and Text pieces, “3x3x6 – 9 Sq.m. and 6 Surveillance Cameras” by Shu Lea Cheang, “INCUBATOR Art Lab: Reimagining Biotech Futures through Integrated Laboratory Practices” by Jennifer Willet, and “Mapping Invisible Surveillance on the North Avenue Smart Corridor, Atlanta” by Hayri Dortdivanlioglu. It concludes with a Commentary piece, “Pathogens, Precarity, and Digital Politics of Exclusion” by Radha Sarma Hegde.

      This issue of Catalyst also contains six Original Research articles: “Six Ways of Looking at Fractal Mechanics” by Rua M. Williams, “I Dream of Siri: Magic and Female Voice Assistants” by Jason Toncic, “The Gender of the Interface: Coding Masculinity, Crafting Femininity among Berlin’s Creative Class” by Jordan Kraemer, “Human/Machine Fusions and the Future of the Cyborg” by Jasmine Erdener, “From Criminal Man to Carceral Body: An Ethnography of Intake in the New York City Jails” by Ariel Ludwig, and “Witnessing Pandora: Doing ‘Undone Science’ at Chicken Sanctuaries” by Heather Rosenfeld.

     The issue also includes a Roundtable on “‘Citation Networks as Antidiscriminatory Practice,’ with an introduction by Mara Mills and contributions that are a set of conversations between: Donna Haraway and Banu SubramaniamTina Ngata and Max LiboironRaquel Gutiérrez Aguilar and Firuzeh Shokooh Valle (in Spanish, with English translation by Vivette García-Deister); Marissa Solomon and Zoë Wool; and Romi Ron Morrison and Loren Britton.

     The Fall 2021 issue concludes with four book reviews of recent noteworthy books. Olivia Adams reviews Keith Wailoo’s Pain: A Political History, Jessica Sage Rauchberg reviews André Brock Jr.’s Distributed Blackness: African American Cybercultures, Élodie Edwards-Grossi reviews Londa Schiebinger’s Secret Cures of Slaves: People, Plants, and Medicine in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World, and Rebecca Rouse reviews Kat Jungnickel’s edited collection Transmissions: Critical Tactics for Making and Communicating Research.

     We would like to especially thank our new managing editors, Lauren Savit and Aditya Anupam, for their hard work in publishing this complex and thought-provoking issue and are grateful to Michelle Pfeifer for her contributions this summer! This issue would not have been possible without their generosity and professionalism!

     A special thanks also to Indiana University, Bloomington and the Digital Integrative Liberal Arts Center at Georgia Tech for their generous financial support of the journal.

      Catalyst is an online, juried journal that expands the feminist and critical intellectual legacies of science and technology studies into theory-intensive research, critique, and practice. Catalyst invites submissions of papers and media work, as well as proposals for future special sections or critical perspective discussions. Please direct any questions to