[Themaintainers] Introductions: Raquel from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Velho, Raquel velhor at rpi.edu
Mon Apr 15 09:27:12 EDT 2019

Hi Maintainers!

I’m Raquel Velho, co-chair of the Transport Track for The Maintainers III. I’m excited to be joining the team in putting together the third (!!!) Maintainers conference.

My current habitat is upstate NY––I’m assistant professor in Science & Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. My work is on the intersection of infrastructure studies and disability studies, both areas near and dear to my heart. In particular, I’m interested in accessibility issues in transportation for disabled people, and have written on how wheelchair users get around the London transit network. One of the aspects I found most fascinating about that work was unearthing the various daily, ad-hoc problem solving tactics that wheelchair users develop. Many of these tactics result in fixes and maintenance for a system that often is/becomes inhospitable to a variety of access needs.

I’ve been aware of the Maintainers for quite some time, but never had the chance to make it to a conference. It’s thrilling to be in the thick of it all this time around! As co-chair of the Transportation Track, I would love to see input not only from academics and policy-makers, but also from practitioners and activists! I would like to see unheard stories at the front and center of our conference. I am excited to think collectively about how innovation and maintenance can come hand-in-hand. I suspect (and would love to hear any thoughts on this!) that for marginalized and excluded communities, this is particularly true! What does this mean in terms of the perceived divide between the concepts of innovation and maintenance?

Looking forward to meeting many of you at the Maintainers III Conference in DC!

With kind regards,

Raquel Velho, PhD | she/her/hers
Assistant Professor
Science and Technology Studies
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Office: Sage 5114

Tel: (518) 276-2199
Twitter: @RSVelho

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