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Call for papers

Objects – What Matters? Technology, Value and Social Change
University of Manchester
1-4 September 2009

As contemporary social theorists continue to signal the need to reconfigure our deliberations on the social through attention to practice, to object-mediated relations, to non-human agency and to the affective dimensions of human sociality, this conference takes as its focus the objects and values which find themselves at centre stage.

And we ask, in the context of nearly two decades of diverse disciplinary approaches to these issues, what matters about objects? How are they inflecting our understandings of technology, of expertise, and of social change? How has a focus on objects reconfigured our understandings of  ow values inflect the ways in which people make relations, create social worlds, and construct conceptual categories? How have objects become integral to human enthusiasms and energies, to transformational ambition, or to the transmission of values across time and space? How do  bjects move between ordinary and extraordinary states, shade in and out of significance, manifest instability and uncertainty? How do moral  and material values attach to objects as they move in space and time? What dimensions do they inhabit and/or reveal?

To address these questions we welcome papers on the following themes:
The transformational work of everyday objects
Object-centered learning
Materiality, Stability and the State
Radical Archives – within and beyond textual assemblages
Conceptual Objects and Methods as Objects
Immaterial Objects – haunting, virtuality, traces.
Financial Objects
Affective Objects
Ephemera, Enthusiasm and Excess
Spiritual and/or Moral Objects
Controversial and Messy Objects

Please submit either (a) proposal for individual papers, or (b) panel
proposal including 3 papers by the end of February 2009.

Conference Organisers:
Conference Administrators: Bussie Awosanya and Karen Ho
Conference Manager: Josine Opmeer


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