Ecologies of Care

Ecologies of Care is the name given to the 2018-2019 CISP Salon series I organised along with Fay Dennis and Jade Henry.

The CISP Salon is based in the Centre for Invention and Social Process (CISP) at Goldsmiths, University of London and is intended as a space for doctoral students and early career researchers to discuss and explore topics relevant to studies of science and technology in society.

As an extension of our collaboration in organising these salons, we recently co-convened a stream on Thinking Critically with Care for the London Conference in Critical Thought (2019). We are also currently plotting for future collaborative adventures on this theme.

Below are the posters and readings for the 2018-2019 CISP Salon series.

11/12/2019: Vexations of Care and Ecologies of Practices

This year, CISP Salon extends its exploration of what it means to “think with care” in Science and Technology Studies. Building on an understanding of care as an embodied, sociomaterial practice (Puig de la Bellacasa, 2017), we will meet to further examine the politics of care in a variety of empirical settings, as well as identify different research methods that might be used to trace and analyse these contested knowledge practices. 
To launch the 2018-2019 Salon, we will explore Stenger’s concept of “ecologies of practices” in relation to Murphy’s call for “a vexation of care”, and discuss what this might mean for our own practices as critical scholars of science and technology. 

  • Stengers, I. (2005) Introductory notes on an ecology of practices, Cultural Studies Review. 11(1): 184-196.
  • Murphy, M. (2015) Unsettling Care: Troubling Transnational Itineraries of Care in Feminist Health Practices. Social Studies of Science. 45(5): 717-37.

Read reflections on the session from Jade Henry here

26/02/2019: Queering Care

Following on from the first salon, which explored Isabelle Stenger’s concept of “ecologies of practices” in relation to Michelle Murphy’s call for “a vexation of care”, we will develop our critical engagement with care through Kane Race’s empirical account of “queer chemistry” and ask reflexively what it means to queer care in our own practices as scholars of science and technology.

  • Race, K. (2018) “Queer Chemistry: Gay partying and collective innovations in care” In K. Race, The Gay Science: Intimate Experiments with the Problem of HIV. London: Routledge.
  • Barad, K (2015) Transmaterialities: Trans*/matter/realities and queer political imaginings. GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. 21(2-3): 387-422.
Read reflections on the session by Bryan Lim and Adam Christianson here


09/04/2019: Human-Animal Relations

In this Salon we will bring our concern with care to the topic of human-animal relations. By focussing our attention on two readings, one on young people from urban backgrounds becoming shepherds (Despret and Meuret, 2016) and the other on laboratory beagles (Giraud and Hollin, 2016), we will explore ways of understanding other modes of living, as well as returning to a more critical mode of addressing care and its “vexations”.

  • Despret, V. & Meuret, M. (2016). Cosmoecological Sheep and the Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet. Environmental Humanities. 8(1): 24-36.
  • Giraud, E. & Hollin, G. (2016). Care, Laboratory Beagles and Affective Utopia. Theory, Culture and Society. 33(4): 27-49.
Read reflections on the session by Fay Dennis here


28/05/2019: Grief and the Environment

The final CISP Salon of 2018-2019 will explore themes of loss and survival on a damaged planet. We will screen “In Memoriam”, a short film exploring nature, grief and embodied movement, followed by a group discussion with Dr Annie Pfingst, filmmaker and Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths. Drawing from her film and the reading by Tsing, we will examine artistic practice as a research method for thinking critically with care in Science and Technology Studies.

  • Film Screening: In Memoriam by Helen Poynor and Annie Pfingst
  • Tsing, A. (2012) Unruly Edges: Mushrooms as Companion Species. Environmental Humanities. 1: 141-154