Call for Papers - (in)visibilities: 2019 Binocular Graduate Conference - Toronto, Canada

Erin Grosjean Announcement
Ontario, Canada
Subject Fields
History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Humanities, Race Studies, Social History / Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies

We are excited to announce that the fifth annual Binocular Conference jointly organized by graduate students from York STS and the University of Toronto IHPST will take place in Toronto, Canada on May 3-4, 2019. Our keynote address will be given by Sergio Sismondo, author of Ghost-Managed Medicine: Big Pharma’s Invisible Hands (Mattering, 2018).


The deadline for abstract submission is March 15, 2019.


This conference is a perfect opportunity to present your research to your graduate peers in a low-pressure and convivial setting. We can't wait to see your abstracts, and really encourage everyone to participate, including first-timers. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. We can be reached at


Binocular 2019 Graduate Student Conference Call for Abstracts

May 3-4, 2019

York University and University of Toronto

Theme: “(in)visibilities”
Abstract submission date: March 15, 2019


What makes something invisible or visible? What are the contingencies of visibility? Who chooses to make something or someone visible or invisible and how to they become that way? Are some things necessarily or inherently visible or invisible? What is the relationship between (in)visibility and what is considered ‘real’? What causes infrastructure or institutions to be visible or not? Who does (in)visible labour? How is work in science, technology, and medicine considered or made visible? How does (in)visibility relate to our understandings of science, technology, and medicine? What role does (in)visibility play in wider understandings of science, technology, and medicine? What role does (in)visibility play in knowledge production?


The fifth annual Binocular Conference, jointly organized by graduate students of York University’s Science and Technology Studies (STS) and the University of Toronto’s Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IHPST), invites the submission of essays and other less formal scholarship on the theme of “(in)visibilities.” As an interdisciplinary graduate student conference, we invite emerging scholars from diverse disciplines to consider and share with their peers the (in)visibilities they consider and encounter, as well as the roles they may or may not play in their research, their field, the world, or within their graduate school experience more generally. We hope the topic will provoke applicants to consider not only that which is visible or invisible in their pursuit of insights into understanding science, technology, and medicine, but also the ways in which such (in)visibilities manifest and influence the work that we as interdisciplinary academics do. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The (in)visibilities of thoughts and thought processes
  • Blackboxing and the (in)visibilities of science, technology, and medicine
  • The (in)visibilities of disability and under-represented groups or entities
  • The (in)visibilities of infrastructures, archives, institutions
  • (In)visible labour, care, and gendered forms of visibility
  • Indigenous knowledges and infrastructures
  • Entity realisms and how paradigms condition (in)visibility
  • The primacy of sight and other sensory apparatuses as epistemic sources ((in)audibility; (in)olfactory; (in)sensibility; (in)tangibility)
  • The (in)visibilities of climate change and the ways in which disasters make the anthropocene visible
  • Quantum mechanical fields and black holes
  • The pace of macro-evolutionary change in biology

The Binocular Conference invites the submission of 250-word abstracts for a 15 minute presentation on (in)visibilities addressing any of the above or related themes by end of day (EST) on Friday, March 15th, 2019. Please send all abstracts (or any questions you may have) to


As a pre-conference event, Peter Galison (Harvard University) will give a talk at the University of Toronto on Thursday, May 2nd, 2019.


Beyond HPST/STS, we welcome submissions from graduate students of any level from a wide cross-section of disciplines, fields, and critical approaches, including but not limited to communications and culture, critical theory, disability studies, futures studies, gender studies, women’s studies, humanities, animal studies, environmental studies, visual culture, literature studies, and beyond.


Unfortunately, Binocular 2019 will not be able to reimburse or support participant’s travel costs. Please contact your department for potential funding opportunities.


For more information please find us online at

Twitter: @binocular_conf

Faceboook: @binocularconference

Contact Information

Hannah McElderry and Clarence Hatton-Proulx (York University), Victoria Fisher (University of Toronto)

Contact Email