hello@doingsts.com

Doing STS is a Vancouver-based
nonprofit (S0077711)

ORDINARY PRACTICE

Doing STS is a methods lab that works across feminist science and technology studies and affect studies through public workshops, lectures, reading and writing groups, and experimental publications. We stage accessible and collaborative opportunities for play and learning with STS and affect via ordinary and DIY practice. Through zinemaking, textile and papercrafting, fermenting, composting, and other modes of making, we “craft with matter”1 to materialize alternative futures. We actively develop methods of care and anticolonial science and tech literacies with an emphasis on how emergent global complexities are made and experienced in small, local practices that include messiness, hunches, and mistakes.

BECOME A MEMBER

While anyone can attend our events, we are funded by our members. Support us with a small one-time or reccurring membership fee. Members are welcome to join in on planning, give a workshop or public lecture, and can vote on future intiatives at our annual meeting. Fees are not considered a charitable donation and we are unable to issue tax reciepts.

Join Now
 

hello@doingsts.com

Doing STS is a Vancouver-based
nonprofit (S0077711)

  1. Dimitris Papadopoulos, "Alter-ontologies: Towards a Constituent Politics in Technoscience," Social Studies of Science 41, no. 2 (2010): 177–201.

Advisory Board

Lindsey A. Freeman

Simon Fraser University

Vivienne Bozalek

University of the Western Cape

Jonas Fritsch

IT University of Copenhagen

Kelly Fritsch

Carleton University

Donna J. Haraway

Emeritus, UC Santa Cruz

Omar Kasmani

Freie Universität Berlin

Linda Knight

RMIT University

Dana Luciano

Rutgers University

Erin Manning

Concordia University

Andrew Murphie

Independent

Natasha Myers

York University

Coleman Nye

Simon Fraser University

Dimitris Papadopoulos

University of Nottingham

Joseph C. Russo

Wesleyan University

Donovan O. Schaefer

University of Pennsylvania

Gregory J. Seigworth

Millersville University

Chad Shomura

University of Colorado Denver

Alexis Shotwell

Carleton University

Nathan Snaza

University of Richmond

Stephanie Springgay

McMaster University

Kathleen C. Stewart

Emeritus, UT Austin

Katie Strom

CSU, East Bay

Juanita Sundberg

University of British Columbia

Sarah E. Truman

University of Melbourne

Amanda D. Watson

Simon Fraser University

Jie Yang

Simon Fraser University

Team

Doing STS offers fellowships for graduate students, early-career scholars, artists, and activists working alongside STS and affect. Small member-funded seed grants support fellows to design and lead a public workshop or lecture.

Mathew Arthur

Director

Sarah Law 婉雯

2023 Fellow

Hayden Ostrom

2023 Fellow

Ceall Quinn

2023 Fellow

Our Book


Everything is a Lab is a scrapbook and an experiment. It collects the artifacts, written and otherwise, of a year’s worth of public workshops that put science and technology studies and affect studies together. Through zinemaking, collaging, foraging, fermenting, perfuming, and walking together, we do ordinary science from the kitchen table and work to materialize alternative futures. Putting STS and affect together bolsters literacies for how the world is being made and how we might make it differently.
CONTRIBUTORS
Mathew Arthur, Debarah Bulford, Lindsey A. Freeman, Reuben Jentink, Sarah Law 婉雯, Morgaine Lee, Erin Manning, Rowan Melling, Coleman Nye, Hayden Ostrom, Rebecca Peng, Ceall Quinn, Donovan O. Schaefer, Chad Shomura, Becca Soft, Kathleen Stewart, Amanda D. Watson

188 pages, color
9798865488255
DOI 10.22387/EIAL

Free online
$34.00


GET THE BOOK
Free PDF
Buy in Print
IMBRICATE.PRESS Creative Commons (CC by 4.0)
 

Our Ethics

Doing STS centers and develops methods of care. This means caring for the tools, materials, animals, plants, and microbes that show up in the more-than-human contact zones of our shared practice. It also means caring for each other: attending to the multiple histories, concepts, technologies, and bodies that inflect our shared work. We go slow and practice caution about what worlds our research helps to make or unmake. STS and affect studies work often require access to paywalled articles or travel to conferences. Care also includes sharing money, food, transportation, gear, and pirated academic resources like meeting rooms or university library passwords.

We work to unsettle the taken-for-granteds of science and tech knowledge production that leave little space for neurodiversity, chronic illness, poverty, Blackness, Indigeneity, and gender and sexual difference. We turn instead to atmospheres of living and pay attention to vibes and gut feelings. Our care methods highlight the performativity of practice: how what we do tends some relationships and neglects others. In this way, care signals the inseparability of knowledge work and everyday life amidst the economic, political, and ecological pressures that inform or impossibilize ways of living and studying together.

2023 Labs


This year, Doing STS is composed of three labs. WriteLab is a weekly affect-driven theory writing meetup. Otherwise Tastes is a series of critical feminist fermentation workshops. Smellworlds is an ongoing project to work with and develop sensory methods through smellwalks and DIY perfumery.

All three labs entail daily acts of care: self-care as integral to writing practice, tending jars of fermenting mash as their microbial flora care for our gut health, or gardening plants whose roots or petals both resource our DIY perfumery and lift our moods with scent. But academic productivity risks these relations. Likewise, being sick or sad, tediously skimming off bad yeast, or spending hours lost in a tableful of perfumery ingredients disrupts the tempo of scholarly work. In this way, rubrics of care help to track interests, attachments, politics, and ways of working. They offer a humble ethical grounding for doing STS and affect work beyond institutional contexts that demand forms of legibility despite the messiness of practice.

Lab 1


Tangerine


What can writing do? WriteLab is a weekly drop-in theory writing group modelled loosely after Lauren Berlant and Katie Stewart's "hundreds" and Joe Dumit's "implosion." Looking to compositional methods across STS and affect studies, we'll explore how everyday objects, happenings, and practices texture theory and how theory textures life. We'll experiment with writing alongside what's taking shape or being assembled, staying stuck or fading into the background, to presence atmospheres of indeterminacy and relationships that matter.

Mondays 7-9pm PST
April–November, 2023
Studio Utopia
2414 Main Street
hello@doingsts.com to join
(Wheelchair inaccessible)

Lab 2





Smellworlds are everywhere. Intimate or atmospheric, near-imperceptible or assaulting. They seep and linger, harnessing bodies into movement. Smell is feral and highly regulated: tangled up in appetites, industries, domesticities, toxicities, and public hygienes. Chlorine. CK One. Electrical fire. Garbage. Leather. Locker room. Mr. Clean. Old books. Pencil shavings. Smog. Smudge. Wet dog. Yeast. The intiating proposition of Smellworlds is compositional: that scent or its absence assembles, pulling things into consistency.

Critical engagements with smell are many and few. The literature homes in on cultural histories, neurophysiology, sensory mapping or smellwalk methods, and notions of toxicity and risk. Instead, Smellworlds proposes DIY perfumery as a way into the worldly atmospherics of smell—how smell connects and moves. Bodily, emotionally, wafting here and there. Through a series of public lectures and workshops, we'll explore how the colonial project is a toning of sense: how anthropocentrism, whiteness, and settler nationalism come with cultivated habits of smell and predictable smellscapes.

Smellworlds Library
Browse

Smellworlds: A Critical DIY Perfuming Primer
PDFBuy in Print

Lab 3


Multispecies kinships from the kitchen table


Multispecies work is often either abstract or exotic in its empirics. It can require travel for fieldwork, special lab equipment, or access to gatekept institutional relationships. Following species around depends on access to big grants, stable housing, and ample time off work. Instead, Otherwise Tastes cultivates appetites for theory closer to home: from the kitchen table.

Through a series of public workshops and a keynote lecture with Erin Manning, we'll work through vinegar-making practices like alcohol and acetobacter fermentation and engage microbial humanities and feminist STS work on fermentation to explore the relationship between taste, unseen bacterial worlds, and political formations. Through ordinary tactics of witness like colour, temperature, visible mould or yeast, carbonation, or scent, we'll reckon with the tension between technoscientific settler sovereignties and Indigenous and other approaches to multispecies kin.

2023


 

Doing STS lectures and workshops are free and open to the public. While academic in tone, we cultivate atmospheres of shared curiousity and non-mastery. Events are member-funded and led by fellows and collaborators. For detailed accessibility information or to propose an event, email hello@doingsts.com

Working with Herbs in TCM

Hayden Ostrom

If we are tangled up in more-than-human worlds, what counts as good health? How might we cultivate reciprocity in health practices? Join TCM student and herbalist Hayden Ostrom for a DIY herbalism workshop.

1–4pm, May 6th, 2023
Studio Utopia, 2414 Main Street
(Wheelchair inaccessible)
REGISTER HERE

May

Climate Mourning, Slow and Soft

Sarah Law 婉雯, Simon Fraser University

The climate crisis elicits grief. In this workshop, through theories of disability justice and abolition feminism, we'll explore practices of care, mourning, and rest. Together, we'll engage in sensory meditation, arts-based reflection, and writing exercises to explore how capitalism, white supremacy, and patriarchy replicate in the making of ecological crisis and the management of emotions. We'll dream up visions of a just climate future and consider sense-imagination as a form of political protest, giving ourselves a chance to sit with grief in slowness and softness.

1–4pm, June 3rd, 2023
Room 1315, SFU Harbour Centre
REGISTER HERE

Jun

Climate Mourning, Slow and Soft

Sarah Law 婉雯, Simon Fraser University

The climate crisis elicits grief. In this workshop, through theories of disability justice and abolition feminism, we'll explore practices of care, mourning, and rest. Together, we'll engage in sensory meditation, arts-based reflection, and writing exercises to explore how capitalism, white supremacy, and patriarchy replicate in the making of ecological crisis and the management of emotions. We'll dream up visions of a just climate future and consider sense-imagination as a form of political protest, giving ourselves a chance to sit with grief in slowness and softness.

1–3pm, June 3rd, 2023
Room 1315, SFU Harbour Centre
REGISTER HERE

Jun

Perceptual Ferment

Erin Manning, Concordia

"Vinegar mother is both catalyst and remains. Leaving a cloudiness in her wake, she is a reminder of the dephasing from sugar water to vinegar, and of the fact that what is produced is always less a substance in itself than a relational milieu."

Doing STS hosts a lecture and Q+A with Erin Manning, followed by a hands-on DIY vinegar fermentation workshop. Tools and materials provided.

1–4pm, June 18th, 2023
Studio Utopia, 2414 Main Street
REGISTER HERE

Jun

Pollinator Smellwalk

Ceall Quinn, University of British Columbia

How can we develop an ecological self in urban settings so often withdrawn from ecological imaginaries? What kinds of practices of attention can we deploy to cultivate nonhuman kinships? Where might curiosity take us in sensory encounter with Earth others? Approaching pollinator worlds, we'll ask these questions from the perspective of the amateur: "one who loves, lover." Participants are invited to dabble and pause in a space of unprofessional, non-instrumental bee noticing. With scraps of more-than-human ethnography, urban political ecology, and the science of bee and floral perception as guides, we'll gather for a bee smellwalk, tapping into our sensoriums, getting into place, and sharing observations. Bee-ing with pollinator partners in place is a portal for thinking naturecultural entanglements in the city.

1–4pm, August 27th, 2023
Pollinator Park, 5th and Pine
REGISTER HERE

Aug

Pollinator Smellwalk

Ceall Quinn, University of British Columbia

How can we develop an ecological self in urban settings so often withdrawn from ecological imaginaries? What kinds of practices of attention can we deploy to cultivate nonhuman kinships? Where might curiosity take us in sensory encounter with Earth others? Approaching pollinator worlds, we'll ask these questions from the perspective of the amateur: "one who loves, lover." Participants are invited to dabble and pause in a space of unprofessional, non-instrumental bee noticing. With scraps of more-than-human ethnography, urban political ecology, and the science of bee and floral perception as guides, we'll gather for a bee smellwalk, tapping into our sensoriums, getting into place, and sharing observations. Bee-ing with pollinator partners in place is a portal for thinking naturecultural entanglements in the city.

1–4pm, August 27th, 2023
Pollinator Park, 5th and Pine
REGISTER HERE

Aug

Walking and Writing Viaducts

Reuben Jentink

Are the Georgia viaducts gardens? Not really, but the City once seemed set on spinning them as a future oasis. In 2016 the Park Board selected James Corner Field Operations, the landscape architect of New York's High Line, to reimagine the 21-acre site. While the High Line's abandoned infrastructure was reworked into a park, here "unworkable" structures will be demolished. What are we being asked to imagine in collective dreams of this downtown park? Kumeyaay poet Tommy Pico's Feed takes place on the High Line: a walking poem cataloguing Indigenous disposession, what grows in the park, and heartbreak following a breakup—with a playlist ranging from Beyonce to The Knife. Like Pico, we'll walk the viaducts, writing our way through their histories, nonhuman inhabitants, and possible futures.

September, 2023
Location TBD

Sept

Past Events

SMELLWORLDS

Resonance and Redolance

3Ecologies

In September 2022, Doing STS' Mathew Arthur was invited to lead a multi-day workshop around critical fermentation and DIY perfumery at 3Ecologies in northern Quebec. The gathering was an opportunity to grow kindred interests in fermentation and fragrance and assembled an international group of academics. We experimented with practices of fermenting, tincturing, distillation, and perfume formulation and rehearsed new vocabularies of taste and scent across languages and disciplines.

September 23–25, 2022
Ste-Anne-du-Lac, Quebec

SMELLWORLDS

PAST LABS


REPEAT: Making Rituals at the End of the World

Online

REPEAT: Making Rituals at the End of the World is a free monthly series of online skill-building workshops in critical crafting and making practices, including crochet, fermentation, origami, natural perfumery, and weaving. “Critical” means that each month’s materials and techniques will generate conversations about the objects and practices that haunt our everyday worlds. The title has a double meaning: repeated practices of making—but also crafting new rituals.

September 2021 to May 2022

Website

Past Labs

From 2016–2022, Doing STS was a weekly seminar held at Vancouver Public Library's Strathcona Branch as a public program with Humanities 101 at the University of British Columbia.

Haraway Talks: Reading and Figuring Worlds

Online

Each week we met online to read aloud from interviews with Donna Haraway. Her work explores how human and nonhuman lives are tangled up in histories of science and empire. She generates concepts and figures that dream up ways of living together on a damaged planet.

January to March, 2020

Website
From 2016–2022, Doing STS was a weekly seminar held at Vancouver Public Library's Strathcona Branch as a public program with Humanities 101 at the University of British Columbia.

Speculative Matters: Making Worlds with Zines

Vancouver Public Library, Strathcona Branch

“Speculative Matters” is a Hum Public Program with residents of Vancouver’s DTES/South. Everyone is welcome. Come every week or drop in when it works! Let's weave together speculation and fabulation: asking “what if?” and making things up. Each week we will read aloud together from a STS reading, then spend an hour making and writing zines using text, collage, popups, embroidery, etc.

January 22 to March 25, 2020

Website

Doing Feminist/Queer/Indigenous Technoscience

Vancouver Public Library, Strathcona Branch

The study of science, technology, and society shows that the methods and tools we use to know and sort out nature and culture are part of how the world gets made. What the world is depends on how we practice knowing it. Doing STS is an ongoing weekly feminist technoscience salon with Humanities 101 at the University of British Columbia in partnership with VPL nə́c̓aʔmat ct Strathcona Branch, curated and facilitated by Mathew Arthur.

2019 Website
2018 Website

(Photo: Dialogue)