Call for Applications: AusSTS 2021: Situated Practice – A multi-sited workshop [closed]


*Please note that the Call for Applications for in-person attendees has now closed. To register for Keynote events please click here


Call for Applications:

AusSTS 2021: Situated Practice — A multi-sited workshop

Thursday 24th June – Friday 25th June 2021


“Knowledge is embedded in projects; knowledge is always for, in many sense, some things and not others, and knowers are always formed by their projects, just as they shape what they can know” 

Donna Haraway, Morphing in the Order


As STS researchers, we are taught to see science as a situated practice — something that is tied to knowledge and power, radically historically specific, and irreducibly social and political. We understand that science, like all practices, is contingent on the social and material forces that circumscribe possibility and action. Yet, at times, we struggle to articulate how our research practice too is a situated practice. 

We know that research is unruly. No matter how much we propose and plan, no matter what timelines and techniques we use to discipline ourselves into writing, the social and material forces (otherwise known as life) have a unique way of acting back. For many, 2020 and now 2021 have been a humbling experience into what it means to continue our practices in situations we had not expected. While some of us had planned to situate ourselves elsewhere — conducting fieldwork, attending conferences, etc — others have found that once familiar situations are now vastly different. 

While the pandemic may have introduced a set of limitations for organising large gatherings (like a national workshop), it also offers us a unique chance to reflect on how our practices are shaped by the places we find ourselves in. This pause also offers us an opportunity to explore the concrete possibilities for the future of sustainable conferencing

The AusSTS interdisciplinary workshop is an annual, multi-day, multi-disciplinary event that brings together STS researchers from across Australasia. This year’s workshop will be hosted as a multi-sited event, with shared online keynotes and local (read: “situated”) meetup events. The workshops are designed for postgraduate students and ECR researchers interested in STS, and will include a variety of activities including keynote events, short presentations from HDRs and ECRs, field trips, and more.


Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Keynote Lecture: Professor Michelle Murphy, University of Toronto

Keynote Conversation Event: Professor Kane Race, University of Sydney with Associate Professor Anne Galloway, Victoria University of Wellington


Structure, cost, and accessibility

This year’s workshop is a multi-sited, face-to-face event that will take place across four locations. Registration costs will vary depending on the events planned at each location:

  • Melbourne 
  • Sydney
  • Darwin*
  • Wellington 

We ask participants to apply to attend one of these face-to-face locations. All sites will take part in shared online keynote presentations on Day 1 and 2. Each site will then host their own set of activities ranging from short presentations, workshops, and field trips. Some sites will have limited numbers based on the activities planned, so do not delay your application. 

We endeavour to make all face-to-face venues accessible for our participants. Please do not hesitate to get in contact if you have any questions regarding accessibility requirements or have specific venue accessibility requests. 

All keynote events will be free and live streamed on YouTube Live for those who are unable to attend the workshop in-person. 

*Please note that Darwin will not be hosting short presentations but will instead organise alternate activities for participants


Submission guidelines:

This workshop departs from the traditional symposia format of long papers and short discussion. Participants can expect to present a short paper consisting of a question, problem or provocation and take part in panel discussions and cross-disciplinary dialogues. 

We invite postgraduate and early career researchers (ECRs) from all disciplines and areas of expertise to apply: life, environmental and materials science, social sciences and humanities, artists, social activists, and other practitioners. 

 To apply, you will need to submit a proposal for a 5-minute presentation at the workshop on any topic that relates to the theme of ‘situated practice’. 

Proposals must include a title, 250 word abstract, 5 keywords, and a short presenter bio. 

To submit a proposal complete the online application form. The deadline for proposals is Friday, April 30th.  

For questions or enquiries please contact Thao Phan at

You can also find us on Twitter at @AusSTSgrad using the hashtag #AusSTS2021


Overview of activities for each location:



Organising committee: Kari Lancaster, Sophie Adams, Mia Harrison, Matthew Kearnes

The Sydney AusSTS event will be split over two days, each beginning at the UNSW Kensington campus. Day 1 will include the opening keynote, short presentations from HDRs and ECRs, a special object-based learning event at the Chau Chak Wing Museum at the University of Sydney, and a social event in the evening. Day 2 will include the conversation keynote, short presentations, and opportunities for networking and engagement. Further details will be announced closer to the date. Estimated cost to attend is $30 – $40.


Organising committee: Thao Phan, Emma Kowal, Timothy Neale

The Melbourne AusSTS event will be split over two days. Day 1 will be hosted at CERES Community Environment Park and will include the opening keynote event, short presentations from HDRs and ECRs, and an evening social event. Day 2 will include the conversation keynote and a field trip to the Werribee Western Treatment Plant (TBC). More details will be announced closer to the date. Estimated cost to attend is $50 – $80 and will include field trip transport on day 2.


Organising committee: Matt Barlow, Cathy Bow, Kelly Lee Hickey, Kirsty Howey, Jen Macdonald, Michaela Spencer

The Darwin AusSTS event will take place as three public events, spread from Thursday- Saturday: a walkshop tracing a series of encounters along Gurambai/Rapid Creek; a film night on the Darwin foreshore with the Gapuwiyak-based Arts collective Miyarrka Media; and a food sharing workshop exploring reciprocities and connections within the Gurambai catchment. Registration for events will be through their own eventbrite page, and costs are expected to range from FREE to $15


Organising committee: Courtney Addison, Max Soar

The Wellington AusSTS event will take place over two days in the central city and surrounds. Day 1 will include the opening keynote and short presentations from HDRs and ECRs, followed by an evening social event. The second day will include the conversation keynote event and a field trip (to be confirmed) exploring the conference theme of situated practice. We will endeavour to keep costs to a minimum, but please expect a small registration fee (less than $40) so we can ensure everyone is well fed.