Tag: knowledge production

Ways of Knowing: Lessons on Agroecological Transitions from a Pothwari Farm

Contemporary agroecological farming is a knowledge-intensive form of production that can maximize the productivity of energy flows, which are central to the productive forces. Cumulatively, it is suggested, the terms and conditions by which the contemporary agrarian question can be resolved is through an agroecological agrarian transition. (Haroon Akram-Lodhi, 2021) Three years ago, I started a farm in my village Tareel, which is located less than ten kilometers outside the metropolitan border of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Tareel is in the rain-fed Pothwar plateau near the Himalayan foothills, and like many peri-urban areas in South Asia, is rapidly urbanizing and increasingly reliant on the nearby urban economy. The rain-fed nature of agriculture here makes it more prone to climatic risk and loss, and therefore less remunerative. As a researcher and self-identifying ‘citizen planner,’ I was curious if new methods of agriculture could make the sector remunerative enough to counter the desire to convert agricultural land into real estate. Since I was familiar with the emerging significance of agroecology and regenerative agriculture  in climate adaptation, I was motivated to understand what it would take to help us transition towards practices closer to agroecology. (read more...)

Generations: A Review of AusSTS2022 in Melbourne

In July 2022, early career and PhD Science and Technology Studies (STS) scholars met across four locations in Australia and Aotearoa (New Zealand) for the fourth Australasian STS Graduate Network Conference (AusSTS2022). Attendees gathered virtually for shared keynote sessions and each node in Melbourne, Sydney, Darwin, and Wellington subsequently hosted their own programs, including short presentations and field trips. Our shared theme was “generation,” and AusSTS2022 urged us to reflect on the diverse meanings of this word as temporal, relational, bounded, and multiple, reconsidering the ethical practice of STS in times of crisis. As an interdisciplinary PhD researcher at Deakin University I attended the Melbourne node of AusSTS2022, which this blog post will recount and reflect on. (read more...)

When Cash Rules: A Local Researcher/Activist’s Fieldnotes on “Passive Locals” Living Around Mailiao’s Petrochemical Complex

Yunlin is a coastal county in Western Taiwan famous for its agricultural produce, also known as “the barn of Taiwan.” However, the exchange value of agricultural produce has plummeted significantly since the 1970s. This has led to the outmigration of the underemployed able-bodied rural workforce to the cities, leaving behind the old and the young. As a consequence of this migration and Yunlin’s agricultural history, the county developed a reputation for being backward and poor. Residents of Yunlin have been eager to prove this stereotype wrong. (read more...)

Spotlight! “Global STS: Transnational Network Building – Asia, Oceania, and Beyond” hosted by the STS Futures Initiative

This week as part of our “ReAssembling Asias through Science” series, we would like to highlight an event held by the STS Futures Initiative last month. This panel (whose second part is forthcoming this fall) brought together a range of academics and graduate students to engage substantively with what might be termed a ‘global turn’ in STS scholarship, characterized by a greater attention to knowledge production and scientific practices outside of Europe and North America. Interested in both the theoretical possibilities of, as well as the practical aspects and skills necessary for transnational network building, the panel raised a range of questions around the possibilities for and challenges inherent to collaborative research and forms of decolonial practice and knowledge production across institutional and national contexts. As moderator Dr. Kathleen Gutierrez put it in her opening remarks, “Who is doing the work? And more importantly, who is building the networks with other STS inclined scholars in the world areas in which we work?” . (read more...)

Responding to the pandemic of 21st century : Dynamics of power, intersections and the ‘Imagined Corona’ in India

The current times have seen a surge of concern around the soaring cases of the global pandemic of COVID 19. The novel nature of the virus has pitted several countries including India in flux, to understand the nature of transmission, virulence, and the case-fatality of the disease. To contain the spread, stringent measures like lockdown(s) and social distancing have been imposed. In light of the recent turn of the events, the reactions to the disease and the government responses to it have been varied. (read more...)

Students as laboratory labor

What is the role of students in universities? There are ongoing contentious debates and campus protests about whether graduate students should be considered employees with the right to unionize. Likewise, the employment status of student athletes receives intense discussion from the media and scholars. These questions concern whether universities should acknowledge students as contributors and not just consumers for the institutions’ missions of research and education. (read more...)

Unearthing Knowledge: Forensic Anthropology and Technologies of Memory

What is commonly known as the Colombian conflict refers to more than six decades of enduring violence. During these years, a number of peace agreements have been signed with some of the main actors, including the agreement signed with paramilitaries in 2005 and the recently signed peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—the FARC guerrilla group. Attempts to build peace have included compensation and reparation to victims. In this process, the forensic identification of bodies has been crucial, placing forensic experts center-stage. (read more...)

The Anti-Politics of Women in Tech

Almost daily are news articles about women in tech. Among these on the day I wrote this post, for example, were an article in Marie Claire, the women’s magazine, called “How Much Have Things Really Changed for Women in Technology?” and another in India’s business newspaper Mint titled “Two kinds of pay gap in the IT industry: NetApp’s Mark Bregman.” Both articles touch on several issues about women in tech, and STEM fields more generally; the cornerstone in each, however, is simply the number of women in the tech world—or the lack thereof, compared with men. This is a problem that has been explored since at least the mid-1970s in computer science (e.g., Montanelli Jr. and Mamrak 1976), longer for some other STEM fields. More recently this issue was highlighted last year, particularly in the media and public attention, when large tech companies like Google, Apple, Twitter, and Facebook released “diversity data” showing the dismal number of women and minorities among their employees. The articles also point to several issues seen as contributing to the disparities, including pay and hiring gaps for women, so-called “brogrammer” culture (involving frat-house-like sociality and performances of technical heroism, generally among men), and implicit biases shaping how women (and men) are perceived and judged. As a former woman in tech—I pursued an undergraduate degree in computer science—I appreciate how this surge in public awareness and interest is helpful to many, particularly in relation to discussions about sexism and tech cultures. Through social media, blogs, and news articles people are sharing and discussing personal experiences and working to further raise awareness of, and gain support for, challenges women as a group face in tech. Tech companies and governments have also pledged a great deal of money towards “fixing” this problem. (read more...)