The word ‘meeting’ contains rich and diverse meanings. In English we find the following: an act or process of joining or coming together of people or things; an intersection or confluence; an encounter; an assembly; a place and time for discussion or decision; a space for dissent, battle, entertainment or contest; and (archaically) a unit of measurement.
Meetings has critical resonance at this time. Political and social forces – such as Brexit, Trump’s Presidency in the US, the rise in support for PVV in the Netherlands and for Front Nationale in France – seek to undo many relations and connections and to establish new, often exclusionary and destructive, alliances. That is, the politics of meetings is not a choice between doing or not doing relations, but rather to think about which actors meet and how, and to curate meetings that make some things present and other things absent. In this context, and in step with many other progressive responses, the EASST 2018 Conference will explicitly bring together, promote and celebrate meetings between, and differences within, the cultural and intellectual constituencies of STS.
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