Oct 5: Destroying and Defending Theory – Navel Gazing Workshop with Mitchell Dean

With: Professor Mitchell Dean, Copenhagen Business School
When: 5th of October, 13:00 -­ 17:00, followed by drinks
Where: Kolloboratoriet, Östra Ågatan 19, ground floor, Uppsala

The so called “science wars” that raged in the 1990s between the natural and social sciences, when post­structuralist thinking took ground, has been revisited in a time when facts, truth and authority is sought anew (Solnit 2017). Despite prevalent constructions of consensus within various disciplines, we will during this workshop focus on contemporary theoretical wars. The purpose is to turn inwards, to interrogate the research practices that seek to kill theory and build theory. How do researchers attempt to destroy but also defend theories? How do attacks on established theories look like in comparison to attacks on aspiring new theories? How do researchers relate to, and sometimes problematize, necessary basic assumptions? Have you liked to kill some of your own, previously pursued, theory building?

To broach these questions, and discuss research practices at the frontiers, we have invited Mitchell Dean, Professor of Public Governance, and Politics Research Group Director, at the Copenhagen Business School. Professor Dean describes himself as a recovering sociologist, dissident governmentality student, and quasi­‐political theorist. He has experience from a wide variety of fields, such as political science, sociology and business, from which he will draw upon during this workshop.

The workshop is co-hosted by the Department of Engineering Sciences, The Department of Business Studies, CEMUS and Kollaboratoriet Uppsala.

Voluntary reading list:

Alvesson, Mats, and Jörgen Sandberg. 2011. “Generating research questions through problematization.” The Academy of Management Review no. 36.
Barad, Karen. 2003. “Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter.” Signs no. 28.
Delbridge, Rick 2013. “Promising Futures: CMS, Post-­‐Disciplinarity, and the New Public Social Science.” Journal of Management Studies no. 51.
Knorr-­Cetina, K. 1981. The manufacture of knowledge: An essay on the constructivist and contextual nature of science. New York: Columbia University Press.
Lowe, Alan. 2004. “Methodology choices and the construction of facts: some implications from the sociology of scientific knowledge.” Critical perspectives on accounting no. 15.
Sismondo, Sergio. 1993. “Some social constructions.” Social studies of science no. 23. Solnit, Rebecca 2017. “From Lying to Leering.” London Review of Books no. 39.

Please confirm your participation by sending an e-‐mail to Annika Skoglund at annika.skoglund@angstrom.uu.se or Jenny Helin at jenny.helin@fek.uu.se latest 15th of September.