[Air-L] CFP "Affordances and Architectures" 4S Sydney

Jenny Davis jennifer.davis at anu.edu.au
Mon Dec 4 20:56:19 PST 2017

Submissions open!

4S Panel: "Affordances and Architectures: A Materialist Approach to Digital Design." (CFP below).

4S will take place August 29 - September 1 2018 (https://4s2018sydney.org/).

32. Affordances and Architectures: A Materialist Approach to Digital Design

Jenny Davis, Australian National University; Timothy Graham (Australian National University); Baptiste Brossard (Australian National University)

The design of technological objects and systems cannot be separated from the social structures within which they arise and operate. People and things are mutually influential and co-constitutive. This simple idea—that people shape technologies and technologies shape people—undergirds recent advancements in affordance theory and platform/infrastructure studies. Across disciplines, scholars are developing precise language and robust frameworks for understanding how social dynamics are built into socio-technical systems and how socio-technical systems structure social dynamics. These theoretical advancements arise through and alongside critical work on digitization and automation as an integral component of personal and public life (see especially Nagy and Neff 2015; Plantin et al. 2016; Davis and Chouinard 2017; and Evans et al. 2017). This panel seeks to implement, build on, and apply clear conceptualizations of “affordance” to better understand how the architectures of digital platforms and infrastructures take shape and exert force. An affordance perspective on digital architectures fosters questions about the social antecedents to design decisions as well as questions about social and institutional effects. For instance, what is the interplay between administrative medical interfaces and physician-patient relations? How do dating apps with “swipe” functions (re)formulate intimacy and courtship rituals? What agendas are embedded in digital maps, and how do these mappings inform experiences of space and place? How do vote-based visibility algorithms encourage or discourage dissent? We seek to strengthen a theoretical orientation towards the materialist study of digital design through serious treatment of technological affordances

Open panel paper submissions should be in the form of abstracts of up to 250 words. They should include the paper’s main arguments, methods, and contributions to STS.

When submitting papers to open panels on the abstract submission platform, you will select the Open Panel you are submitting to. Papers submitted to an open session will be reviewed by the open session organizers and will be given first consideration for that session. Papers not included in the session to which they were submitted will be considered for other sessions.



Jenny L. Davis

Lecturer, School of Sociology

The Australian National University

Co-Editor: Cyborgology<https://thesocietypages.org/cyborgology/> <https://twitter.com/Jenny_L_Davis>

Twitter: @Jenny_L_Davis<https://twitter.com/Jenny_L_Davis>

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