Recap: WTMC Annual Meeting

WTMC annual meeting our panel

Annalisa Pelizza and Chunglin Kwa graciously commented on my book, Mapping Israel, Mapping Palestine during the annual meeting of the WTMC.

Among other things, we discussed the politics of symmetry as it is used in science and technology studies (STS); STS literature from the 1980s that already moved away from the lab-field dichotomy; the differences between sumud (steadfastness), stasis and resilience; cartography in 14th-century Mediterranean city states; and the relationship between hermeneutics and the production of knowledge.

It was great to speak to them both because they’re two people whose work I really respect. See for example Annalisa’s research on the vectorial glance, or in her words: “a performative and ‘infrastructurally inverted’ approach to investigate how authority and accountability are redistributed throughout integrated government information systems.” Also see Chunglin’s extensive scholarship, including his work on ecology and landscape–for example his study of different conceptions of complexity in the history of science.

The WTMC Meeting included a discussion of Gerard de Vries’s new book on Bruno Latour with comments by Bart Penders and (not present) Frederica Russo. Sergio Sismondo spoke on alt-facts and the role of truth in STS, with responses from Huub Distelbloem and Geert Somsen. Andrea Gammon and Gili Yaron also discussed the considerable challenges that PhDs face on the academic job market. It was Sally Wyatt’s farewell meeting as the director of the WTMC after many years of going above and beyond, and the welcoming of the new director Stefan Kuhlmann.

That reminds me: if you happen to be thinking about paying a genetic testing service so you can give them your data, before you swab your cheek, first check out Cybergenetics, the wonderful and theoretically rich book by Anna Harris, Susan Kelly, and Sally.