Interdisciplinary Nineteenth Century Studies CfP

Call for Proposals: Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies (INCS) 2015

Hosted by the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA April 16-19, 2015
Keynote Speakers: Philippa Levine (UT-Austin) and Priscilla Wald (Duke)

The nineteenth century has long been understood as an era of industrial growth, scientific discovery, technological innovation, and imperial expansion. Such sweeping global transformations relied on a complex web of relations between humans and machines, individuals and systems, ideas and practices, as well as more efficient and frequent movement across increasingly connected networks of space. From railroad travel to advances in shipping, from the movement of immigrants, enslaved laborers, scientists and colonial settlers, to the circulation of ideas, bodies, and/as commodities, nineteenth-century mobilities challenged and reconfigured the very constitution of subjects, nations, and cultures across the globe. We seek papers that investigate the various mobilities and exchanges of the nineteenth century. What did it mean to be mobile (or immobile) in this period? How were political, scientific, and cultural ideas exchanged in new ways? How did people maintain and create new affiliations? How might notions of a more mobile sense of nature, the world, and the self influence our understanding of this era?

Specific topics are listed on the attached call for papers.

Deadline: November 15, 2014. For individual papers, send 250-word proposals; for panels, send individual proposals plus a 250-word panel description. Please include a one-page cv with your name, affiliation, and email address. Proposals that are interdisciplinary in method or panels that involve multiple disciplines are especially welcome. Send questions and proposals to or

Cfp_EGOS Sub-theme 25: Devising Markets and Other Valuation Sites

Originally posted on Estudios de la Economía:

Devising Markets and Other Valuation Sites. Convened by Liz McFall, Claes-Frederik Helgesson and Pascale Trompette. Invites papers exploring how markets and other valuation sites are ‘devised’ through the interaction of practices, processes and technologies. The aim is to further develop understanding of the role of knowledge and devices in shaping economies and markets in two ways.

  • First, this sub-theme will explore the dynamic practices of ‘devising’. What forms of reasoning, reflexivity and responsibility are at play and how are they distributed across markets and other sites?
  • Second, it considers how things become objects of quantification, judgement and valuation. What gets quantified, calculated, judged and valued as part of this ‘devising work’, by whom and for what purposes.

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laser cats and mary parker follett

Originally posted on

When I teach my sociology of organizations courses, I always include an underrecognized org theorist, Mary Parker Follett,* who advocated for “power-with” instead of “power over.”  Follett argued that voting and other more conventional decision-making approaches generate dissatisfactory outcomes, in which one or more parties lose.  She suggested that groups engage in a consensus-oriented decision-making process to identify what parties really want and thus generate novel solutions.  However, providing real-life examples of this process is not easy, particularly since many decisions are made hierarchically or when one party tires of the decision-making process.

But, thanks to the Internet, here is one light-hearted example, starring an improbable combination of lasers, Mr. Bigglesworth the cat, and a Chihuahua:

Party A: High school student Draven Rodriguez wanted a memorable photo for the school yearbook.  His desired portrait is definitely awesome:

Awesome portrait taken by Vincent Giodano/Trinactia Photography

Awesome portrait taken by Vincent Giodano/Trinactia Photography

Party B: However, the…

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this is not a post about ello

Originally posted on

This is not a post about Ello. Because Ello is so last Friday. But the rapid rise of and backlash against upstart social media network Ello (if you haven’t been paying attention, see here, here, here) reminded me of something I was wondering a while back.

Lots of people are dissatisfied with Facebook — ad-heavy, curated in a way the user has little control over, privacy-poor. And it looks like Twitter, which really needs bring in more revenue, is taking steps to move in the same direction: algorithmic display of tweets, with the ultimate goal of making users more valuable to advertisers.

The question is, what’s the alternative? There have been a lot of social network flavors of the month, built on a variety of business models. Some of them, like Google Plus, are owned by already-large companies that would be subject to similar business pressures as Facebook and…

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CfP: Organization Science Special Issue on Routine Dynamics

This call for papers might be of interest to the social study of entrepreneurship, insofar as the relationship between routines and the breaking of routines is a core feature of the Schumpeterian definition of entrepreneurship as innovation, and routines can be thought of as the effects of collective, heterogeneous mechanisms.

Call for Papers: Special Issue on Routine Dynamics: Exploring Sources of Stability and Change in Organizations, Organization Science


  • Luciana D’Adderio, University of Edinburgh
  • Martha S. Feldman, University of California, Irvine
  • Nathalie Lazaric, University of Nice, Sophia Antipolis
  • Brian T. Pentland, Michigan State University

Submission Deadline: September 1, 2013

Also, the organisational routines literature has been developing an increasing interest in recent years in the role of artefacts in routines and the performativity of routines. See some relevant snippets below:

Actants and artifacts. What is the role of artifacts (material and immaterial), such as standard operating procedures, classifications, computer systems, and so on in the production and reproduction of routines? What is the role of artifacts as intermediaries and mediators (D’Adderio 2008, 2011) in the performance of routines? And how do they interact with the ostensive and the performative aspects? More generally, how are networks of action related to networks of actants (human and non-human, material and non-material)? How do different configurations—or sociomaterial entanglements—of actors and actants influence and shape routines?

Recombinations and mashups. Some argue that routines evolve through variation, selection and retention, but what is the role of recombination (e.g., recombining chunks of routines to create a new routine) and mashups (e.g., combining in ways not defined by predetermined chunks) in routine dynamics? When are recombination and mashups possible? Is there any evidence that they actually occur? What factors facilitate or limit recombination and/or mashups?

Performation. Routines are becoming increasingly distributed across projects and organizations. How do routines spread over time and space? How do the ostensive aspects and/or the formal or informal descriptions of a practice become instantiated at different points in time and across different locales? How are different spatial or temporal instantiations/enactments of the routine coordinated? What is the role of artifacts in this coordination?

Generativity and novelty. Some routinized processes (e.g., project management routines) are capable of producing significantly different substantive results each time they are performed. For example, an architectural firm may use a recognizable, repetitive process for designing buildings, yet each design is different. Other routines are focused on producing exactly the same result every time. What governs this difference? Are there limits to the generative power of routines? Can routines generate other routines in this manner? What is the role of formal descriptions of routines (such as standards or “best” practices) and templates (actual examples) in guiding and shaping actions in routines? At what point, and in which circumstances, does innovation/adaptation erase the value of the template or model? And what implications should we expect for innovation and adaptation when formal routines and models become embedded into artifacts?

CfP: Workshop on Social Capital and Entrepreneurship

Social Capital and Entrepreneurship Workshop at CSCW 2013

At the 16th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work
February 23-27 in San Antonio, Texas, USA.

There is a strong relationship between social capital and entrepreneurship. Yet we know little of how groups across cultures and socio-technical configurations interact and collaborate online to transform innovation into commercial and social ventures.

This one day workshop will explore, through different perspectives, the challenges for CSCW in supporting the development of social capital for entrepreneurship, highlighting the gaps and opportunities for designers.

A key part of the agenda for this workshop is to form understandings of the formation of social capital and entrepreneurship activities in contrasting cultures and socio-technical configurations.

We hope to foster dialogue between academics in different disciplines interested in interdisciplinary research in social capital, entrepreneurship and CSCW.

‘Anyone can be an entrepreneur’

In a BBC article today, Richard Reed, one of the founders of Innocent Drinks, is quoted on what it takes to become an entrepreneur (How to become your own boss):

Anyone, says Reed, could go home today, and for instance, make some jam and start selling it.

Earlier in the article,

“If you have ever organised a wedding or a holiday for a group of friends you have got what it takes to set up a business”,  says Reed, who founded his company in 1998 with two friends from Cambridge University.

But later on he reveals

At the age of four my mum found me trying to sell jam jars with rose petals in as perfume for 2p to my neighbours. Aged seven I was going round cleaning their windows. At age 11, I was buying Smurf stickers and reselling them in schools.

This revelation somewhat undermines his argument that anyone can become an entrepreneur, as clearly he wasn’t just anyone then. Most kids don’t go around selling stuff at the age of four and then end up at Cambridge. On the basis of this biographical evidence one would be more likely to conclude that entrepreneurial capability is either innate (Richard had it at the age of 4 already) or that it is the result of one’s environment in childhood, such as specific socio-economic circumstances, existing socio-technical networks or specific incidents that shaped the child’s psyche and social skills.

Seeing this then makes me wonder, what compels a BBC journalist to write such an article about entrepreneurship? What’s the motivation here? As I take a closer look I realise that the article is meant to promote a new BBC series, Be Your Own Boss, which seems like a reality show in the footsteps of the Dragons’ Den and The Apprentice. As part of the drive to promote the show and its stars and makers,  it obviously makes sense to put out statements like “anyone can be an entrepreneur,” as they are trying to attract the widest possible audience. Now the question is whether the show itself will be able to prove that proposition.


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