Call for Papers: Infrastructuring the Commons Today, when STS meet ICT

Journal of Peer Production
Call for Papers: Infrastructuring the Commons Today, when STS meet ICT

Peer production and collaborative forms of technological design – such as those based on commons-oriented approaches – have at their core a critical stance towards the technoscientific landscape, an approach shared with Science and Technology Studies (STS) as a theoretical archipelago that has produced a significant wealth of knowledge that points out the social constructive and performative character of technoscience.

In recent time, the increasing prominence of critical approaches – e.g. feminist and postcolonial STS – and the intersections with surrounding fields – e.g. participatory design, information science, and critical technical practice – have stressed the politically engaged character of STS, emphasizing its “activist interest” (Sismondo, 2008). Such growing interest in collaborative modes of practicing STS has suggested the emergence of a “collaborative turn” in STS (Farías, 2017). Such novel approaches allow researchers and practitioners to understand and experience STS as a “practice” as well as a theoretical perspective, an approach that can be fruitful and inspiring also to investigate, design, and advocate for commons-based and oriented forms of production and experiences.

This special issue focuses on such collaborative orientation of STS by exploring its interplay with the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) when focusing on the commons and peer production. This relationship entails diverse forms of meeting such as the disciplinary intersection of STS with design studies and information science; the epistemological meeting between STS and critical perspectives; the making of new alliances between researchers, activists and local population; the convergence of institutional interests and research practices to promote alternative sociotechnical infrastructures based on the commons. At the same time such hybrid collaborations pose novel and interesting challenges such as the institutional constraints in the form of disciplinary boundaries that persist in today’s academia and the demand to engage in unconventional ways of publishing that are mostly disregarded by current evaluation practices.

This call seeks interdisciplinary contributions that explore the politics in and of the relationship between STS and ICT, from experiences of local and commons activism to large-scale examples of alternative sociotechnical infrastructures. Topics relevant for this call may include:

  • ICT, labor, and precariousness
  • Hacktivism, community networks, and alternative Internet
  • Datification and alternative data politics
  • Post-colonial and anti-colonial computing
  • Feminist interventions in ICT
  • Commons, peer production, and platform cooperativism
  • Interplay between publics, researchers, and institutions e.g. citizen science
  • Interventionist methodologies

This special issue aims at promoting interdisciplinary encounters in order to foster the politically engaged, commons-oriented, STS agenda in the relationship with ICT.

Important dates

  • 15 March 2019: Submission of a 250-500 words abstract
  • 30 March 2019: Notification of relevance
  • 1 July 2019: Submission of full papers
  • 15 October 2019: Reviews to authors
  • 15 December 2019: Submission of revised papers
  • March 2020: Foreseen publication

Submission instructions
Abstracts should be of 250-500 words, while peer reviewed papers should be no more than 8,000 words. These should be sent directly to the editors at

All peer reviewed papers will be reviewed according to Journal of Peer Production guidelines. See for details.

Mariacristina Sciannamblo, Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute
Maurizio Teli, Aalborg University
Peter Lyle, Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute
Christopher Csíkszentmihályi, Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute

Here is the link to the call:

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