Transdisciplinarities: queering the pitch

Paper for panel “Tracing Technoscientific Imaginaries Through Contemporary Culture” at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S), Cleveland OH, November 5, 2011

Abstract: "Transdisciplinarity becomes a species of transmedia storytelling when both intensive knowledge practices and extensive ones collaborate consciously or inadvertently and significance is negotiated for political, economic and cultural reasons across globally restructuring knowledge networks. Media studies have never needed to be taken more seriously by SSS in webs of learning to be affected (Latour 2004), as the very sensations of swimming among restructuring economies and altering ecologies amid greater densities of detail or elegancies of story. An example is Women & Performance 2010: Transbiological Bodies: Mine, Yours, Ours. Editor Vaccaro notes “contributors engage ‘trans’ and ‘biology’ alongside questions of performance and performativity, animality, species modification, racialization, geography and the temporal coordinates of gender.” Queer ecologist Kier provocatively begins: “I contend that everybody on the planet is now encompassed within the category of transgender tracing some of the not-so-visible links of this shared rearrangement of sex and re/production. [W]e might be better off responding not through fear of the eco-catastrophic assumptions transsex invokes, but by embracing our shared interdependent transsex, ecosystemic relations of multiple ‘bodies,’ energies, and things compose broader economic re/productive relations and energies of the bioscape.” Academic practices enlisted in transmedia storytelling “queer the pitch,” allowing us to learn to be affected by the political economies of knowledge worlds amid linkages among the economies of entertainment, knowledge laborings, globally restructured academies, governmentalities, and infrastructures of communication."

Queer the pitch.... 

Katie King is Associate Professor of Women's Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Fellow of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH). She received her Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her transdisciplinary scholarship is located at the intersection of feminist technoscience studies, intersectional digital cultures and media studies, and LGBT Studies. Her first book was Theory in its Feminist Travels: Conversations in U.S. women's movements. Still in progress is Speaking with Things, an introduction to writing technologies, while another, Networked Reenactments: Stories transdisciplinary knowledges tell is just out this month (November 2011) from Duke. She has been published in the journals Writing Technologies, Criticism, Feminist Theory, camera obscura, Configurations, TEXT, Communications, and Cultural Studies.