Call for Papers – Open Panel: Television as a Contested Site of the Creation of Knowledge and Social Imaginaries

Organized for Annual 4S Meeting to be held in Boston, Massachusetts, August 30-September 2, 2017


Television has long been a site of impermanent knowledge production in societies all around the world. Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser linked the mass appeal of television to his notion of Ideological State Apparatuses, whereby ideological hegemony could be achieved and reinforced through its programming. Conversely, according to film theorist Andre Bazin, each shot in film was a revelation of God expressed through images of creation. While scientific educational programs have aimed at creating public awareness of science, fiction-based television programming has also been equally responsible for creating new ways of thinking about scientific practices and technologies in a rapidly changing political, ecological and social landscape.  As historian David Kirby has suggested, television allows viewers to virtually witness science. Yet, the impermanence of the medium also leads viewers to question the supposed objective reality of science. This panel seeks to explore the ways television programming has co-produced social imaginaries and situated knowledges in a variety of realms and societies, and the ways in which television programming and their appeal can teach us about the salience of specific public imaginations concerning the state of the world, the presentation of varying knowledge systems from feminist, postcolonial, indigenous and other ideological standpoints. We are seeking to create a relatively informal discussion regarding the impacts of television programming on science, science research and education and the field of science and technology studies itself.



Submission Deadline: March 1, 2017.

Submit paper, session, and making and doing proposals here:


Please check the box to submit your paper to open panel “Television as a Contested Site of the Creation of Knowledge and Social Imaginaries”


You can find more details about the conference on



For more information contact:

Aadita Chaudhury, York University:

Ingrid Ockert, Princeton University: