In 1997 Phil Agre coined the concept of critical technical praxis. Since that time, the sites of intersection between society and computation have multiplied, and so too have the critical methodologies that we bring to these various sites. From “co-design” to “critical making” to “postcolonial computing,” scholars have staked out critical methodological commitments, often in conversation with the sites of technoscience that they inhabit.
For this workshop we seek participants to explore how the borderlands of technoscience have shifted over the past decade. The workshop will bring together senior and junior researchers for mentorship and dialogue across diverse sites and approaches and will work to develop resources to support future work in critical research. We aim to use the workshop to trace out trajectories of critical praxis as encountered by the workshop participants over the duration of their careers, to help articulate the conditions and stakes of the shifting sites of critical technical research and practice, and to help scholars just entering the field to navigate their own sites/encounters. By tracing the specificities of critical praxis over the past decade, we hope to a space for sharing knowledge about praxis and build cohesion and lasting mentorship relations.
The workshop will provide a space for discussion around the following questions:
• In what political, cultural, economic, and institutional borderlands do we as researchers, scholars, students, mentors, teachers, and practitioners of technology operate today?
• How have these shifted since the last Aarhus conference took place in 2005?
• How do we situate ourselves critically within these borderlands and navigate these the shifting challenges and opportunities of the current research landscape?
We welcome submissions by experienced scholars that trace the trajectories of their research praxis and the various sites of technoscience they have traversed and consider where they locate criticality in their work today. From junior scholars we seek submissions that reflect on the challenges they face in situating research in sites of technoscience and locating criticality in research praxis. Drawing inspiration from Agre’s piece, we encourage personal accounts and reflections on fieldwork, design, collaborations, etc.
Position papers will be shared among participants prior to the workshop and used to generate themes for workshop panel discussions. During mentoring sessions, junior participants will be paired with experienced scholars to receive in-depth attention to their position papers. Full papers may be solicited later for a special journal issue on critical technical praxis.
TO APPLY: Interested participants should submit a 2 – 4 page position statement in the ACM Archival Format by May 15th to firstname.lastname@example.org. Accepted papers must register for the workshop to participate.