There are many ways to organize the materials and approaches that characterize digitalSTS. During the workshops that led to this volume, participants identified three themes that came to organize our inquiry: theory, methods and making. We therefore solicited papers that either a) contributed theoretical insights in the case study style typical of classic STS, b) contributed to discussions of methodological explorations about the digital, or that engaged digital inquiry techniques and technics themselves, and c) perhaps most inventively, engaged in the making and design of artifacts as a form of inquiry in and of itself. Distinct groups of editors evaluated and shepherded contributions within each section. We have always encouraged pluralism, however, and expect that there are many ways to explore the contributed pieces to digitalSTS. We here offer the original tagged themes — and other important thematic resonances of central importance to STS as a field; each constitute a unique pathways through the volume’s heterogenous contributions.





Laura Forlano

Unfolding Digital Materiality: How Engineers Struggle to Shape Tangible and Fluid Objects

Alexandre Camus and Dominique Vinck

The Life and Death of Data

Yanni Loukissas

Materiality Methodology, and Some Tricks of the Trade in the Study of Data and Specimens

David Ribes

Digital Visualizations for Thinking with the Environment

Nerea Calvillo



Daniela K. Rosner

If “Diversity” Is the Answer, What Is the Question? Understanding Diversity Advocacy in Voluntaristic Technology Projects

Christina Dunbar-Hester

Feminist STS and Ubiquitous Computing: Investigating the Nature of the “Nature” of Ubicomp

Xaroula (Charalampia) Kerasidou

Affect and Emotion in digitalSTS

Luke Stark

The Ambiguous Boundaries of Computer Source Code and Some of Its Political Consequences

Stéphane Couture

Global Inequalities


Steven J. Jackson

Venture Ed: Recycling Hype, Fixing Futures, and the Temporal Order of Edtech

Anita Say Chan

Dangerous Networks: Internet Regulations as Racial Border Control in Italy

Camilla A. Hawthorne

Social Movements and Digital Technology: A Research Agenda

Carla Ilten and Paul-Brian McInerney

Living in the Broken City: Infrastructural Inequity, Uncertainty, and the Materiality of the Digital in Brazil

David Nemer and Padma Chirumamilla

Sound Bites, Sentiments, and Accents: Digitizing Communicative Labor in the Era of Global Outsourcing

Winifred R. Poster



Janet Vertesi

Infrastructural Competence

Steve Sawyer, Ingrid Erickson, and Mohammad Hossein Jarrahi

Getting “There” from the Ever-Changing “Here”: Following Digital Directions

Ranjit Singh, Chris Hesselbein, Jessica Price, and Michael Lynch

Digitized Coral Reefs

Elena Parmiggiani and Eric Monteiro

Of “Working Ontologists” and “High-Quality Human Components”: The Politics of Semantic Infrastructures

Doris Allhutter

The Energy Walk: Infrastructuring the Imagination

Brit Ross Winthereik, James Maguire, and Laura Watts



Carl DiSalvo

From Affordances to Accomplishments: PowerPoint and Excel at NASA

Janet Vertesi

Misuser Innovations: The Role of “Misuses” and “Misusers” in Digital Communication Technologies

Guillaume Latzko-Toth, Johan Söderberg, Florence Millerand, and Steve Jones

Knowing Algorithms

Nick Seaver

Keeping Software Present: Software as a Timely Object for STS Studies of the Digital

Marisa Leavitt Cohn

Visualizing the Social


Yanni Loukissas

Tracing Design Ecologies: Collecting and Visualizing Ephemeral Data as a Method in Design and Technology Studies

Daniel Cardoso Llach

Data Sprints: A Collaborative Format in Digital Controversy Mapping

Anders Kristian Munk, Axel Meunier, and Tommaso Venturini

Smart Artifacts Mediating Social Viscosity

Juan Salamanca

Actor-Network versus Network Analysis versus Digital Networks: Are We Talking about the Same Networks?

Tommaso Venturini, Anders Kristian Munk, and Mathieu Jacomy