[SIGCIS-Members] FW: CFP/Techniques of the Corporation

Thomas Haigh thomas.haigh at gmail.com
Wed Nov 2 21:30:31 PDT 2016

Sounds like something that should have significant input from the SIGCIS community. History of technology and history of IT don’t explicitly make their list of “diverse fields” relevant to the intersection of STS and the history of the corporation, but maybe some of you can come up with proposals that make the relevance clear. 






“Techniques of the Corporation”


4-6 May 2017, University of Toronto

Technoscience Research Unit


Conference organization

Justin Douglas 

Bretton Fosbrook 

Kira Lussier 
Michelle Murphy 


How do corporations know themselves and their world? Over the last 150 years, corporations, like universities and laboratories, have generated an abundance of knowledge-making techniques in the form of psychological tests, efficiency technologies, scenario planning, and logistical systems. As dominant forms of the last century, corporations are assembled with instruments, infrastructures, and interventions that arrange and rearrange the dynamics of capitalism. These techniques of the corporation have filtered into our daily lives, influencing everyday understandings of self, inequality, environment, and society.

Techniques of the Corporation will assemble an interdisciplinary network of established and emerging scholars whose work contributes to the critical study of the techniques, epistemologies, and imaginaries of the 20th-century corporation. This conference aims to foster a timely conversation between Science and Technology Studies (STS) approaches and the recent histories of capitalism. We treat the corporation in the same way that historians of science and STS scholars have approached science, colonialism, and militarism as generative sites for knowledge production, value-making, and technopolitics. The conference takes as its starting place North American corporations with the understanding that corporations are multinational forms with complex transnational histories. Building from the recent history of capitalism, we attend to the entangled genealogies of corporations with slavery, exploitation, environmental destruction, colonialism, and inequality.

Hosted by the Technoscience Research Unit at the University of Toronto, this event will be an intimate multi-day conversation between established and emerging scholars in the fields of STS, history of science, and the history of capitalism. Techniques of the Corporation will be headlined by keynote speaker Joseph Dumit, and features invited talks by Dan Bouk, Elspeth Brown, Deborah Cowen, Orit Halpern, Louis Hyman, Michelle Murphy, Martha Poon, and Elise Thorburn. The conference will be an immersive experience in the Greater Toronto Area with meals and cocktails provided.  

We invite emerging and established scholars in diverse fields (including business history; labour history; anthropology; geography; economic sociology; media studies; critical race studies; architecture studies; feminist and sexuality studies; environmental studies; and cultural studies) to explore the techniques, epistemologies, and imaginaries of corporations. Our overall goal is to crystallize a new field, culminating in a field-defining publication. We welcome work on corporate practices that exceed calculative logics, such as work on social relations, affective and psychological states, and speculative futurities.  In addition to traditional papers, the conference encourages creative methods to query corporate forms, including art installations, videos, interactive multimedia projects, and role-playing games. Applications for travel assistance will be arranged after acceptance.


Corporate practices, include, but are not limited to: 



sharing economy 

data management 


risk management 

corporate culture 


corporate responsibility 




research and development 


corporate design 

intellectual property 



affective labor 

racial surveillance 


transnational capital


Please submit abstracts of no more than 300 words and a CV to the conference organizers at  <mailto:corporatetechniques at gmail.com> corporatetechniques at gmail.com by 13 January 2017.



Bretton Fosbrook  • Doctoral Candidate  

Science & Technology Studies 
Faculty of Sciences 

Bethune College  • 4700 Keele Street 
Toronto ON • Canada M3J 1P3
T 416.736.2100 
 <mailto:bfosbro at yorku.ca> bfosbro at yorku.ca •  <http://www.yorku.ca/> www.yorku.ca  <https://mailfoogae.appspot.com/t?sender=aYnJldHRvbi5mb3Nicm9va0BnbWFpbC5jb20%3D&type=zerocontent&guid=d00cb38c-0b63-47f4-82f5-a8f29d6d1043> ᐧ

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