Making is thinking | EWIS 2022 Workshop

Myself and Anna Leander are organizing a 2022 European Workshops in International Studies (EWIS) workshop titled Making is thinking: Design, craft, and the practice of International Relations. The event will take place in Thessaloniki, Greece. The workshop explores relationships between international relations, design theory and practice, craft, making, theories of human-computer interaction, aesthetics, science and technology studies, and beyond. We are especially concerned with exploring how IR might expand its quotidian practice beyond the spoken and written word by ‘making’ concrete material-aesthetic objects that exceed the representational (machines, textiles, artworks, algorithms, etc.).

We invite possible contributors to this workshop to present work that explores the relationships between design, craft, making, and the practice of international relations. We especially encourage contributions that do so from a productive perspective, with the goal of moving away from the critique of these tasks as they are currently practiced by a multitude of actors and towards speculatively imagining their alternative applications within world politics. More specifically, we invite contributions that address any of the following questions, or related themes:

  1. Why should we begin expanding the praxis of IR into distinct forms of material-aesthetic making? What would be gained, scientifically, politically, and socially, from doing so?
  2. What can the discipline of International Relations (very broadly conceived) actively contribute to the task of making international things? Put differently, what unique forms of knowledge and expertise would be injected into distinct forms of making if this were to occur?
  3. How responsible are we for engaging in that task? Are we societally obligated to inject the knowledge we have of the world into acts of material-aesthetic making? And/or are we required to make this move in order to maintain the continued relevance of scholarly knowledge in the future?

We equally encourage contributions that practically-empirically explore work expanding the reach of IR’s praxis into different forms of making, including experiments into visual, computational, mechanical, craft-based, and other forms of making conducted with a focus on global, international, or transversal dilemmas.

More information on the workshop can be found in the document below or on the EWIS 2022 webpage. We envisage publishing selected outputs from the workshops as part of a series of forthcoming collective publication projects (special issues, edited volumes, etc.).