A Deakin guide to 4S 2023: Welcome to Honolulu and Zoom

two palm trees in foreground, ocean, shoreline, mountain and city in background
Waikīkī Beach, Honolulu with view of Lēʻahi/ Diamond Head. Photo: Tyler King

Both Deakin University and the SSN have a long and proud history of association with STS (Science and Technology Studies, or Social Studies of Science). This year is a particularly special one for us, as the 4S president and our founder, Professor Emma Kowal passes on the  baton to Professor Anne Pollock, a friend and former guest of the SSN. In Honolulu we continue our support for STS by catering the AUS STS meet-up.  We have a very large contingent of SSN and Deakin researchers partaking and presenting this year.

The meeting has a large number of panels streaming via Zoom. This pdf  includes a table of all the panels and events that Deakin staff and students are involved in. It includes the times and locations for both in-person and online attendees.

Extract from the President’s Welcome, by Professor Emma Kowal. You can download the final programme, including Emma’s full welcome, here.

As 4S President, I would like to begin by stating that I am a guest on this ‘āina visiting for the
purpose of this conference. I trace my natal family’s roots to what is now Poland and I live on
unceded lands now known as Australia, in Narrm/Melbourne on the lands of the Kulin nation. I
acknowledge that the ‘āina on which we gather, Honolulu, is part of the larger territory
recognized by Indigenous Hawaiians as their ancestral grandmother, Papahānaumoku. I
recognize that her majesty Queen Lili‘uokalani yielded the Hawaiian Kingdom and these
territories under duress and protest to the United States to avoid the bloodshed of her people. I
further recognize that Hawai‘i remains an illegally occupied state of America.

I recognize that each moment I am in Hawai‘i she nourishes and gifts me with the opportunity to
breathe her air, eat from her soils, drink from her waters, bathe in her sun, swim in her oceans, be
kissed by her rains, and be embraced by her winds. I further recognize that generations of
Indigenous Hawaiians and their knowledge systems shaped Hawai‘i in sustainable ways that allow
me to enjoy these gifts today. For this I am grateful and as a guest, I seek to support the varied
strategies that the Indigenous peoples of Hawai‘i are using to protect their land and their
communities, and I commit to dedicating time and resources to working in solidarity. Mahalo.

These words are adapted from those suggested by the conference co-Chairs, Aya Hirata
Kimura and Grant Jun Otsuki, to acknowledge that we meet on colonized land. Only a
small proportion of the world’s land mass is not colonized, and even that land has seen
much bloody and brutal history. A land acknowledgement at an academic conference is
surely a small thing that does nothing to address the ongoing oppression of Indigenous
dispossession, including environmental destruction wrought by militarism, tourism, the
capitalocene, the plantationocene, and much more. As I have explored in past academic
work, such acknowledgements can be seen as primarily an expression of white antiracist
identities. But it is in this swirl of sovereignties, histories, identities, harms,
ignorance, knowledge, and hopes that our work takes place. There is no outside view
from where the perfect acknowledgement, the perfect critique, much less the perfect
conference can be identified. I am confident only that as a team, we have worked hard to
plan 4SHonolulu23 in a way that shows respect and remains attentive to harms. We are
extremely grateful to the many Native Hawaiian scholars and activists who have shared
their knowledge and insights, including Kamanamaikalani Beamer, Manulani Aluli
Meyer, Mehana Blaich Vaughan, Malia Akutagawa, Bruce Ka`imi Watson, Aurora
Kagawa-Viviani, Kyle Kajihiro, Healani Sonoda-Pale, and Shelley Muneoka. I strongly
encourage you to attend the keynote and plenary sessions to listen and to learn.