This year’s second overseas conference was held in Sydney at a new and fancy conference centre in Darling Harbour. With some of my Japanese colleagues, we have created a digital essay on the “Anthropologies of Science and Technology in Japan,” which was part of the new exhibition called STS Across Borders. The best for the genre is probably “experimental.” Not only we, even the organizers did not know how it was going to be. It was fun though and we hope to continue tinkering with this text-like-archive-of-genealogies.
Anthropologies of Science and Technology in Japan (4S 2018, Sydney)
Time: Aug 29 – Sep1 2018
Place: International Conference Centre, Sydney, 5th floor
Authors: Yoko Taguchi, Miki Namba, Grant Otsuki, Gergely Mohácsi, Miho Ishii, Shuhei Kimura and Moe Nakazora
Abstract: The exhibit explores genealogies of anthropologies of science and technology in Japan, focusing on the interactions among scholars and literatures in anthropology and STS. Scholars from many areas of the world have worked in and among these fields to bring shifting relations among “the West” and the rest into strong relief. Scholars in Japan have addressed similar issues, but their work has been inflected by the specific intellectual and institutional conditions that they face, producing scholarship that both draws on and diverges from that originating in the Euro-American mainstream. This exhibit delineates how anthropology and STS have intermingled and rearticulated formerly distinctive and separate fields, including (sub-)disciplines such as ecological anthropology, primatology, and medical anthropology, as well as topics such as materiality, embodiment, environment, and infrastructure. It will catalog and map relations among scholars and literatures in Japan to exhibit how STS has emerged within and across political and intellectual boundaries of Japan. Specifically, the exhibit will collect and annotate key articles, journals, and books in Japanese and English, discuss the contributions of influential scholars, and highlight important debates that have taken place among researchers in Japan. Examples include articles that have appeared in journals such as NatureCulture and Bunkajinruigaku, and research projects such as ‘Environmental Infrastructures” and “A Comparative Study of “Indigenous Knowledge” and “Modern Science.”” Selected sources will be digitally archived. Posters produced for this project will focus on key figures and debates.