Colloquium & Events

The STS Graduate Program at UBC draws on a rich set of resources at UBC, in Vancouver, and at our sister universities, Simon Fraser University and the University of Washington

STS Colloquium Schedule


Colloquia will be held virtually on Wednesdays from 12:30-2pm over Zoom, unless otherwise noted. If you’d like to attend, please subscribe to our mailing list and you’ll receive the URL a week beforehand as well as STS related news!


October 6, 2021 “Data Feminism,” Professor Lauren Klein

6 October, 5-6:30 pm: Lauren Klein (English and Quantitative Theory and Methods; Director of the Digital Humanities Lab, Emory) will be discussing her joint work with Catherine D’Ignazio, Data Feminism (MIT Press, 2020).

Professor Klein’s website is here: Lauren F. Klein – Digital humanities, data science, and early American literature (

The book in its entirety is here: Data Feminism (



October 27, 2022 “Sci-Hub: Technology to Make Science Open,” Alexandra Elbakyan

Alexandra Elbakyan, creator of Sci-Hub, who will discuss that project.

Founder of Sci-Hub, PhD student (STS) at the Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow

You can read about her on Wikipedia and elsewhere:

Research: Sci-Hub provides access to nearly all scholarly literature

Who’s downloading pirated papers? Everyone:

The Founder of Sci-Hub Is Absolutely Unrepentant



February 16, 2022 “Rhetorically constituting the “good covid citizen” through BC’s public health updates, March – December 2020 Professor Philippa Spoel

Speaker: Professor Philippa Spoel (Laurentian U)


BC’s COVID-19 public communication, as delivered by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, has been widely praised for its non-coercive, pro-social, and caring qualities. In this presentation I explore how public health updates delivered by Henry between March and December 2020 exemplify the expansion during the pandemic of discourses that foreground individual citizen responsibility for collective health. I argue that this site of COVID-19 communication participates in the development of neo-communitarian ‘active citizenship’ governmentalities focused on the civic duty of voluntarily taking responsibility for the health of one’s community. My analysis focuses on how Henry’s articulation of this civic imperative rhetorically constitutes the “good covid citizen” through a discourse of behavioural, epistemic, and ethical responsibilization. This rhetoric’s communal ethos significantly increases the burden of personal responsibility for health beyond commonplace norms of self-care. Making the protection of community health primarily the responsibility of individual citizens also presumes a privileged identity of empowered, active agency and implicitly excludes citizens who lack the means to successfully fulfill the expectations of good covid citizenship.


Philippa Spoel is Professor of English in the School of Liberal Arts at Laurentian University. Her research focuses on rhetorical criticism of health, science, and environmental communication, including public health promotion, discourses of food security and food literacy, citizen science, midwifery communication, and environmental controversies. She contributes to Laurentian’s undergraduate Literature, Media, and Writing program as well as the interdisciplinary Masters in Science Communication, PhD in Human Studies, and PhD in Rural and Northern Health.


March 2, 2022 “Insects and the Infrastructure of Empire: Entomological Expeditions and Biological Pest Control in Early-Twentieth Century Hawai’I,” Professor Jessica Wang 

Jessica Wang

Professor of History and STS Faculty Member, UBC


April 19, 2022 STS Graduate Students Colloquium

Balie Tomar, “The Colonial Statistical Revolution: Tracing the Evolution of William Petty’s Quantification in Ireland”

Lewis Page, “Between World Government and Neoliberalism: The Committee to Frame a World Constitution and the Mont Pèlerin Society circa 1947”

Sam Bundentha, “Rhetorical Constructions of the Human-Nature Binary in Pacific Spirit Park”

Sarah Kamal, “Climate, Local Experiences, and Federal Policy: Post-Lytton Indigenous Community Engagement in the Fraser Canyon and Canada’s UNDRIP Act”