Forthcoming Events

BSA New Materialisms and Science and Technology Studies (STS) study groups; in conjunction with University of Sheffield STEMIS group

Conference: Between STS and the New Materialisms: Affinities and Alliances in Troubling Times

15 July 2020, University of Sheffield, UK

Keynote Speaker: Eva Giraud (University of Keele, UK)


We are caught up in matter.  Bodies open and close as they engage with nature and culture, while digital technologies make cyborgs of us all.

For the past 50 years, Science and Technology Studies (STS) has critically dissected the scientific endeavour, and exposed the overt and covert politics and cultures of science and technology practice and policy.  More recently a ‘materialist’ turn in the social sciences and humanities has unpicked Enlightenment ontologies of human and non-human, to recognise the vitality of all matter and reveal the micropolitics of body/technology assemblages.

Against the contemporary backcloth of neoliberalisation in science and education, growing inequalities within and between nations, the climate emergency and fake news, critical voices must be raised, affinities acknowledged and alliances forged.  These alliances are more timely than ever as we move into an increasingly regulated age of knowing, where right-wing governance calls for objective and de-politicised knowledge.

As this systematic attack on knowing extends locally and globally, what can the analyses of STS and the new materialisms offer each other?  How may new materialisms pose critical questions of science, scientific progress and STS itself?  What may the insights of STS supply to a new materialist project of post-humanising academic disciplines and society?  What practical and theoretical alliances are possible?  How might STS and the new materialisms overcome academic detachment and political apathy? 

We invite colleagues to explore how thought, bodies, technologies and environments are always inevitably entangled and how ideas from STS or the new materialisms may offer a critical, collaborative and embodied mode of thinking the current challenges facing the world in 2020.

Contributions on (but not limited to) the following are welcomed:

  • Science, technology and inequalities.
  • Transdisciplinary thought and the practicalities of subverting funding/research procedures that favour/divide the sciences against the arts.
  • Vitalism and living things.
  • Experiments in collective thinking and embodied critique.
  • Empowering subjugated and subversive peoples and things.
  • Histories of materialisms and science.
  • Pragmaticism and emancipatory rather than utopian thinking and praxis.
  • Inventive methods.

Submissions and Timeline

We invite abstracts of no more than 200 words for papers reporting research (20 minutes, plus time for pooled Q&A).

Please submit abstracts by Friday 1 May 2020 to:


To register, please go to: 

BSA member:  £15

Non-member: £20

BSA Concessionary member: £5

Other full-time student: £10

 Lunch and refreshments included.

Past Events

BSA New Materialisms study group Inaugural Day Conference

Monday 10 June 2019
12 noon to 5 p.m.
BSA London Meeting Room, Imperial Wharf, Fulham.

The establishment of the BSA new materialisms study group in 2018 reflects the growing interest among sociologists in this approach, both theoretically and as an ontological perspective to inform empirical research.  This one-day symposium is a showcase of members' research, and will also discuss the future development of the study group's work within the BSA.


Please click here to download the full programme for the event.

International event

New Materialism and the Sociology of Inequality. Class, Capital and Capacities

Western Sydney University Parramatta Campus South EA.2.13 (LT02)

Monday 25 February 2019 from 2pm to 4 pm

Paper 1: Class Matters: A New Materialist Approach.

Peta Hinton (Heinrich-Heine University, Germany).

Paper 2: Re-materialising Social Class.

Nick J Fox (University of Huddersfield/Sheffield, UK).

In this seminar the speakers re-assess how sociology has explored social inequality.  They argue for a new materialist perspective that addresses the part non-human matter plays in social divisions.

You can now watch the video of this entire event, at:


Download symposium flyer