Stephen Molldrem (UMich), Roderic Crooks (UC Irvine), and I are organizing an open panel for the 2018 meeting of the Society for the Social Studies of Science, happening in Sydney August 29-September 1. The panel seeks to bring people together doing research in the realms of computing, biomedicine, and/or queer studies to have big picture conversations about how biomedicine and computing shape contemporary queer society and subjectivity. Abstracts are due on the 4S website by February 1 – email me if you have any questions (jkhardy at umich dot edu). Full call below!
64. Digital sexualities, biomedical practice, and queer realities
Stephen Molldrem, University of Michigan; Jean Hardy, University of Michigan; Roderic Crooks, University of California-Irvine
There is now a rich body of literature dedicated to exploring how sexualities are experienced in digital spaces and how digital technologies affect the formation of queer identities and the sexual lives of individuals, groups and communities. Further, sexuality studies and queer studies have generated a great deal of knowledge about how sexual categories generated in biomedical contexts are historically produced and internalized through biomedical discourse and clinical practice. However, scholars are just starting to bring these areas of inquiry together to describe how technoscientific practices (e.g. interface design), biomedical advances such as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV/AIDS, and digital technologies (from commercial physical activity trackers to clinical electronic health records) are productive of new queer realities and conditions of sexual possibility.
In this open panel, we ask: how can we think about queer sexualities as both a product of digital technologies and technoscientific practices, and as phenomena that recursively influence shifts in biomedicine, digital design trends, and uses of clinical and non-clinical digital technologies to represent or shape queer life? How do digital technologies and biomedical discourses produce novel sexual minority identities or subjectivities, queer subcultures and counterpublics, modes of punishing sexual deviance, or relations between sexual pleasure and risk? We invite submissions that address any of these topics, but encourage papers that place studies of digital technology and biomedicine in conversation with sexuality/queer studies. We particularly encourage papers that situate themselves within the emergent field of Queer STS.