A bounty of new books

Coinciding with the first day of this year’s 4S Annual Meeting, we are extremely pleased to announce the publication of two new books.

In strictly alphabetical order, the first is Environmental Alterities, edited by Cristóbal Bonelli and Antonia Walford. In the context of accelerating environmental crises and exhausted intellectual paradigms, the book asks what comes after ‘after nature’. Instead of demanding new models and approaches, it invites its readers to look to the endpoints and failures of what is already known, in order to generate alternative forms of ethical engagement with worlds both on this planet, and beyond it.  

The second is With Microbes, edited by Charlotte Brives, Matthäus Rest and Salla Sariola. While we may recognise that life, in its various forms, hinges on microbes, the book pauses to carefully attune to some their work. Across diverse contributions, ranging from ethnographic explorations with fermented foods and faecal matter to examining indigenous and scientific understandings of microbes, the book challenges ideas of microbes as simple entities. It shows how our entanglements with microbes transform both humans and microbes in the process.

With Microbes front cover

These two new books are the latest in a series of publications across 2021.

We began in spring by publishing Energy Worlds in Experiment, by James Maguire, Laura Watts and Brit Ross Winthereik. The book is an experiment in writing about energy and an exploration of energy infrastructures as experiments. Twenty authors have written collaborative chapters that examine energy politics and practices, from electricity cables and energy monitors to swamps and estuaries. 

Then, as we moved into summer, we published Sensing In/Security: Sensors as Transnational Security Infrastructures, edited by Nina Klimburg-Witjes, Nikolaus Poechhacker and Geoffrey C. Bowker. Across a series of contributions, the book investigates how sensors and sensing practices enact regimes of security and insecurity.

And, as we move into winter, we look forward to publishing our fifth book of the year: Engineering the Climate: Science, Politics and Visions of Control, by Julia Schubert. This new monograph unpacks the turbulent trajectory of one of the most contested techno-political projects of our time: the idea to deliberately alter, to engineer, the earth’s climate to counteract global warming. In advance of its publication on November 15th, we are pleased to be able to make available to readers a pre-print edition of the book’s Introduction.

We are in fact not quite done yet, and expect to shortly announce the publication of one final book for 2021. How exciting! We would like to extend our thanks to our authors, editors, proofreaders, designers and typesetters that have worked together to help us put together an unprecedented (for us) sequence of new and forthcoming books. This is alongside our continued work on the COPIM project and being involved in the formal establishment of ScholarLed.

Thanks as ever for all your support for us and for Open Access.


Mattering Press is a UK registered charity led by STS scholars who give their time to the press for free. Donations and purchases of hard copies of our books help fund our work.

Our full catalogue is shown below.

    Engineering the Climate

    This book unpacks the turbulent trajectory of one of the most contested techno-political projects of our time: the idea to deliberately alter, to engineer, the earth’s climate to counteract global warming. As the text follows the emergence of this controversial project from the turn of the twentieth century to the teens of the new millennium, we learn how historically specific versions of what we now refer to as climate engineering have continuously linked scientific to political agendas. By disentangling the various threads of scientific inquiry and policymaking that have brought us to the present point, the book challenges us to fundamentally rethink our understanding of the relationship between science and politics.

    With Microbes

    Edited by Charlotte Brives, Matthäus Rest and Salla Sariola

    With Microbes front cover

    Without microbes, no other forms of life would be possible. But what does it mean to be with microbes? In this book, 24 contributors attune to microbes and describe their multiple relationships with humans and others. Ethnographic explorations with fermented foods, waste, faecal matter, immunity, antimicrobial resistance, phages, as well as indigenous and scientific understandings of microbes challenge ideas of them being simple entities: not just pathogenic foes, old friends or good fermentation minions, but much more. Following various entanglements, the book tells how these relations transform both humans and microbes in the process.

    Environmental Alterities

    Edited by Cristóbal Bonelli and Antonia Walford

    In the context of accelerating environmental crises and exhausted intellectual paradigms, this book asks what comes after ‘after nature’. Instead of demanding new models and approaches, it invites its readers to look to the endpoints and failures of what is already known, in order to generate alternative forms of ethical engagement with worlds both on this planet, and beyond it. Drawing together scholarship from across science and technology studies, philosophy, and anthropology and bringing it into conversation with rich ethnographic and empirical material, the book asks how we might potentialise the contradictions and oppositions of critical social scientific thinking in order to develop a mode of paradoxical engagement that is in constant movement between knowledge and its edges, practices and their limits, and which allows us to relate to that which is excessive to relations and relationality.

    Sensing In/Security

    Sensors as Transnational Security Infrastructures

    Edited by Nina Klimburg-Witjes, Nikolaus Poechhacker & Geoffrey C. Bowker

    FRESH FROM THE PRESS!!! Sensing In/Security is now available for orders from our website and as a free ePDF. We’ll make it available as a free Ebook shortly. Sensing In/Security: Sensors as Transnational Security Infrastructures investigates how sensors and sensing practices enact regimes of security and insecurity. It extends long-standing concerns with infrastructuring to emergent modes…Read more

    Energy Worlds in Experiment

    Edited by James Maguire, Laura Watts & Brit Ross Winthereik

    Energy Worlds in Experiment is an experiment in writing about energy and an exploration of energy infrastructures as experiments. Twenty authors have written collaborative chapters that examine energy politics and practices, from electricity cables and energy monitors to swamps and estuaries.  Each chapter proposes a unique format to tell energy worlds differently and to stimulate…Read more

    Five Theses on Energy Polities

    A pre-print chapter from the forthcoming volume 'Energy Worlds in Experiment'

    by Brit Ross Winthereik, Stefan Helmreich, Damian O’Doherty, Mónica Amador-Jiménez and Noortje Marres. Edited by James Maguire, Laura Watts and Brit Ross Winthereik

    ‘Five Theses on Energy Polities’ is a pre-print chapter from the forthcoming volume ‘Energy Worlds in Experiment’ edited by James Maguire, Laura Watts and Brit Ross Winthereik. The full volume will be published in a print and free online version in Spring 2021. Please send us an email (info@matteringpress.org) if you are interested in reviewing the…Read more

    Sensing In/Security (pre-print)

    Sensors as transnational security infrastructures

    Edited by Nina Klimburg-Witjes, Nikolaus Poechhacker, Geoffrey C. Bowker

    cover

    PRE-PRINT EDITION This rich and extensive collection of studies examines sensors and sensing at the intersections of Critical Security Studies and Science and Technology Studies. Lucy Suchman, Lancaster University Sensing In/Security is a book project that investigates how sensors and sensing practices enact regimes of security and insecurity. It extends long standing concerns with infrastructuring…Read more

    Boxes: A Field Guide

    Edited by Susanne Bauer, Martina Schlünder, Maria Rentetzi

    A book full of boxes. A box in itself. An unboxing. This book explores boxes in their broadest sense and size. It invites us to step into the field, unravel how and why things are contained and how it might be otherwise. By turning the focus of Science and Technology Studies (STS) to boxing practices,…Read more

    An Anthropology of Common Ground

    Awkward Encounters in Heritage Work

    Nathalia Brichet

    Paying attention to details and ‘small stories’ as that which make worlds (heritage projects as well as ethnography), the book proposes a kind of postcolonial scholarship. Rather than uncovering or building up one story about the Danish-Ghanaian past, the work insists on providing ‘inconclusive’ analyses, collaboratively generated in the course of the project work and…Read more

    Ghost-Managed Medicine

    Big Pharma's Invisible Hands

    by Sergio Sismondo

    Ghost-Managed Medicine by Sergio Sismondo explores a spectral side of medical knowledge, based in pharmaceutical industry tactics and practices. Hidden from the public view, the many invisible hands of the pharmaceutical industry and its agents channel streams of drug information and knowledge from contract research organizations (that extract data from experimental bodies) to publication planners…Read more