Policing Electricity: Power Theft and Everyday Life in Mexico City, 1901-1918
November 10, 2021 2 pm
Diana J. Montaño's research interests include the construction of modern Latin American societies with a focus on technology and its relationship to nationalism, everyday life and domesticity. Her first book Electrifying Mexico: Technology and the Transformation of a Modern City examines how ordinary citizens used electricity, both symbolically and physically, in the construction of a modern nation. The book weaves together how these "electrifying agents" first crafted a discourse for an electrified future and secondly, how they shaped its consumption. It shows how these agents of modernity promoted and created both imaginary and tangible notions of this technology. Taking a user-based perspective, this study reconstructs how electricity was lived, consumed, rejected, and shaped in everyday life.
The Innovation Delusion: How Our Obsessions with the New Has Disrupted the Work thatMatters Most
December 2, 2021 1 pm
Since the 1950s, we have literally heard the word "innovation" more and more every year. But is this innovation-speak getting us what we want? In this talk, I will examine the history of innovation-speak, argue that it isn't getting us more innovation and comes with serious costs, including distracting us from important issues like maintenance and repair. I will outline some of the ideas of The Maintainers community, which has been thinking about these topics for the past six years. The Maintainers is a global, interdisciplinary research network focused on maintenance, repair, and the mundane work that keeps our world going.
September 24, 2021
What does the future of STS look like in engineering and polytechnic universities? In such STEM-focused environments, where STS scholars often operate independently and without a central STS department or program, how can STS researchers maximize their impact on the education of undergraduate and graduate students, as well as on the original research conducted by (and often financially supported by) colleagues in engineering departments? How can STS researchers become indispensable to engineering and scientific research endeavors without being perceived as simply support personnel? Assembling convergent research teams to tackle important social and scientific challenges is an acknowledged best practice, so how should STS researchers embrace convergent research endeavors in order to add value and lead inquiries into areas of new and developing knowledge?
Please register for each panel individually by clicking on the registration links in the Symposium Program below.
*ALL TIMES IN CENTRAL US