SCOS Update May 2017

Dear SCOSsers
my sincere apologies – it seems I did not correctly circulate last month’s newsletter as planned. We can only hope that with our new SCOS website email system we will employ soon, such human errors as not putting the list members in the address field will be compensated for by our amazing new technology!

My apologies have to go out especially to Jean-Luc Moriceau and Annette Hallin whose deadlines for inclusion in their events Accelerationism (22nd-23rd June at the American University, Paris) and After Methods have passed, but if you wish to contact them about attending those events they can be reached at: and at respectively.

Please see below the list of items for this month:

  • Item 1: Upcoming SCOS Board VacanciesItem 2: New SCOS Website
  • Item 3: Materialism without Matter? Some Thoughts on the Notion of Materiality in Science and Technology Studies, University of Warwick 31st May.
  • Item 4: CfP The Dialectics of Liberation in an Age of Neoliberal Capitalism – International Herbert Marcuse Society Conference Oct. 26-28, 2017 (deadline May 30th)
  • Item 5: ECR/PhD summer school Creative Methods for Research and Comunity Engagement 6-8th July 2017, Keele University & New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-Under-Lyme.

Best Wishes

Item 1:Upcoming SCOS Board Vacancies

Dear Scossers

Would you like to get involved in organising and planning for the future direction of SCOS? If so, then we have one Board position that will fall vacant in July this year, and others that become vacant in 2018.

So, from July 2017, the role of Meetings Secretary will be open. The SCOS Constitution describes this as: Planning and facilitation of future Board meetings, liaising with local hosts andcommunicating details of venue and accommodation to representatives. If you would like to know more, please contact

One of the roles that will definitely become vacant in July 2018 is that of Board Secretary. The Board Secretary takes and distributes the minutes, formal correspondence, and maintains the archive of minutes and correspondence. Again, please contact Mary if you would like to know more.

These are just the particular responsibilities attached to the roles as all Board members play a big part in shaping SCOS. It is also ‘serious fun’ to be involved with the Board!

Best wishes


Item 2: New Website for SCOS

The SCOS website has been re-vamped, re-cycled, re-newed and re-vitalised but it is scossers representation online so you may want to take a look. The new website is the product of much hard work ‘under the hood’ though it might look much the same on the surface, and as an additional benefit you can now find a huge archive of the historical SCOS publications there for your perusal.

From the website you can now discover our archive section including links to past conferences and downloadable copies of old Notework and Dragon publications

The members’ newsletter will in future appear here and you can find some previous iterations on the website in case you recall seeing a fantastic item but have now misplaced the email….

We are working to have better links between the website, Culture and Organization and our member events (primarily the regular conference). If there is something you think should be added to the website to help develop future SCOS please send suggestions to our web officer, Scott. Along with other board members you should now be able to reach him easily from the website!

Item 3: Materialism without Matter? Some Thoughts on the Notion of Materiality in Science and Technology Studies,

Contemporary Philosophy of Technology, University of Birmingham,  31st May.

Johannes Beetz (University of Warwick)
31st May 2017, 4-6pm All Welcome.
417 Muirhead Tower

Abstract: Materialism and questions revolving around the role of material instances in social processes are currently experiencing a remarkable revival in the Social Sciences and Humanities. Besides the New Materialism of authors such as Jane Bennett and the agential realism of Karen Barad, the heterogeneous transdisciplinary field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) has played an important part in this development.

But what does ‘materiality’ refer to in the different strands of STS? And maybe more importantly: Do these approaches really constitute a (new) non-reductionist materialism, and if so, what is so new about it?

The paper will mainly be concerned with Latour’s actor-network theory and approaches in its vicinity – such as John Law’s material semiotics. Probably best known for their methodological suspension of such dichotomies as human/non-human, subject/object, material/immaterial, and the inclusion of non-human actors in the descriptions of processes of technological innovation, discovery, and knowledge production, they have gained considerable influence in STS over the past decades.

The aim of this talk is to present some shared notions of materiality and their ontological underpinnings in the field of Science and Technology Studies and provide a materialist critique of contemporary research in this field. While a certain focus on processes of materialisation and the notion of relational materialism might qualify STS approaches as what Etienne Balibar calls a ‘materialism without matter’, the accusation that they posit matter (or materiality) against materialism should not be dismissed prematurely. I propose a return to some older (dialectical, historical) materialisms to evaluate the critical potential of current STS scholarship.

Item 4: CfP The Dialectics of Liberation in an Age of Neoliberal Capitalism – International Herbert Marcuse Society Conference Oct. 26-28, 2017, York University, Toronto

International Herbert Marcuse Society Conference

Oct. 26-28, 2017

York University, Toronto, Canada

“The Dialectics of Liberation in an Age of Neoliberal Capitalism”

In the summer of 1967 Herbert Marcuse gave a talk titled ‘Liberation from the Affluent Society’ at a London conference called The Dialectics of Liberation. The conference brought together a wide range of left and counter-cultural activists, thinkers, artists and poets – Herbert Marcuse, R.D Laing, Paul Sweezy, Stokley Carmichael, Allen Ginsberg, Angela Davis and Lucien Goldman. It is in the spirit of that event, and to mark its 50th anniversary, that the International Herbert Marcuse Society seeks papers for its 2017 biennial conference. The conference, which is being held at York University in Toronto, Canada, Oct. 26-28, 2017, has as its theme: “The Dialectics of Liberation in an Age of Neoliberal Capitalism”.

For this year’s conference, we invite papers and panels that look at Marcuse’s work through multi-dimensional lenses. How is Marcuse’s (and other critical theorist’s) work relevant to today’s struggles against neoliberal capitalism? How can it help build the capacity for new sensibilities, critical pedagogies and new ways of thinking and organizing on the left today? And what are the dialectics of liberation in a context marked by crises, deepening authoritarianism, economic distress, social disintegration, and forms of oppression that mark neoliberal societies today? How have recent movements – Black Lives Matter, Indigenous/Idle No More, ecological, anti-austerity and others – sought to theorize, understand, refuse and go beyond neoliberalism? How do radical critiques today echo and/or build on those that came together at the 1967 Dialectics of Liberation gathering? In what ways are the challenges of liberation different today, against the backdrop of the Trump phenomenon and the rise of a neoliberal, neo-fascist right? And how does Marcuse’s critique intersect with current assessments of neoliberalism inspired by political economy, labour studies, feminism, Indigenous struggles, radical democratic and anti-racist theory, critical pedagogy and current debates within critical theory?

We invite critical theory scholars and students–as well as scholar-activists and independent scholars from other critical traditions such as political economy, feminism, LGBTQIA studies, disability studies, post-colonial studies, Indigenous studies, critical race theory, and labour studies – to engage in a dialogue with Marcuse, in the way that Blackpower, feminist, and ecological participants did at the 1967 Dialectics of Liberation event. We welcome interventions and reflections on how Marcuse and other critical theorists see the ‘dialectics of liberation’. And even though the emphasis this year is on liberation from neoliberalism, we also do not want to neglect the roots that the ‘dialectics of liberation’ have in the rich philosophical and social theory heritage of Marcuse’s work, in his own debates with Hegel, Marx, Freud, Fromm, even Nietzsche and Heidegger, as well as critical theorists such as Adorno and Benjamin. Papers and panels on Marcuse’s relation to these thinkers are welcome as well.

The conference organizers are particularly interested in encouraging undergraduate and graduate student participation. To this end, we encourage faculty colleagues to bring students of all levels to the conference. Undergraduate students are invited to present papers in special concurrent sessions.

Abstracts due May 30, 2017

The conference is an interdisciplinary, multimedia engagement with the many dimensions of Herbert Marcuse’s work. In addition to the presentation of papers, the conference will also present artistic/cultural work, including an installation/exhibition by documentary film maker Peter Davis, who filmed the 1967 Dialectics of Liberation event. Further details on performances and installations will be announced in the coming months. A website for the conference, with registration and other details, will also be up in the coming weeks.

For more information, and to submit proposals for individual papers and panels (in the form of a 150-word abstract), contact the conference organizers by e-mailing:

Prof. Terry Maley York University

Item 5: ECR/PhD summer school Creative Methods for Research and Community Engagement 6-8th July 2017, Keele University & New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-Under-Lyme.

PhD students and Early Career Researchers are welcome at this event organised by the Community Animation and Social Innovation Centre (CASIC) at Keele University.

The Summer School will be held in central England at the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme (6-7 July) and Keele University campus (8 July), where you will experience the KAVE and our Makerspace facilities.

The facilitator will be Dr Helen Kara, author of Creative Research Methods in the Social Sciences:A Practical Guide.
Speakers will include:

  • Professor Mihaela Kelemen – CASIC Director
  • Dr Lindsay Hamilton – Keele Management School, Keele University
  • Véronique Jochum – Research Manager, National Council for Voluntary Organisations
  • Dr Emma Surman – Keele Management School, Keele University
  • Dr Ceri Morgan – School of Humanities, Keele University
  • Professor Rajmil Fischman – School of Music, Keele University
  • Sue Moffat – Director of New Vic Borderlines, New Vic Theatre

The Summer School will enlighten, inspire and guide ECRs and students at all stages of scholarly or professional doctorates. Each day will be packed with interactive hands-on sessions addressing six broad topics:

  • Arts-based research
  • Transformative research frameworks
  • Mixed-methods research
  • Knowledge co-production
  • Research using technology
  • Writing creatively for research

We are offering an “early bird” price of £230 for bookings received and paid by 31st May. After that date the price will be £270. The cost includes refreshments and lunches and a complimentary copy of Dr Kara’s book on creative research methods.

There will be a dinner and performance of ‘Around the world in 80 Days’ at the New Vic Theatre on July 6th, at an extra cost of £20.

To book a place please click here